LOCAL MMA fans were treated to a stunning main event at Fight Pit 2.
The event, run by a mixed-martial-arts gym, Fight Pit, was a runaway success with over 600 people in attendance on the night.
With an action packed card, all eyes were on the main event, a PRO B clash between Fight Pit member Viktoras and David Blaszke of Kildare based outfit Husaria Fight Team.
Any hardcore fight fans, who were staying up late that night for the titanic clash between Maurico ‘Shogun’ Rua and Jon ‘Bones’ Jones at UFC 128 were not left disappointed as the main event of Fight Pit 2 certainly whetted the appetite.
The 77kgs contest was by far the stand out fight on the night as it went to the judges for a decision following 12 minutes of exhilarating action.
In the end, the decision, a unanimous one went to Viktoras, which was greeted with a large cheer from the strong Dundalk crowd.
It could have gone differently though as all three rounds were tight and open for decision. After a tentative two minutes of Brazilian jiu-jitsu grappling, Viktoras applied a guillotine choke in round one and looked en route to victory only for David to escape it. Blaszke finished the round strongly, ending the round with a barrage of punches whilst Viktoras was on his back.
Round two was edged slightly by Viktoras who got David’s back early on and spent considerable time trying to clasp on a rear-naked choke. His efforts came to nothing though as Blaszke kept his composure, manoeuvring out of Viktoras’ clutches. Again he ended the round on a high, taking David’s back and delivering a series of punches to the head.
The third and final round had the entire crowd on their feet as the action reached boiling point, with both fighters going for the finish. Blaszke spend the majority of the round trying to evade Viktoras’ triangle choke/armbar attempt, but did so in devastating fashion delivering a number of downward punches in the direction of Blaszke.
As the bell sounded, a wild cheer reverberated around Oriel Park. In the end, it was the hand of Viktoras which was raised, ending the night with a local winner.
However, it was a mixed night of results for other locally based fighters.
Teenage sensation Chris Mulligan, a 16-year-old was unlucky as he was caught with an armbar against Robert Morrison as the Antrim fighters took the win.
Fight Pit’s next competitor out was David Ziggy, another 16-year-old, but one who has amassed a 3-0 win streak. Ziggy’s opponent was Luke Caffrey, who took the fight on one day’s notice, but in a belting match-up, packed with striking combinations and BJJ battles, Caffrey managed to take the decision as the judges opted for him, despite a strong showing by Ziggy.
In an Old C Class match-up, Benny Fagan, another Dundalk fighter made his debut, where he lost via TKO after taking three knees to the midsection and head.
The first round was pretty tight, but Fagan’s opponent Chris McAlonon showed superior striking skills, wounding Fagan’s nose early on. Credit though to Fagan, he carried on despite the emergence of blood after being tagged with a series of combinations early on. One thing that was working well for Fagan was his clinch, where he was getting some good knees to McAlonon’s body.
Fagan was then taken to the canvas by McAlonon, who lost his position. Had the round of gone on longer than the three minutes, Fagan could have prevailed as he looked seconds away from locking in an armbar.
The second round started with a series of clinches before Fagan was rocked with two vicious knees to the temple, before slumping to the canvas after a third, giving McAlonon the win after 1:28 in round two.
Christopher Menary was scheduled to fight Kieran Lee of Lucan MMA, but Lee pulled out before the event, meaning the next Fight Pit competitor was Damian Dowling, who had a night to forget against Rafal Dziudziela in their 80kgs bout.
Lasting just under a minute, Dowling was quickly caught in a variation of a body triangle where he tapped out, but credit to Dowling for getting into the cage against a tough opponent like Dziudziela.
Philip O’Rourke was next as he faced Joe Fray of IFS.
Stunning Judo throw
O’Rourke, who went in with a 1-1 record was surprised early in the fight when Fray caught him with a terrific, hard Judo throw, that differentiated from the usual single or double leg takedown that is so often on display. It was a masterstroke by Fray and he capitalised quickly, mounting O’Rourke and from there, he pummelled the Fight Pit fighter.
Despite the fact that O’Rourke was covering his face and trying to defend the influx of strikes, the referee called a stop to the bout just over the minute mark as the Dundalk man made no attempts to to counter, escape the mount or flip his opponent. He did secure Fray’s shoulders with his legs, but sensing victory, Fray brushed them off and continued his ground ‘n’ pound until the bout was stopped. If it wasn’t for Fray’s amazing Judo throw, this fight could have been a different story altogether as it certainly caught O’Rourke off-guard.
In the co-main event, Fight Pit’s Stephen Rice fought Vilmar’s ‘The Animal’ Erenbergs. Rice, who was 1-1 made a cardinal error in the fight, something he will learn from in his MMA career. Rice, who was described as a brawler took Erenbergs to the mat after 30 seconds. It was to be his downfall as Erenbergs was a BJJ specialist. At home on the mat, Erenbergs made quick work of Rice, submitting him with a nasty arm bar after 1.46minutes in round one.
Fight Pit Promoter Niall McCabe was delighted with how the card went, thanking all the other clubs who provided fighters and helped out on the night, along with Oriel Park for the venue. Speaking after the card, he said: “I would like to thank all the clubs and Oriel Park, who without them this event would not have happened.
“It was great for the people of Dundalk to see an event like this can be done at a local level.” Speaking on the main event, which delivered on action, he said: “The main event certainly lived up to it’s billing, it was a brilliant last fight for people.”