Hallam’s thinking big! MMA star plotting cage return

Boston cage fighter, Matt Hallam.
Boston cage fighter, Matt Hallam.

MMA star Matt Hallam says he will come back stronger after missing out on the BAMMA World Middleweight title.

The 38-year-old cage fighter’s hopes of claiming the vacant belt were ended by Yannick Bahati on Friday night.

But Farmer Boy insists that the fight has only inspired him to think big.

“It was a strange experience because, even though I lost the fight, it felt like I’d won,” he told The Standard.

“It felt like 75 per cent of the stadium was cheering for me, and that really meant something.

“I was told it was the same back home.

“People were out in Boston cheering for me in pubs that didn’t even show the Anthony Joshua fight.

“When things like that happen it can really inspire you.”

Hallam looked to be on top of his old foe at Birmingham’s Genting Arena last week, keeping the Black Mamba on the back foot with waves of kicks and strikes.

But midway through the second round Bahati - a previous middleweight champion within Africa’s Extreme Fighting Championship promotion - forced Hallam to the mat and locked him into a submission hold to claim the win.

Hallam says he will now consider his future while spending a fortnight coaching mixed martial arts in Brazil.

But he says the manner in which he fought makes him believe he can still forge himself a bright future in the sport.

“It was a mistake which cost me,” Hallam added.

“I lost the fight, he didn’t win it.

“But until then I was on top and fighting really well.

“I was happy with how I was fighting and so were my coaches.

“I’ll have to think about my next move now.

“I don’t know about a rematch.

“But I still believe I can fight on the world stage.”