Cage fighting returns to Sheffield tonight with organisers promising regular shows and improvements to help establish it as a mainstream sport, writes Graham Walker.
John Goldson, of Say Uncle Promotions, reintroduced Mixed Martial Arts back to the city in May after an absence of almost eight years.
And knocked out by the public demand he is staging another at The Octagon Centre, Western Bank, this evening, Saturday, October 11.
The 14 bout fight card, featuring professionals and amateurs, includes an international UK vs Gran Canaria Pro top card.
TICKET DETAILS BELOW
MMA is a full contact combat sport that uses both striking and grappling techniques from respected sports such as catch wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, Muay Thai, Judo and Karate.
John, himself a three time black belt - in Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - wants to give the chop to the sport’s checkered history in the city.
Say Uncle’s Lisa Fox, who with John co-owns The Forge Martial Arts Centre in Waterthorpe, says their aim is to support the professional and safe growth of UK MMA, whilst putting on a great show for fans.
Big screen TVs will be provided for fans with live footage of all the action from inside the cage, with action replays and interviews.
Officials and referees, who work on some of the biggest promotions worldwide, including the UFC, Cage Warriers and BAMMA, are being brought in.
John said: “Fights at our events are fought under the Unified Rules and we are constantly looking at how we can improve our standards of fighter safety and welfare. We have a minimum of one doctor and two paramedics in attendance at all events and all fighters are required to attend a mandatory pre and post fight medical.
“Previous promotions have had a checkered history in Sheffield and as such there has never been a regular show until now, despite having such a fantastic venue in the city. We have secured exclusivity for MMA caged events at The Octagon Centre and are planning shows three times a year.”
Fight Card, subject to change, for Saturday, October 11, 2014
UK Vs GRAN CANARIA PRO TOP CARD
Sam Boult vs Ivan Raul
Kayvan Fallah vs Eliot Hernandez
Leon Del Gaudio vs Daniel Requeijo
Shaun Lomas vs Omar Santana
Helen Harper vs Nayra Acosta
UK PRO CARD
Danny Tombs vs Jon Ferguson
James Parker vs Lee Gibson
Dan Konecke vs Brad Conway
Tommy Miller vs Scott Gregory
Rory Goodison vs Josh Greenfield
Veronica Macedo vs Chrissy Audin
Ali Khan vs Matt Cooke
Warren Mason vs Dave Wright
Martin Kay vs Richard Whitehead
* Standard tickets £25; VIP Cage-Side £45, includes a three course meal and waitress service. VIP table of 10, £450, includes a three course meal and waitress service. Call Lisa or John on 07738 588925 or 07790 202188
Tickets can also be purchased from www.say-uncle.co.uk/tickets, www.ticketarena.co.uk/events/Say-Uncle-Fight, www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/say-uncle-2-mma-fight-night-tickets-12316421749.