Event Review CAGE CONTENDER X
It’s often said that “styles make fights”, matching two fighters with differing strengths can make for an interesting
bout. This is true to a point. All the efforts of match-making, training, and dedication to a particular style of fighting
can come to nothing if the fighter doesn’t produce the goods. The adrenaline dump alone after walking out into a
packed arena can cause fighters to fall apart before a punch is thrown. Fighting styles may contribute to a fight but
the fighter makes fight. He alone walks into the cage and everything that occurs after that is his responsibility and his
With that in mind, 22 modern day gladiators took to the cage last Saturday night at Cage Contender 10 in the
National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin. Every fight on the card was quality in the finish or the performance of
fighters. Of the 11 fights, 10 were finishes and the sole decision was a contender for ‘Fight of the Night’.
If there was a disappointment to the event it was that the Arena was not full for the preliminary Teen and Amateur
bouts. What these bouts lack for in star names they make up for in action and entertainment. Oisin Coburn (Legends
MMA) put on dominant display en route to a 3rd round armbar victory over David Garbonowski (Spirit MMA) in his
debut. Blaine O’Driscoll (Lucan MMA) lost a razor thin decision in his last Cage Contender outing, but came back with
even more fury to beat Joe Roache (Spirit MMA) by unanimous decision. If Coburn and O’Driscoll stay in the game, a
slot on the main card awaits.
JOE’s ‘Submission of the Night’ honours go to the incredibly relaxed Joe McColgan (Tai Jitsu MMA). Humble in
victory, McColgan praised Ciaran Kearney (Lucan MMA) for taking the fight on one days notice. If a fighter wears
Muay Thai shorts it should come as no surprise when he looks to bang, as Kearney did within seconds of the bout
beginning. An awkward clinch saw the fighters head to the floor, where McColgan slapped on an armbar. Kearney
looked to power out by slamming McColgan 3 times but succeeded only in making the armlock tighter and tapped
around a minute into the first round.
Taking McColgan’s lead the next 3 fights didn’t get out of the first round. Stephen Coll (Rillion Gracie) took a quick
armbar victory over debutant Kev Young (Krause MMA). Peter Queally (Waterford MMA) softened up Rob Byrne
(Kokoro) with knees from the clinch before finishing with ground and pound. And Ritchie Edgeworth (Team Ryano)
choked out Tony Keane (Waterford MMA) with a guillotine after both had swung heavy leather in the opening
Keane created some heat in lead up to the bout by suggesting over the internet he would win via knockout.
Edgeworth replied in kind at the weigh-in by getting right into Keane’s face at the stare-down. The tension was
evident as both fighters engaged with purpose. Keane got too close during the final flurry allowing Edgeworth to
jump onto a guillotine and drag Keane into his guard to finish. Both fighters seemed to have buried the hatchet and
also get JOE’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honours.
An honourable mention goes to Dave Reilly (Straight Blast Gym) for not only taking his fight on short notice but also
making Michael Kukowski (Cork City Combat Sambo) work hard for his third round Rear Naked Choke victory.
Philip Mulpeter (Straight Blast Gym) was completely dominant in victory over Sebastian Torres (Team Torres). This
fight smacked of Siver-Sotiropoulos from UFC 127. Kickboxer Siver needed to stay upright, while Sotiropoulus
wanted to express his BJJ black belt by getting to the mat. However, a good ground game comes to naught if you
can’t take your opponent down. Mulpeter peppered BJJ black belt, Torres from range with all manner of strikes
leaving Torres no option but to circle out. With his head and torso showing the effects of impact, Torres’ attempts at
takedowns and pulling guard resulted in Mulpeter separating and asking the ref to stand Torres up. After finally
dropping the game Torres in the second round, Mulpeter pounced and forced the referee to intervene during a hail
of ground and pound.
Event Review CAGE CONTENDER X
With the arena now packed for the main events Rich Gorey (Pedro Bessa) obliged by dispatching Kieran Davern
(Tuatha De Dannan) in under a minute with a devastating uppercut to earn JOE’s ‘Knock-out of the Night’ honours.
The impressive knock-out whipped the crowd up even more for the two title fights.
The co-main events were for the lightweight and middleweight Cage Contender belts. First up was Chris Fields
(Straight Blast Gym) who was defending his middleweight title against John Redmond (Rush Fight Academy).
Originally scheduled for Cage Contender 8 in March, the bout was cancelled due to an injury to Fields, giving time for
a nice little grudge to develop.
A tense affair, Redmond managed to stuff half a dozen takedown attempts from Fields. Fields looked superior in the
clinch but both fighters seemed to be reluctant to let their hands go for fear of leaving an opening. Fields finally
secured a takedown late in the first landing some ground and pound as the round ended.
Early in the second round Fields seemed to have his timing down and secured a takedown. As Redmond looked to
turn into Fields and pull guard, Fields snaked in a tight darce choke with Redmond almost tapping immediately.
The last fight of the evening saw lightweight champion Owen Roddy (Straight Blast Gym/Primal) take on Benjamin
Davis (Point Blank Submissions). Davis was coming off a spectacular head kick KO victory in his title eliminator at
Cage Contender 8. Owen Roddy looked ferocious in claiming the belt at Cage Contender 7. The noise was deafening
in the Arena as Roddy was clearly the hometown fighter getting the biggest ovation of the night.
It was action from the off both threw heavy strikes with hands and feet. Roddy secured a for a take down and
dropped vicious elbows inside Davis’ guard. Back on their feet Davis caught Roddy off balance and reigned body
blows while standing in Roddy’s guard. Roddy had begun to get the better of the exchanges till we heard the clapper
to signal 10 seconds left in the first. Comfortable and dropping shots on top, rather than ride out the round Roddy
sank a one arm guillotine that forced Davis to tap with one second left in the first. Having left his cageside position to
enter the cage between rounds Straight Blast Gym head coach John Kavanagh only realised Roddy had won when he
was trampled by the stampede of SBG fighters that rushed the cage to celebrate with Roddy.
A great event with some thrilling performances Cage Contender 10 was a great advertisement for Irish MMA. Those
that missed it on the night can catch the televised replay on Setanta Ireland on the 30th of July and then again on Sky
Sports on the 2nd of August
Oisin Coburn (Legends MMA) defeated David Garbonowski (Spirit MMA) via armbar 3rd round
Blaine O’Driscoll (Lucan MMA) defeated Joe Roache (Spirit MMA) by unanimous decision
Joe McColgan (Tai Jitsu MMA) defeated Ciaran Kearney (Lucan MMA) via armbar 1st round
Stephen Coll (Rillion Gracie) defeated Kev Young (Krause MMA) via armbar 1st round
Peter Queally (Waterford MMA) defeated Rob Byrne (Kokoro) via TKO 1st round
Ritchie Edgeworth (Team Ryano) defeated Tony Keane (Waterford MMA) via guillotine 1st round
Michael Kukowski (Cork City Combat Sambo) defeated Dave Reilly (SBG) via rear naked choke 3rd round
Philip Mulpeter (Straight Blast Gym) defeated Sebastian Torres (Team Torres) via TKO 2nd round
Rich Gorey (Pedro Bessa) defeated Kieran Davern (Tuatha De Dannan) via KO 1st round
Chris Fields (Straight Blast Gym) defeated John Redmond (Rush Fight Academy) via darce choke 2nd round
Owen Roddy (Straight Blast Gym/Primal) defeated Benjamin Davis (Point Blank Submissions) via guillotine 1st
Fergus Ryan, July 2011