Belfast Sell Out

by Scott Douglas

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

MAX Xtreme BelfastThe popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in Northern Ireland continues to soar.

Following Sunday’s sell-out MAX Xtreme Fighting event at the King’s Hall in Belfast, organisers Cage Wars Productions is vowing to return before the end of the year.

Since the sport was first introduced in 1992, it has soared in popularity with clubs springing up across the UK and more than 5,000 Xtreme Fighters training and competing regularly at different levels.

More than 2,000 fans attended the 13-bout event in Belfast, which included its biggest number of Northern Ireland-based fighters.

And it was a good night for local lads. The region’s most-feared fighter Colin “Big C” Robinson battled UFC world legend Dan “The Beast” Severn in the headlining bout. It was a close run fight but Colin lost out after three rounds.

And Peter “SLAM” Duncan won by unanimous decision against top USA wrestler Tom Ahern. Fellow Belfast boys Chris Stringer, Gareth Loye and Lee McKibben fought valiant battles against their opponents.

Jonny Burrows, Cage Wars Productions spokesman, said the night could not have gone any better. He said: “The fights, the atmosphere and the crowd were absolutely superb at the Belfast event.

“It is clear to see that MMA has really gripped the imagination of the people of Northern Ireland. We cannot wait to bring the show back to them and plan to do that as soon as possible – we have already put the wheels in motion to bring them another adrenalin-fuelled event by the end of the year.

“MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world. The fighters are at the very top of their game and are some of the most highly-tuned athletes in the world who use a triathlon of martial arts to challenge equally matched opponents. It is no surprise how popular the sport, and MAX Xtreme Fighting, has become in Northern Ireland, as well as the rest of the UK.”

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