Fighters from all over Ireland took part and displayed real talent and expertise in the biggest growing sport in the world of Mixed Martial Arts.
At the British Legion in Antrim, the main event was for the professional Bantamweight Title. Michael Putlak from Devils Fight Club in Antrim faced James McErlean from Young Spartans Club.
This fight got off to an explosive start, with numerous strikes being thrown. Putlak started to get the better of the exchange before McErlean pulled off a well drilled slick submission namely a Flying Arm Bar. Justifiably this was awarded submission of the night. The fight only lasted 52 seconds.
Michael said, “He was a good fighter strong on the ground and in using submissions. I didn’t get to show what I am made of. I am a good stand up fighter and it wasn’t the fight I was expecting. It was a brilliant ‘flying arm bar’, I was impressed. I should have been able to escape this move as only days prior I had demonstrated how to get out of this submission. I was taken by surprise.”
James said, “I was over the moon winning the Akuma belt and submission of the night. My game plan was to finish the fight early and I did. This fight has taught me I can compete with the best as Michael is a highly talented fighter. I plan to keep winning and jump at every opportunity that comes my way.”
The Amateur Light-Heavyweight title was closely contested between Antrim man Darren tween Antrim man Darren ‘Pit-bull’ Crooks from Devils fight club and Michael Rainey from Fighting Fit in Belfast. This contest started with Rainey throwing heavy strikes looking to end the fight fast. Crooks defended and tried to avoid the blows.
In the second round Crooks came out more confident and in the final moments of the round Crooks landed a devastating right hand which shook Rainey.The third round was the decider, both fighters were tired from a very intense match and Rainey got the upper hand in this round which led him to win the contest by points.
Rainey said, “It was a tough fight against a tough opponent. I was very impressed by Akuma and I look forward to defending my title at Akuma again.”
The atmosphere was magical and the support Crooks had from his home crowd raised the roof.
Crooks said, “It was my first fight and I could have done more. It is such a learning curve and I plan to come back better and stronger.”
Rhys McKee from IMMA/Next Generation took on Karl O’Neill from Young Spartans for the Amateur Bantamweight title. The fight went the distance of all three rounds.
Rhys had a better reach over O’Neill which aided him in winning the contest by points.
Rhys said, “It was a tough fight but I knew after all of the training and preparation that I did that no one could beat me come fight night.”
He said, “I am delighted with another successful event and the talent displayed was superb. The primary aim of Akuma is to allow for the young talent throughout Ireland to gain not only experience but the recognition they each deserve. Akuma would not be possible without the input and support of clubs, fans and sponsors throughout the country.”
Akuma has seriously taken off, with competitors from all over Ireland wanting to compete and defend their titles. The professionalism of all involved in organising the shows has created a reputable and recognisable M.M.A competition. Full table of results available.
Everyone in the world of Mixed Martial Arts looks forward to the Akuma events of the future. The next show will take place in a bigger venue at the Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick on Sunday 22 June.