BattleZone 6 Review
We catch up with all the action from the latest Battlezone card.
By Fergus Ryan
At BattleZone 5 Philip ‘The Honeybadger’Mulpeter (SBGi) won his welterweight title in a hard fought 5 round war that many who saw it felt it was one of the greatest fights in Irish MMA yet seen. Mulpeter made his first defence against Richard ‘Souza’ Gorey (Cork BJJ) in another barn-burner that may have been even better.
If the legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi had ever designed an MMA fighter before his death, that fighter would have been Philip Mulpeter. Famed for his deeds as an American Football coach and for his inspirational words, many of Lombardi’s quotes seem to apply to ‘The Honeybadger’.
Fight of the Year
The opening 2 rounds of the BattleZone welterweight title fight were furious affairs. Both men battled hard but ‘Souza’ Gorey probably shaded them. The 3rd round, bar the last 30 seconds, was all Gorey. By now both men were visibly worn from effort and punishment taken.
I’ve no idea what was said by Chris Fields or Owen Roddy to Mulpeter in the SBGi corner between rounds 3 and 4 but Mulpeter came out channelling his inner Lombardi and produced an incredible couple of minutes to retain his title. According to Lombardi “winning means... you're willing to go longer, work harder, give more than anyone else.” At BattleZone 6 Mulpeter did exactly that; he did not stop until the other guy had enough.
A nasty cut under his left eye of Mulpeter was evidence of how hard Gorey was trying to win. For Lombardi the prize was secondary to the effort of achieving the prize - “The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That's real glory. That's the essence of it.”
The fact that Mulpeter was still in the fight after the 3rd round is proof that “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender” and “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” Mulpeter must work incredibly hard because he never looked like surrendering and must never have quit anything in his life.
On any other night in any other fight ‘Souza’ Gorey had done enough to get his hand raised. He looked like he had the measure of Mulpeter until he got clipped and taken down in the opening minute of the fourth as both men went toe to toe and banged. Mulpeter finished the fight on top of Gorey with a hail of furious ground and pound. The beauty of the victory lay in the fact that it hadn’t been easy; it was the classic come-back of a champion. Many fighters would have crumbled under the attack of Gorey, who fought his heart out for 3 rounds. To sum up, Lombardi said “The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour.” Philip Mulpeter is an excellent MMA fighter and champion.
Lord of the Flies
The two fights prior to the main event served as a great reminder of the depth in talent in Irish MMA at the moment. Ryan Curtis and Grant Carroll would have won ‘Fight of the Night’ on most other cards as their high paced encounter for the round and half it lasted had everything. ‘Shafty’ Carroll from Barry Oglesby’s Kyuzo gym set a high pace for the entire first round that had ‘Chaos’ Curtis from Owen Roddy’s Primal MMA using every piece of his MMA knowledge to survive.
Carroll probably shaded the first on the scorecards but Curtis is a calm individual and a smart fighter. Instead of chasing the fight, he waited for the right opportunity and pounced. Transitioning to back mount, Curtis finished the fight with ground and pound in the second. There are lots of reasons for these guys should fight again but mainly because they gave us some incredible action that would be well worth seeing again.
Blaine O’Driscoll from Lucan MMA is a small bantamweight and there could be an argument for him dropping down to flyweight. Evidence of this came early in the fight. After taking mount he was reversed reasonably quickly by the bigger opponent, onto his back but maintained guard. Later in the round O’Driscoll showed why he is still competitive at his preferred weight class. Finding himself on the bottom again, O’Driscoll slapped on a tight armbar submission that had Gavin Kelly from Evolve MMA tapping before most people realised what was happening.
Ireland hammer England 3-0
The 3 fights in BattleZone’s debut international series were all over in under 5 minutes of cage time. It can’t have been easy for the 3 Team Titan fighters from the UK to come into the ‘lion’s den’ on Saturday night. The intensity in an already electric room went up a notch when the MC Steve Lowry announced the Ireland v England portion of the show.
John Halligan kicked things off with a spectacular 16 second KO. Tommy Martin followed on with a classy triangle choke after surviving a couple of slams and Patrick Boylan put on an MMA clinic in a dominant first round performance using ground and pound to get the stoppage.
- Tauth De Danann continued its good run in BattleZone with 3 wins out of 3 on the night.
- Ciaran Daly (Boxing Clinic) got one step closer to a welterweight title shot with a win over Cormac Copeland (Fight Academy Ireland).
- Lukasz Makosz (Team Balance) defeated Glenn Irvine (Strabane Fight Team) with the ‘Submission of the Night’ using a kimura that brought back memories of Frank Mir v Minotauro Nogueira.
BattleZone was recorded by Whoa TV for Setanta Sports and will air shortly. Photos supplied by In Cage Photography, you can view their full BattleZone 6 album here.
Below is a full list of results.
- Welterweight Title Fight: Philip Mulpeter (SBGi) defeated Richie Gorey via GNP Rd 4
- Flyweight Fight: Ryan Curtis (Primal MMA) defeated Grant Carol (Kyuzo) via GNP Rd 2
- Bantamweight: Blaine O’Driscoll (Lucan MMA) defeated Gavin Kelly (Evolve MMA) via armbar Rd 1
Team Ireland V Team England
- Bantamweight: Patrick Boylan (Ire) defeated Jack Bartly (Eng) via GNP Rd 1
- Featherweight: Thomas Martin (Ire) defeated Paul Deisel (Eng) via triangle choke Rd 1
- 75kgs Catchweight: John Halligan (Ire) defeated Russell Crockford (Eng) via KO Rd 1
- Welterweight Contender Eliminator: Ciaran Daly (Boxing Clinic) defeated Cormac Copeland (Fight Academy Ireland) defeated via TKO (strikes) Rd 3
- Middleweight: Staz (Boxing Clinic) defeated Dennis Perry (Strabane Fight Team) via unanimous decision
- Featherweight: Kamail Marczak (Tuath De Danann) defeated Luke McAndrews (Strabane Fight Team) via unanimous decision
- Featherweight: Shane Lanigan (Tuath De Danann) defeated Martin Downy (Team Balance) via rear naked choke Rd 1
- Featherweight: Aaron McGuire (Cork BJJ/Pedro Bessa) defeated Stephen Rogers (Xtreme MMA) via guillotine choke Rd 1
- Middleweight: Lukasz Makosz (Team Balance) defeated Glenn Irvine (Strabane Fight Team) via kimura Rd 1
- Lightweight: John Regan (Team Balance) defeated Gavin Dunne (Killer Factory) via TKO Rd 1
- Featherweight:Wayne Nash (Tuath De Danann) defeated Barry Crossan (Strabane Fight Team) via majority decision