The time had come again for me to don my Addicted.Otr hat and set off to this fight card that boasted an array of Amateur and Pro goodness from the hills, valleys and dales. Once again Richard Shore had conjured up a matchmaking delight, making the fights a total pleasure to watch, with non-stop action and some surprises, this event showed once again the wealth of local talent on display.
With top class officials, such as Leon Roberts overseeing the action in the cage, the night kicked off with a cracking Amateur battle between Chris Mardon (True Fighters) and Joel Collins (Tillery Combat) with Joel Collins grabbing the win via split decision, these two looking comfortable with a display of strikes, kicks and take downs. Having known and trained with Chris Mardon in the past I saw so much potential in him Saturday night, looking good going the three rounds and I am looking forward to seeing his future fights.
Next up was a sharp strike fest between Karl Redding (RMMADS) and Alun Yhnell (NMMA) with both fighters landing heavy shots until Alan Yhnell secured a strong left to the chin of Redding, resulting in a KO in the first round.
With these two bouts starting the night off, we were treated to more Amateur dramatics (fight style) with these bouts catching my eye:
Christian Duncan (Gloucester Range) v James McClean (Fightworx) brought some nice cage control from Duncan and a nice single take down leg escape from Duncan meant a KO win in the bag for the Gloucester Range fighter. I always enjoy watching Duncan fight as he has a certain quiet technique that really comes out in his fights. A real jewel in Mark Weirs crown for the future.
Josh Hudson ( Dogs of War ) v Jack Tucker ( Tillery Combat ) saw a battle of arms as Josh got to work with his Judo skills trying to secure a Kimura with great defence from Tucker, relentless scrambling making it a beautiful dance to secure position and submission, with Josh displaying more striking skills in Round 2 and securing top position in most of Round 3 he went on to get the win via Unanimous Decision. As I have seen Josh change and evolve through the years in the team, watching him on Saturday night looking technically calm and professional, was a joy. Also good to see the great Paul Jenkins back in the cage even if it was cornering.
A great display from the Amateur fighters showing what a fantastic array of talent there is in the UK. All of these already showing so much potential to be going into their Professional career with.
Going onto the Professional card there were strong displays from Ethan Charlesworth (Rising Spirit securing a choke on the much anticipated return of Nathan Ford(NMMA)
Josh Ellis (Mat Academy) showed total domination securing top position, wearing his opponent Daniel Hodor (Masters MMA) down to take the RNC win in the second round.
Jack Shore (Tillery Combat) showing again why he is fast rising to the top by not letting his opponent Alexandros Gerolimatos (EFL Academy) get any kind of domination by going straight in for the take down, and with some scrambling, Jack takes his opponents back standing and doesn’t let go until his deed is done, and it doesn’t take Jack long to secure that RNC despite quite a bloody cut dripping everywhere. Always a pleasure to watch Jack as he steams through each opponent, technically perfect.
The final Pro fight was between Aaron Khalid (Mat Academy) v Phil Wells(SVT) with Khalid showing skill and deflection enabling him to take the win with a guillotine. Khalid is another fighter that I have watched evolve from Amateur and see huge potential for him in the future. The Mat Academy celebrating with 3 fighters and 3 wins on the night with Lew Long and team going home happy.
As there is so much publicity on some events having some crowd violence lately, I would like to point out that Richard Shore and team always employ a certain security team in the form of BJ Securities, running a very tight ship. I always notice how this security team are excellent at these events and feel they deserve a mention as they do the right thing at the right time, resulting in no trouble at all.
Congratulations to Richard Shore, Colin Mould and team for an excellent night and look forward to the next fight card as there is always an element of joy and surprise reading it.
Words by Beccy Davies
Images by Huw Fairclough