Despite Sunderland Airshow taking place and other events across the North East drawing crowds, the people still flocked to Rainton to support their favourite fighters.
With boxing and K1 on the card, it didn’t matter if the fighters were throwing their hands or their feet. Every single one of them gave their blood, sweat and tears.
The first bout of the night saw Lewis Gallant take on Dalton David Rush in a 66kg unlicensed boxing fight. Rush showed great technical skill and looked the cleaner boxer, but couldn’t deal with Gallant’s bull-rushing style and was wobbled by some heavy overhands on route to losing the decision.
Lewis Gallant beats Dalton Rush by Unanimous decision.
Lloyd Potts showed great use of the uppercut to outland a game Lee Solman in their 75kg unlicensed bout. Solman was aggressive, but ultimately he couldn’t wrest control from Potts, who scored a knockdown at the end of round 2 –Sealing his path to victory.
Lloyd Potts beats Lee Solman by Unanimous decision.
David Baker looked overwhelmed in his bout against John Ferguson. Baker stood very upright and couldn’t close down Ferguson, who kept moving and throwing combinations, always out of the way when Baker looked to close him down.
John Ferguson beats David Baker by Unanimous Decision.
The final boxing match saw Kyle Redfearn take on Danny Welsh. Redfearn looked supremely confident and walked Welsh down, pouring on heavy body shots and straight punches. To his credit, Welsh never gave in and came back at Redfearn with big overhands, but after being crumpled with a body shot in the second round he couldn’t establish anything significant. A cracking fight that showed immense gameness from both men.
Kyle Redfearn beats Danny Welsh by Unanimous decision.
The first K1 bout of the evening saw two young talents clash in a 62kg bout as James Setchell took on Nathan Heywood. Both young men gave it their all and provided an entertaining scrap that mainly consisted of Setchell’s crisper kicking and knee game versus Heywood’s heavy hands. Throughout the fight, Heywood would back Setchell into a corner and look to drop bombs but Setchell would clinch and knee his way out. A great fight, both men have a bright future. Ultimately though, Setchell’s cleaner technique and accurate kicking saw him through.
James Setchell beats Nathan Heywood by Split Decision.
Another amateur bout took place when Michael Walton battled Pete Hymers at 68kg. This was a fairly lopsided fight as Walton’s heavy body kicks wore down Hymers, who initially looked crisp and light but quickly found himself outworked and out-damaged. Walton used his rear roundhouse kick to great effect and once he had established it to the body he began throwing big leg kicks that took the fight out of Hymers.
Michael Walton beats Pete Hymers by Unanimous decision.
A battle of the big men at 94kg saw Cal Hewitt clash with Brian Ashman. The taller Hewitt wasted no time, dropping Ashman with a salvo of strikes and a kick. However, Ashman regained his feet and hunted for big hooks and overhands to Hewitt’s head. The taller man used his range well and landed some heavy punches and kicks. Ashman’s leg kicks took their toll and by the third round Hewitt was tired. Neither man gave up and both battled hard but Hewitt’s cleaner punching, accuracy and use of range won him the bout.
Cal Hewitt defeats Brian Ashman by Unanimous Decision.
Professional rules K1 next, with Andy Cona fighting Gary Head at 88kg. Cona came out aggressive with huge overhands and hooks and both men were drawn into a brawl. It was an entertaining slugfest but ended in the second round when head landed a big overhand and follow up flurry.
Gary Head beats Andy Cona by (T)KO.
Ben Holdsworthy took on Craig Shadforth at 76kg in what turned into one of the most compelling bouts of the evening. Holdsworthy looked extremely calm and composed against a far older opponent. Shadforth came at him with crisp, heavy hands and at one point wobbled him. Holdsworthy stayed calm and the pivotal moment came in the second round when Shadforth threw a roundhouse but met a massive right hand counter, knocking him into the air then down onto the canvas and forcing the referee to call the fight off.
Ben Holdsworthy beats Craig Shadforth by KO 2.17 RD.2
A 59kg bout exploded into the ring when Javonne Morrison took on Gary Laws. Morrison was the far shorter, stockier man and laws out-ranged him by what looked like a clear foot. Morrison came out very aggressive and was constantly head-hunting with overhands and hooks in every round. Laws, however, put on a Muay Thai master class and used his long limbs to deliver kicks everywhere from the legs to the head. This was a hugely entertaining bout and showed off Gary Laws’ multi-faceted game as he kneed and kicked his way to a unanimous decision win.
Gary Laws beats Javonne Morrison by Unanimous decision.
An 84 kg bout ended quickly in the first round as Brad Conway was forced to call it quits in his bout against Duncan Mclean. Conway came out swinging and pushed the pace, but McLean had solid kicks and ended the fight early with an inside legkick that dropped Conway and forced him to indicate he could no longer continue to referee Trevor Mitchell.
Duncan Mclean beats Brad Conway by (T)KO 2.59 RD.1
A seasoned veteran of the UK MMA scene, Shaun Lomas toughed it out against Danny Blenkharn. Lomas never gave in but had no real answer for Blenkharn’s varied stand-up game. A multitude of knees, punches and kicks softened Lomas and he was dropped for the count on a few occasions. However, as one of the toughest men in the combat sports scene, Lomas never gave in and fought till the end. A fairly lopsided fight that saw Blenkharn take charge and never give an inch.
Danny Blenkharn defeats Shaun Lomas by Unanimous decision.
The co-main event of the evening saw two ex-UFC and Ultimate Fighter veterans clash in a 73kg k1 bout. Colin ‘Freakshow’ Fletcher versus Andre Winner. This was a fan-pleasing bout from the off. Fletcher took control of the first round with a varied display of leg kicks, knees and great sharp combinations. He looked fantastic in this round and punished Andre for trying flashy spinning back fists. The second round saw Winner more successful with solid hands, visibly shaking ‘Freakshow’ with a looping overhand in a mid-round flurry. However, Fletcher weathered the storm and fought back and in the third round sealed the deal with more effective kicking and knees. Winner came on trying to throw big punches but found himself out-ranged and out-landed. Wide applause for both men and a roar of praise when the win went to the hometown legend.
Colin ‘Freakshow’ Fletcher beats Andre Winner by Unanimous Decision
The main event of the evening saw the K1ngs of Glory title up for grabs at 67kg. Dragan Pesic is a tough Serbian fighter who has a multitude of wins in both MMA and K1. Entering the arena in a Sunderland AFC shirt, his spirits were high. However, hometown favourite and UK no.1 Reece McAllister was not to be denied. The young man was absolutely outstanding in his dismantling of Pesic. The Serbian fighter flew at McAllister with wild strikes from all angles and each time McAllister would sweep, throw or land punishing hooks to the body of Pesic. After dropping him the first round with a liver hook, McAllister stayed patient and then in the second landed a strong teep to the body which knocked the wind out of Pesic’s sails. The count was read and Pesic couldn’t stand, awarding McAllister a solid win and the K1ngs of Glory title.
Reece McAllister beats Dragan Pesic by (T)KO RD.2
K1ngs of Glory may have been the first K1 show from promoters Steven Scott and Dale Percival but it was absolutely brimming with quality. The event was ran with the sort of shine you’d expect from the promoters behind the most successful MMA promotion in the North East.
Every single fighter on the card gave it their all and fought like men possessed. It was a fantastic debut that left me hungry for the next one. We’d like to thank everyone for coming and hope you all loved it as much as we did.