Celtic Gladiator played out at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester last night for a stacked 22 fight card that included the much-anticipated return of home town favourite, Brendan Loughnane. With 13 amateur and 9 professional fights (including a single K1 bout) on the card, Manchester was treated to an evening of high-quality fights from the off. Well attended and smoothly run, despite the occasional technical hiccup, Celtic Gladiator made a welcome return to UK shores after previous shows in the US and Poland.
The main event on the amateur card saw Pav Sahota take the bantamweight crown with a 3rd round submission, via rear naked choke, of Jamie Kelly. On conclusion of the amateur title fight, it was time to move on to the 9-fight professional card.
Ben Bennett opened proceedings with a solid victory over Vahid Hoseinpoor, submitting his opponent with a triangle choke 1:37 into the first round. Andrew Lofthouse brushed aside Spaniard, Mario Casasola Fernandez with a first round win by TKO due to strikes. Fernandez didn’t appear happy with the decision, but the referee made the right choice calling a close to the bout. Next up, the busy veteran Shaun Lomas suffered a 2nd round defeat to the towering Avi Jack. Jack finished off Lomas with a d’arce choke at 3:41 and a clearly exhausted Lomas moved on to a staggering 25-77 record.
The evening took a break from MMA with the sole kickboxing bout on the card. Manchester’s own, Laurence James fought out a 3-round draw against Jack Meakin. James appeared to have injured his right hand throwing a heavy shot late in the first, which hindered his striking, but managed to still produce an entertaining performance against Meakin. Back to the MMA and Jordan Barton and Danny Randolph produced the 2nd draw of the evening in an evenly poised back and forth war.
The atmosphere at the Victoria Warehouse was electric for the next fight of the evening as Shoaib Yousaf, backed by a vociferous following, beat Brazilian Ricardo Morais just 0:32 seconds into the first round. The fight was held up for a short period of time due to Yousaf catching Morais with a low kick, but the result of the fight was never in doubt once Morais had recovered.
The final 3 fights of the evening saw local heroes Lerone Murphy, Kane Mousah and Brendan Loughnane all take the wins, much to the delight of those in attendance. Murphy ground out a unanimous decision against the durable Belgian, Ayton De Paepe, to maintain an unbeaten professional record (7-0).
Kane Mousah returned to action with a crushing victory over Brazilian George Emanuel. 3:00 into the 1st round, the referee stopped the bout after Mousah landed a savage blow to the body of Emanuel, who succumbed to the power by crumbling to the ground. Mousah wasn’t really threatened in the fight and looked calm and composed as he went about his business in impressive style.
Talking of impressive, Brendan Loughnane returned to action for the 1st time since his devastating head kick KO of Paata Tsxapelia at ACB75 in November of last year. With willing opponents seemingly thin on the ground, Loughnane returned with a masterclass in leg kicks as Brazilian Amaury Junior fell victim to some savage chops to the legs. 0:44 in to the first round and it was all over as Junior took one to many blows as his lead leg finally gave away due to the persistent kicks of Loughnane. The victorious Loughnane praised his opponent for flying in from Rio to take the fight but wasn’t complementary of his UK based competition who clearly didn’t fancy the challenge.
Brendan Loughnane is back and means business. Only time will tell what is next for Loughnane but a return to the UFC wouldn’t be a surprise and a return that I’m sure many would welcome.
Brendan Loughnane def Amaury Junior KO/TKO, 0:44 R2
Kane Mousah def George Emanuel KO/TKO, 3:00 R1
Lerone Murphy def Ayton De Paepe Unanimous Decision
Shoaib Yousaf def Ricardo Morais KO/TKO, 0:32 R1
Jordan Barton vs. Danny Randolph Draw
Laurence James vs. Jack Meakin Draw (K1)
Avi Jack def Shaun Lomas Sub, 3:41 R2
Andrew Lofthouse def M. Casasola Fernandez KO/TKO, 1:52 R1
Ben Bennett def Vahid Hoseinpoor Sub, 1:37 R1
Pav Sahota def Jamie Kelly Sub, 1:13 R3
Sam Kelly def Jamie Paul Unanimous Decision
Munesh Modhvadia def Lincoln Strong KO/TKO, 1:30 R2
Will Brown def James McQueen Sub, 2:04 R1
Josh Kennedy def F. Aligadzhiev Sub, 1:16 R2
Haider Khan def Jake Watkins KO/TKO, 0:30 R1
James Bunten def Sean Watson Sub, 1:16 R3
Jack Salt def Wes O’Neill KO/TKO, 0:45 R1
Emeterio Ortega def Lewis Roberts Unanimous Decision
Jack Hilton def Ashley Gibson Sub, 0:36 R1
Chris Morris def Nathan Owen KO/TKO, 2:55 R2
Mason Carter def Charlie Chambers KO/TKO, 1:33 R1
Jacob Dove def Dan Foster Unanimous Decision