The show was the first in Rush, Paul Cowzer the coach out there was decent to us in providing fighters for our last show so we returned the compliment last night. The set up was decent enough, a bit like our own show. There’s practically no such thing as tiered seating for venues in Dublin so the likes of GAA halls are your best bet if you’re interested in running a show. After that, you need a minimum of two large warm up/changing areas and that’s another stretch, so usually you just get what you’re given. In this case, we had a divided area of a stage which did the job fine.
Glen was first up in a K1 rules match. Now we had awful trouble with this match up. Firstly Glen had a fight at 70kgs which he walks around at , and he took this at late notice, about 3 weeks out. Then his opponent pulled when he broke his nose in training and a replacement was found at 66kgs. We felt this was a little light so we asked for 68kg which the opponent’s coach refused. But we really wanted to fight so we agreed to go under 66kg for the weigh in on Friday, which we did. All this served to do was make Glen really pissed off at having to skip in a sauna suit for the morning as he made the weight comfortably enough. So he was motivated which is always a good thing. Glen has fought once before in a C class MMA bout but he has never fought in a stand up match before so we were cautious as his opponent was sold to us as a very good kickboxer. Our game plan was very simple, to come out throwing leg kicks and if he tried to close distance to box, grab and knee until the referee separated. (in K1 you can clinch and strike but there is no extended clinching like in Muay Thai). Glen listened to me for once and threw a monster leg kick from the bell that floored his opponent. He got up without a count and Glen landed another, and then one giant one that knocked his opponent off his feet and through the ropes. His opponent said no mas at this stage and the fight was stopped after just 30 seconds. I actually felt for Glen’s opponent as he clearly brought a knife to a gunfight, but you can only fight what’s in front of you and Glen did that with some style. He still kicks like a little girl in training though.
Amanda was next up and as you all know, I’ve been giving her some time on the blog lately because a female fight is rare. Before the show she was a little nervy but actually not too much. For her I think it was the fear of the unknown rather than getting hit as once we started to warm up she felt great, was flying on the pads and it was ideal having herself and Grant in the dressing room as they’re more or less the same size to grapple. Come fight time she took a big breath and came out to AC/DC which her coach appreciated. Deadly. Her opponent comes from a strong judo background so it was a big surprise to us when she came out jabbing and throwing leg kicks, but that played right into Amanda’s hands and she landed some good shots and some nice body kicks. Her opponent had a sneaky jab that kept getting through and one landed on the cheekbone which gave Amanda a nice big mouse under her right eye at the first break. The second round was more of the same initially, with Amanda getting her opponent into the corner pad and landing a lot of shots, but she was a little over eager sometimes, and allowed her opponent to use her considerable judo skills to get the take downs she craved. Once the fight went to ground, I felt this would be where Amanda would be in the most danger as she’s only really grappling a couple of months now. But aside from a couple of close moments in her opponent’s scarf hold, Amanda came closest to finishing the fight with a very deep looking side choke at the end of round 2, but couldn’t sneak her leg through her opponent’s half guard to finish. She actually reckoned afterwards that she would have finished one of the lads in the gym with that choke as they have fatter necks. Ahem. The last round was a great one, with Amanda hitting hard and landing some big body and leg kicks and her opponent showing some good takedowns from having her back on the corner pad. Again though, Amanda nearly finished, this time with a rear naked choke before the bell went. Gordy and myself were sure Amanda took all 3 rounds and we were right as she took the decision. It’s not easy being the only girl in an MMA class with a bunch of sweaty men, so I knew that fighting a girl would be easy compared to that. She’s never complained (well, not to me anyway) and in Muay Thai she has a great training partner in Dee as well. Well done Amanda. Oh and well done Colin who fought the entire fight behind the camera.
And lastly, my red headed step son Grant. I couldn’t wait for this fight because I just wanted him to stop talking about how he was going to do the pirate pass, and what he calls his “whoosh” knee. I picked him up in the evening and asked him if he was nervous. “Nah”, and then he proceeded to tell me about the whoosh knee again. Luckily though, Rush isn’t as far away as Galway (that was a long drive). A common question is about game plan for fighters, as in how much of a role it plays, and I’ll deal with that some other time, but for Grant, there was no game plan last night. Sometimes you can over plan and I only told Grant what I wanted him to do in the car on the way out. Two words- free reign- enjoy the fight and do what feels natural. I’ll expand on this in another post but basically, sometimes you need a plan and a structure, and sometimes you need someone to tell you to do what you want. Grant has great ability and I just wanted him to express himself last night. And much to my frustration, he did. I swear I’ve never seen anyone give up an a dominant position because they were bored before, but he did, I’ve only ever seen people go for knee bars from mount position in training too, but he did that too, and then finished a straight ankle lock with what I’m going to call the secret Barry finish early in the first round. He was excellent and I collected a fighter of the night trophy on his behalf at the end of the night.
The only thing I missed out on was the after show drinks as I came home to feed my new friend but I’m sure some drink was taken on my behalf. Myself and Gordy, the modest workmen in the corner all night, both headed off before the celebrations began.