Dubliner Sinead Kavanagh makes history on successful night for Ireland at BAMMA 22

It was a good night for the Irish contingent overall, as a packed crowd at the 3 Arena watched on.

BY Adrian Collins 12:49 Sunday 20 September 2015, 12:49 20 Sep 2015

Bantamweight fighter Sinead Kavanagh made history at BAMMA 22 last night, when she devoured Dutch opponent Hatice Ozyurt in just 30 seconds on her professional debut.  

Shortly after the referee initiated round one, the Dublin native delivered a right hook that Ozyurt was simply ill-prepared for. Ozyurt then stumbled to the canvas allowing Kavanagh to pounce with a succession of strikes to secure the win.

In its first visit to Ireland, BAMMA 22 did not disappoint. The event produced nine first round wins and two world champions retaining their title in a display of emerging talent from the domestic and international MMA circuit.

Along with Kavanagah, there were five other Irish winners on the night including Paul Byrne (middleweight), Rhys McKee (welterweight), Patrick Wixted (bantamweight) and Keith Coady (flyweight).

Alan 'The Apprentice' Philpott was also victorious. In a shocking upset, Philpott took the Lonsdale Bantamweight World Title from Regis Sugden after a split decision went the Antrim man's way.

Overall it was an underwhelming tie with both fighters electing to trade moderate punches rather than seek each other out for a real battle. Round two was easily the most enthralling of the three. Philpott landed a solid kick on Sugden’s chin in the first minute but the Newark-based fighter rallied swiftly to pin Philpott down.

Philpott however, diffused the counter attack and even had a chance to ground Sugden a few moments later but the world champion broke away. Apart from that burst of energy, the encounter was lifeless and the remaining phases petered out, much to the disappointment of the home crowd.

SBG coach John Kavanagh Image: ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Irrespective of that, there was a resounding roar in the 3 Arena when Philpott was announced the winner on what was a night of impressive performances from the Irish contingent.

Atomweight kickboxer Catherine Costigan was the other Irish female representative on the card, but her attempt to derail Celine Haga from Norway ended in disappointment when she was defeated after 4 minutes in the first round.

The Limerick kickboxer looked to be in control towards the end of the first, but momentum can switch dramatically in MMA, and Haga timed her move perfectly to overpower Costigan and ultimately extend her winning record.

Conversely, this is the Limerick woman’s second defeat since losing in her Invicta debut earlier in the year.

There was also disappointment for middleweight specialist Chris 'The Housewives Choice' Fields, who lost out to Christopher Jacquelin in the penultimate bout of the night. Fields appeared dominant in the opening round and even managed to sack the French man a few times to the ongoing chorus of 'Ole Ole' in the crowd.

Chris Fields dejected after his loss. Image:©INPHO/Gary Carr

However, just as he had locked Jacquelin into submission in the final two minutes of the second round, Jacquelin shifted his body weight into a triangle choke, leaving Fields with no option but to tap out.

There was good news for Dylan Tuke from Dublin, who recorded a charismatic win in the bantamweight class at the expense of Adam Caffrey. Both fighters were making their professional debuts but it was Tuke who announced himself onto the higher stage with a win that took just four minutes to execute.

After skipping into the cage with the air of winner, Tuke launched a measured assault on Caffrey to eventually wear him down, getting him to the ropes where he wrapped his legs around the fellow Dublin fighter, before following it up with some blood drawing strokes to eventually force the 135 pound fighter to tap the fight away.

Elsewhere, Marc 'Bonecrusher' Diakiese defended his World Lightweight title with a storming victory against Rick Selvarajah after just 30 seconds of combat. Diakiese led with the right hook in one of the first exchanges which put Selvarajah off balance and gave him the chance to polish off the fight with a barrage of punches.

Meanwhile Tom 'Fire Kid' DuQuesnoy also held on to his World Felterweight title. In the last fight of the night, DuQuesnoy held off the challenge of a gutsy Michael Loughnane who persisted for three tense rounds before a split decision from the judges allowed him to retain his belt.

Tom 'Fire Kid' DuQuesnoy retains his title. Image: ©INPHO/Gary Carr

BAMMA will return to Ireland in February for a battle between Irish and British fighters.               

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week