MMA League 2011 Jan11

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					The Official Irish MMA League is back, bigger and better in 2011
The Official Irish MMA League is back in 2011 with its first event taking place in the Kingfisher Sports Centre,
NUI, Galway on the 12th of March. Created in 2004 the MMA League allows amateur fighters build
experience and test their skills before graduating on to bigger shows. Just like pro MMA, the Irish MMA
League is ever-evolving as League owner Mark Leonard announced a host of changes for the 2011 season.

First up is a rule change. In this year’s League strikes to the head will no longer result in immediate
disqualification as had been the rule, accidental or otherwise. They will now be handled in the same manner
as other illegal strikes, for example, a groin shot. The first round in Galway will see the rule adopted on a trial
basis; with the view to making it permanent if it benefits both fighters and referees taking part.

“This is a major change to one of the fundamental tenets of the League and while I am quite nervous about
it, I think it will have a positive effect on the competition. I looked at feedback from all the events and on
how I think the League has changed over the years, I decided that we can keep the event safe and fun,
without being as strict as we once were” commented Leonard.

Next up, the MMA League has partnered up with a new sponsor, Ultimate MMA Supplies. Established in
2009, Ultimate MMA Supplies is one of the leading combat sports apparel outlets catering for everything
from the casual fan to the hard training pro fighter. Acknowledging that the League may be lost without
sponsorship, Leonard was quick to thank his new partner. “A big thanks to Avril for coming on board,
without support like this the League would have perished long ago.”

And finally, Leonard is going to run a side-line league for the clubs of fighters competing in the League. “I will
begin tracking how many points each club has earned after round 1, and the winning club at the end of the
year will be awarded a mega prize for their gym!”

The eagle eyed MMA fan will have spotted the opening League fixture in Galway clashes with Cage
Contender VIII in the National Basketball Arena in Dublin. But you won’t have to choose between the two as
Leonard himself will be working at both. “I have fighters on the Cage Contender card and I have no doubt
that I can make it up in time to corner them, so that is a guarantee that the League will run off faster than
ever before!” said Leonard. Leonard was also grateful to John Ferguson, Cage Contender owner, for donating
two tickets to Cage Contender VIII, which will be presented to “Fighter of the Day” at the League.

Summing up Leonard reckons “there are more reasons than ever to enter the League this year, so once I
announce that registration is open, sign up for the safe, fun and easy way to try MMA competition!”

Fergus Ryan, January 2011

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