|The Flying Pikeman Moore|
When the main card of an event features, Gunnar Nelson, an Ex-TUF contestant and several Grade "A" home grown fighters you know you are on to a winner but Cage Contender XII really delivered last Saturday night. For the packed numbers inside a sweltering National Basketball Arena they were treated to a thrilling main card featuring four first round finishes and the pro debut of one of Ireland's brightest prospects. In the evening's main event, in a real treat for Irish MMA fans - international sensation Gunnar Nelson ended a one year hiatus from MMA to take on Ukrainian Alexander Butenko. The event which was featured live on Icelandic TV featured a stunning display of technique and skill from the unbeaten Icelandic native, who threw his opponent to the mat to landi a perfect arm-bar from mount to leave the crowd on their feet in raptures.
|Gunnar's post fight interview with Woah TVs Katie Larmour|
Due to TV scheduling Nelson's fight was succeeded by the eagerly anticipated match up between SBG's Brian "The Pikeman" Moore and BTT's Conor "Done Deal" Dillon. Both fighters were cheered on vocally throughout and arrived into the cage in phenomenal shape which was displayed in a frenetic opening round. Moore in his last outing at Celtic Gladiator impressed with not only his composure but the strength of the man from County Wexford. Once again Moore handled all that a skilled Dillon had to offer to finish the fight via RNC near the end of round number one. It clearly meant a lot to Moore who flew to the top of the cage to salute the crowd - in his post-fight interview he would go on to explain that the victory was dedicated to his Great-Aunt Lil' who had passed away.
|JMS looked focused in his pre-fight warm up|
With the crowd at fever pitch the seemingly unstoppable John Michael Sheil took on ex-TUF Season Three contestant Ross "The Gladiator" Pointin in a classic Ireland vs. England match up. Again Sheil demonstrated that he can simply walk through punches and he matched all that Pointin had to offer in the early exchanges. Sheil was fighting for the third time in almost as many month's and looked sharp, throwing straight punches that began to connect and back up Pointin towards the middle of the round. Eventually after being shook by an upper cut - Pointin was dropped with a right. Once he had his opponent controlled "JMS" landed several strong shots to finish the fight via TKO and send the crowd into raptures.
It was a tremendous way to end the evening and sent large numbers in attendance home satisfied that they had witnessed an excellent night of MMA action. Cage Contender again delivered at the highest level the future looks bright - roll on the Cage Contender XIII.
Read the rest of the Main Card including wins for Quelly, Edgeworth and Brennan below.
|The Showstopper Quelly|
In the first fight of the Main Event Waterford MMA's finest Peter "The Showstopper" Quelly made his professional debut against Kieran O'Donnell of Tuatha DeDanann. The crowd were expecting big things from Quelly who has a impressive resume of KOs from his amateur fights but O'Donnell had other things on his mind and pressured Quelly from the off preventing him from landing his trademark high kicks and flashy combos. O'Donnell landed several takedowns and worked effectively from the clinch throughout the first round to deservedly take the round. Quelly knew he needed to show more conviction in the second and third and as the fight began to develop he began to settle and number of slick three and four punch combos rocked O'Donnell. Quelly takedown defence and clinch work also sharpened as the fight went on after landing three head kicks in the third he knew he did enough to earn his first pro win.
|Bougusz Pochylski pre-fight|
In a thrilling encounter Husaria's Bogusz Pchylski was impressive in his fight against KTP's Mick Brennan. Pchyslki showed a varied arsenal of spinning back kicks and crescent kicks throughout the first round which somewhat unnerved Brennan. However mid-way through the second round Brennan landed showed excellent grappling prowess to win the fight via RNC in what was a tough test. Every time we see Ricky Edgeworth we are more and more impressed and he didn't fail to disappoint last Saturday landing a slick arm-bar in round one- he was well matched against a game Neil McGuigan (EFR) but the man they call "The Postman" looked sharp throughout and bags another win.
For those who missed the event here is the TV schedule:
Setanta Ireland: Thursday 1st March 22:30