Martial Arts Incorporated versus Pankration Kickboxing - REPORT.
A lot of training and preparation went into this event. More so than with any other competition our club has entered. The reason being that this was the first time our club had entered a competition of this type. We are a striking club first and foremost but everyone got stuck into learning all the grappling moves required. Amateur MMA is definitely a lot more grappling based because of the fact that there are no head strikes and also the fact that you can only win by submission. Most of our club trained up for this event in less than 6 weeks (some people 2 weeks!) and MAI was against a club that trained for amateur MMA all year around.
After all the hard training was done, Saturday May 25th 2008 finally arrived and the atmosphere was full of nerves and excitement. We were originally meant to compete in Limerick but as their club was not ready, we agreed to host the event in our Dublin 15 dojo. The location couldn’t have been better as it looked as if the D.15 studio was tailor made for this event. The weigh-ins took place and the fights were matched as fairly as possible. The rules were discussed and demonstrated and before you knew it, we had started the fights. The first few fights went very quickly and with wins in our favour. Everyone fought really well and the experience was invaluable. There must have been a few people with very hoarse throats the next day from all the shouting. I’m not going to give a ‘blow by blow’ account of each of the fights because the DVD does a better job of that but I would like to mention that I thought Eric from Mongolia had the fight of the day. I felt very sorry for his opponent and I could hear his groaning above all the cheering. Overall MAI excelled and we won 9 fights, lost only 3 and drew 5.
There was a big build up to the Super Fight and the entrances seemed to be enjoyed. The way I look at it is this; the audience is there to be entertained! So, hopefully they liked my ‘For a few dollars more’ entrance. It is very rare to see 2 ‘Big names’ in Martial Arts in Ireland willing to put their reputation on the line and in front of their students but we did just that. I felt that there could have been more action involved in our fight but it was up to the discretion of the referee to stand us back up if there was stalling/holding. Both of us did try a lot of different submissions and it was close a couple of times. It was a very technical fight from start to finish. At the end of the 2 x 5 minute rounds the fight was declared a draw. Even though I wanted the win, a draw wasn’t bad because we both actually won.
It was a great day for everyone and for both clubs. Everyone fought very well. The experience was invaluable for everyone and on the strength of that event, I can’t wait for our future events.
We want to say a Big Thank you to the following for all their help:
James Mooney and Phil Thompson did a great job as our security officials. They looked the part and Mooney wasn't even doing any messing - very rare!
Ed Kilty & Eddie Lawlor who videod everything even though I'm sure they would have rathered watch the fights with their own eyes instead of through a camera lens.
Caroline Clifford who did the first aid.
Johnathan O' Brien who took pictures.
Ger O' Toole & Ray Fermoyle were superb referees - so much so that our competitors didn't want to ref at all even though they were supposed to.
James Merrigan was a great MC and prepared all the Fighter Registration paperwork and the results.
Jeffrey Kavanagh did a great job as time keeper and it turned out to be a harder job than first thought.
Louise Quinn who managed the front desk and all the registrations - no easy job.
Keith Quinn who set up and controlled the music - he's a sound fella!
When it came to the cheering the very best 3 that I can think of were Paul Kavanagh, Louise Quinn & Phil Thomson.
Fair play to everyone for having the bottle to compete, for helping out, for supporting and for all the good fights.