First fight of the evening once again saw Elite Combat’s Jaden Bailey in another demo bout as his opponent this time was struck down with tonsillitis the night before. Big sister Leah stepped in to save the day and they both put on 3 great rounds of FightLight action. Jaden looking for the first takedown, got stuffed by Leah and away they went matching each other strike for strike. Leah looking good in the clinch and Jaden hunting the low singles, great show of skill and pace by these two juniors. The decision, a Unanimous Draw
Bout 2 of the evening saw Jazz Bigley (Matrix Martial Arts) vs Matt Littler (Impact Martial Arts) from Lutterworth. A communication breakdown saw Littler come in full 6kgs lighter than his opponent but on agreement from all parties involved the fight went ahead as planned. Bigley starts well, using his reach and popping out his jab while Littler tries hard to keep in the game with some ranging kicks. Bigley piles on the pressure in round 2 and forces a standing 8 count on Littler who is really struggling with the volume of punches being thrown. Round 3 and more of the same with another standing 8 count for Littler but after a quick word of encouragement from his coach he comes back out firing. Great game plan from Bigley that worked perfectly and an awesome show of heart from Littler for sticking in there. Jazz Bigley defeats Matt Littler via Unanimous Decision.
Bout 3 and our first female youth fight of the evening. Indigo Steady fighting from the SKJ Gym in Leicester takes on Tia Rich from Lutterworths Impact Martial Arts. Now these two are no strangers to combat and both come from very competitive, yet different backgrounds. Steady, accomplished stick fighter and grappler, coached by parents Matt & Abi alongside jiu jitsu wonder woman Caz Grayson. Rich, a TKD blackbelt and younger sister to #1 contender Nathan Rich and coached by Kristian Charlsworth. Fast start by both girls, Steady pushing forward and Rich, with some great movement, utalizing her kicks. Steady looks a little swingy with her punches but really putting the pressure on. Few scrambles for takedowns with Steady coming out on top. Rich is definitely the more technical striker but Steady’s sheer volume and determination keeps shutting her down. After three great rounds of action the judges scored the bout 30-28 30-28 29-28 in favour of the red corner, Indigo Steady
First adult bout comes in the straw weight division with Danielle Boyle from County Durham’s Elite Combat & Fitness taking on Michelle Page from the Gorilla Fight Team in Gainsborough. Both ladies have Thai or K1 backgrounds and seem very evenly matched in style. Boyle pushing forward while Page looks very tidy in the clinch. First takedown attempt from Boyle but easily stuffed. Another low single attempt early in the 2nd see’s Boyle score the first TD. Both ladies really mixing up with fast hands and low kicks and Page using her knees well in the clinch. Another low single scores for Boyle while Page continues to land straight and accurate punches. Excellent low kicks from both ladies makes this fight a tough one to call. The judges score the bout 27-30 29-29 29-29 for a Majority Draw.
Lee McGrath from the Rising Crane gym in Bedford steps in to face Nathan Rich from Impact Martial Arts. Both guys fought to draws in their last FightLight outings with Rich probably having the tougher opponent in Brad Everitt. Both guys come out fast in rd 1, trying to match each other punch for punch. McGrath keep his chin low but Rich seems to be getting in the cleaner shots. High volume punching from both guys and a low kick halts the action for a minute. Rich keeps plowing forward and it looks like McGrath is having a hard time dealing with that amount of strikes. Round 2 and again Rich immediately piles on the pressure, McGrath looking a little better side stepping away and countering but Rich drives him to the corner and gets in some well timed knees. 2, 3, 4 uppercuts in consetion has McGrath in trouble with the referee keeping a very close eye on a fading McGrath as he manages to survive the round. Out they come for round 3, McGrath still looking a little shaken but digs in hard, Rich pressures and hits the first takedown of the fight. McGrath really in trouble now as Rich again uses the collar tie and uppercuts to great effect. The referee stops the fight at 1.31 of the final round. The decision, Nathan Rich defeats Lee McGrath via referee stoppage.
Bout 6 on the card and contested in the lightweight division. Leicester ShootFighter Manoj Singh takes on Perry Clayton from Zentai Zanshin in Long Eaton. Clayton comes out fast and looks like pushing the pace early on but Singh is doing a great job working off of his back foot and picking Clayton off. Singh looking super sharp, mixing up up punch kick combinations. Low kick to superman punch. Clayton drops underneath for the first double leg finish. Excellent pace and technique from both guys, absolutely getting the FightLight format spot on. Another takedown from Clayton and both are quickly back on their feet. Singh with more fast combo’s while Clayton looks for the 1, 2’s and counters. Both guys know its close going into the final round and come out fast, Singh looks for the TD, they scramble and Clayton ducks under and finishes again. Singh seems to be slowing and Clayton drives forward with strikes and takes his man down again. More quality combo’s from Singh but Clayton has really stepped up his game and finishes strong. The decision, a unanimous draw.
Bout 7 saw debut fighter Rick Partridge versus Russ Perry at a catchweight of -82kg. Partridge came in looking every inch a fitness freak with a very low body fat percentage while Perry was the taller and more experienced guy in the ring. Partridge looks a little awkward to start but soon gets into the swing of things by driving Perry back and taking him down. Back on his feet, Perry looks to utilize his strikes but Partridge walks through his punches and puts him on his back again. Perry is moving around well but Partridge follows as they exchange blows before they clinch up, quick knee from both guys and down Perry goes again. Looks like Perry is having a hard time dealing with Partridge’s quite obvious strength advantage. Perry is trying to keep his opponent at bay but Partridge isn’t having any of it and down he goes again. Perry looks totally demoralised as Partridge drags him to the canvas time after time. The judges score the bout 28-30 28-29 28-30 in favour of Rick Partridge.
(No video exists for this bout due to a technical error)
Bout 8 of the evening saw Nathan Matts (Leicester ShootFighters) against Will Lavender (Red Corner Gym) Coventry. Both guys putting themselves out of their comfort zone by taking on a fight with strikes. Matts is a decent groundfighter with some slick Jiu Jitsu skills, so too is Lavender and now with some added Judo business in the bag. Both have obviously been working their stand up in preperation as Lavender sticks the jab in Matts’ face. Matts drops under and hits the first double leg with ease. They trade strikes again and tie up, Lavender looks for the throw but Matts defends, he turns his hip in again and down he goes. Great technique. Decent low kicks from Matts followed by a long range shot that Lavender easily sprawls on. Lavender looking like he winning the striking exchanges as Matts goes for the takedown, they scramble and clinch, both men happy to stay patient and not lose position. Matts comes out firing in the 3rd, drives his man back and uses his knees well, more stand up wrestling and a final throw for Lavender ends the fight. Another close one left in the hands of the judges. The decision, Lavender wins by Majority Decision.
Bout 9 and a featherweight clash between Kyle Barlow from Dropzone MMA and Gaz Holmes from 360 MMA in Loughborough. Barlow lost an awesome battle in his last FightLight outing while Holmes has gone 2-0-1. This fight always promised fireworks on paper and certainly didn’t disappoint. Both guys come out with good movement, Holmes throws the teep, Barlow catches and sweeps the leg, First TD to Barlow. Holmes, back on his feet, throws a superman attempt and misses, Barlow steps in and gets caught with a great judo throw. Plenty of exchanges in the corner with knees and short punches at every chance. Round 2 and Holmes fires an inside leg kick hard into Barlows knee joint, unintentional of coarse but worth a word from the referee. Frantic strikes from both guys not wanting to come off worse as Holmes drives his man the the corner again. Barlow turns and knees, Holmes returns the favour and looks to utilize his Judo again. Neither man is backing down as the round ends. They touch up for the 3rd and Barlow is straight in, mixing up his strikes, Holmes fights back but takes a groin shot for his trouble. Both guys leaving it all in the ring now. Barlow scores a TD, Holmes comes back with 2 of his own and the round ends with Holmes sinking to his knees with exhaustion. Great show of sportsmanship by Barlow helping Holmes back to his feet. The judges score the bout 30 -27 30-28 29-28 in favour of the blue corner, Gaz Holmes.