If the action, the attendance and the views of the Cage Warriors promotion are anything to go by the sport Mixed Martial Arts has a very bright future in Ireland.
By Fergus Ryan
The Neptune Stadium was home to Cage Warrior 39 â€œThe Uprisingâ€ last Saturday night and those fans who braved the bitter elements were rewarded with a fantastic night of fights. A mix of local and international talent delivered some stellar match-ups that left Cage Warriors match-maker Ian Dean still buzzing on Sunday morning.
â€œLast night was amazing, simply amazing,â€ he told JOE.ie. â€œI'm very, very happy with how the event went. Every fighter on that card did themselves proud.â€
The card had a blend of young up-and-comers in Joseph Duffy, Conor Cooke and Declan Williams, some more experienced local fighters in Cathal Pendred and Martin Begley, a US veteran in Justin Robbins and three of the biggest names in the ladies 125lbs division in Rosi Sexton, Sally Krumdiack and JOEâ€™s featured fighter Dubliner Aisling Daly.
Aisling was looking to rebound from her August loss at Bellator 25 to tough American Lisa Ward, when she took on Molly Helsel.
JOE caught up with Aisling en route to the weigh-ins. She described her mood as â€œincredibly positive all things consideredâ€ referring to the fact that she hadnâ€™t eaten or drank anything since midday the previous day to make the contracted weight for the fight of 125lbs. The weigh-in wasnâ€™t till 3.00pm in the afternoon.
While this smacks of unspeakable cruelty to you or I, Daly reckons itâ€™s 100 times easier than the previous weight cut where she fought at 115lbs in the Bellator Womenâ€™s Tournament. Speaking about pre-fight jitters Daly said, â€œI have healthy nerves. Thereâ€™d be something wrong if I wasnâ€™t a little nervous but I feel good, I feel sharp and Iâ€™m staying focused on my fight plan.â€