All posts by Allison Price

Another Amazing Event for Akuma MMA

event posterFighters 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.”

James McErlean and coach Micky Young

James McErlean and coach Micky Young

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.”

Darren Crooks & Michael Rainey
Darren Crooks & Michael Rainey

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.

 Amateur Bantam Weight title winner
Rhys McKee

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.”

Steven Moore Akuma Manager is thrilled at how well the Akuma MMA events are flourishing.

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.




50 Shades of Red, White and Blue theatre review

GBL Productions Belfast-based X-rated spoof of Fifty Shades of Grey  is a play not to be missed. “It’s PURE AMAZEBALLS so it is!”

What started as a joke Facebook page quickly escalated into 29,000 followers and the consequent books, Fifty Shades of Red, White and Blue, Dirty Dancin’ in le Shebeen and her more recently Maggie’s Feg Run. 

book cover         The second book      Most recent book


Lisa Harkers smash hit sensation hit the stage at the Mill due to popular demand for two nights only. After coming to the stage in January 2013 it had two sell-out runs at the Mac and the Grand Opera House.

Photo taken at the playBig bed and wardrobe backdrop

The play is directed by Martin Lynch and is produced by Martin Lynch and Joe Rea who are well known for The George Best Story and A Night With George. Caroline Curran magically brings the three characters of Maggie Muff, Sally Ann and Mr. Red White and Blue in the one-woman play to life in an astounding performance!

The infectious character of Maggie Muff tells the story of her life on ‘le road’ and her search for love. Maggie and her big mate Sally Ann introduce us to a hysterical world of ‘bonies and bucky’. Of course we cannot forget the antics between Maggie Muff and the‘buckalicious Mr. Red White and Blue from le Bru’ or Sinead ‘the tea leaf greener’. Maggie on her bed“The atmosphere in the auditorium was electric and it was non-stop laughter. The set was basic but effective and included some great movement which involved Maggie pushing around and hiding behind a heart shaped king sized bed. The Paris Hilton duvet typically Maggie”

The broad Belfast accent might be hard for visitors to follow and the demographic links to the City hard to connect to but Caroline Curran pulls off the Belfast slang perfectly.

Even after having read the book myself hearing Maggie’s antics all over again was fabulous. I too went home with an aching belly from laughing so hard. Whether it’s a night out with the girls, mother and daughter time or even a date night with your partner you’ll laugh from start to finish.

Maggie Muff is back again at the Mill in the sequel Dirty Dancing in le Shebeen which is sure to be another guaranteed geg. If it’s anything as good as the book you’ll definitely have “The time of your life.”

Tickets are available for Harkers plays at the Theatre at The Mill Box Office.

It should be noted that the production contains content of an adult nature. The humour and sexually explicit language is not for the faint hearted.