Fight Report- The Fight Before Christmas

Well done to Nathan Kelly, Preston McKevitt, Gary Bligh, and Austin Lynch who took to the cage representing Kyuzo at The Fight Before Christmas last night.

This was the end of a busy year for Kyuzo in the amateur scene as the local crowd in Finglas came along to watch a great evening’s entertainment with 8 keenly contested bouts on the card. The reports for Kyuzo’s bouts, plus full results, are below.

First up for Kyuzo was Preston McKevitt, who was a late replacement for an injured team mate against DCU’s Lewis Mitchell. The first round was a tight affair, with McKevitt falling victim to an early takedown after landing some good strikes. He was able to remain tight and minimise his opponent’s attacks, and after the action was stood up, created an opportunity of his own to take down and land some ground and pound. The second round saw McKevitt take the fight to his opponent a little more, who remained dangerous with rangey kicks making life difficult. A takedown from McKevitt was the deciding factor however, and he remained on top utilising heavy ground and pound and avoiding submission attempts from his opponent. In the third, with the fight on a knife edge, both fighters came out looking to make a decisive statement to the judges. Mitchell’s kicks once again proved a dangerous weapon, but McKevitt was once again able to land some heavy strikes and take the fight to the mat. The action remained there until the final buzzer, with the judges giving McKevitt the nod for a debut win.

Next up for Kyuzo was Austin Lynch, who had also stepped in as a late injury replacement, fighting above his usual weight against debutante Rory Broderick from Shaolin MMA in Galway. This fight couldn’t have been more different to the earlier tactical encounter, with both men deciding from the bell that this would not be left to the judges. Huge strikes and kicks from both men had the audience on their feet, and it was Lynch who drew first blood with a series of strikes against the fence that seemed to hav Broderick almost finished. But the Galway man showed he was made of stern stuff and survived the onslaught to finish the round strongly and tire out the Finglas native with good  clinch work. The second saw Broderick change tactic as he succeeded in taking Lynch to the mat. This proved to be the crucial exchange however, as Lynch spun his way up for a picture perfect armbar finish to send the local crowd wild.

Gary Bligh took on Josh Mullane from Limerick in the third Kyuzo bout. Mullane used his Taekwondo background to trouble Bligh early on with high kicks as Bligh attempted to close the distance with boxing and clinch work. The clinch against the fence was a tight affair, with both fighters trying to assert dominance and both threatening to advance position. Neither could by the end of the round however, and despite some standing guillotine choke attempts by Bligh, Mullane probably shaved the round in the judges’ eyes. The second round started with Mullane once again threatening with kicks, though this time Bligh successfully got to a deep standing guillotine choke attempt which turned into a takedown. His opponent defended well and returned to his guard, and as Bligh attempted to land some ground and pound, was able to swing his legs up for an armbar finish. Unfortunate for Bligh as he had seemed to be getting the handle of his opponent’s striking in the second, but fell victim to a perfectly executed attack.

In the final bout for Kyuzo, Nathan Kelly took on Richie Smullen. This was a hotly anticipated bout as both men carried in impressive pedigrees from the grappling world. Smullen brought with him the greater experience, and at times looked a class act in the bout in which both young men impressed with their array of skills. While Kelly shaded the brief stand up exchanges, Smullen was constantly on the attack with footlock attempts once the fight hit the mat, and the younger man Kelly impressed with his coolness under pressure to defend the dangerous attacks. All 3 rounds had a similar story, with Smullen relentless and patient, and Kelly having to take opportunities when they arrived. A rally in the third from Kelly wasn’t enough to take the fight from Smullen who ran out a deserved winner on the judges’ cards.

Full results:
The Fight Before Christmas 5. 13/12/2014.
Erin’s Isle GAA club, Finglas, Dublin, Ireland.
Preston McKevitt (Kyuzo, Dublin) defeated Lewis Mitchell (DCU- Dublin) by decision (split)
Austin Lynch (Kyuzo, Dublin) defeated Rory Broderick (Shaolin- Galway) by submission (arm bar) round 2
Josh Mullane (Sharkbait- Limerick) defeated Gary Bligh (Kyuzo, Dublin) by submission (arm bar) round 2
Michael Byrne (Shootfighters- Kildare) defeated Jim O’Donoghue (DCU- Dublin) by decision (split)
Richie Smullen defeated Nathan Kelly (Kyuzo, Dublin) by decision (unan.)
Paul Delaney defeated Dylan Logan by submission (guillotine) round 3
Frans Mlambo defeated Tom Moore by decision (unan.)
Charlie Ward defeated Alex Musaku by decision (unan.)

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