Three local mixed martial arts fighters (MMA) were set to impress at the Rage in the Cage event held by Monaghan MMA at Tyholland community sports complex recently.
Tommy Gray, Brendan Reilly and Gerard ‘Soupy’ Campell all trained at the Dundalk Martial Arts School of Fitness in preparation for their big night but two of the fighters were dealt a blow in the lead up to the card.
Reilly got injured in training and had to pull out of his fight and, controversially, Gray’s opponent never turned up on the night due to a management error on the part of the promoter.
“It was disappointing that we did not find out until the night that Tommy’s fighter was not going to show. We weren’t told about it until five minutes before his fight was scheduled”, said Wayne Rutherford, owner of Dundalk MMA.
“Tommy had his hands wrapped and warmed up and ready for action only to be disappointed by this news. We were disappointed by this but had to focus on the job at hand and that was our next fighter”, added Rutherford.
Rutherford and fellow coach Sean Doran’s focus then turned to Campbell who was competing in the 66kg class.
Campbell took to the fight arena like a pro, showing superiority on the ground and standing over his opponent. He dominated the first round with his opponent taking the second before Gerard finished strong in the last round to take the win.
“It was a great win and Gerard was well prepared and was relaxed throughout the fight”, said Doran.
“As athletic competitors, these three men trained very hard, and it was disappointing that they all did not got to fight but this is only the beginning for them”, added Rutherford.
Dundalk MMA has recently moved to much bigger premises in the Butterly Business Park on the Coe’s Road. The club’s next challenge is the MMA League where some of the club’s new fighters will compete and train in MMA every Monday and Wednesday at 8pm. Open Mat takes place on Friday nights at 7pm and Brazilian Jujitsu on Tuesday at 1:30pm and Saturday at 10am.