The UFC wasn’t the only combat event that struck Dublin on Saturday night.
‘The New Bloods III’ Muay Thai show may not have been as glamourous as the UFC, let alone comprised of guests like Conor McGregor, but the fighters at the Kilnamanagh Community Centre possessed the same courage and desire to win as the pros across the city in the 3Arena.
And speaking of pros, Kamikaze’s Mariusz Brozda made his professional C-Class Thai debut against Hammerhead’s Diarmuid Dunne in Tallaght at 70kg.
Baroza was notorious as an amateur with a reputation for executing consecutive first round KO’s.
His first pro clash didn’t go to plan though, as the judges controversially awarded the taller Dunne the decision.
But Brozda produced an exciting performance. His low centre of gravity mixed with powerful punches was reminiscent of a Mike Tyson style of fighting.
In round three Brozda landed a stunning overhand right to the chin which knocked his opponent down.
Dunne deserves credit for rising from the canvas and continuing to battle.
In the final two rounds he endured some heavy blows but he also had success with the clinch.
When Dunne was given the decision following five tough rounds, Brozda, despite being disappointed to be denied victory, was gracious in defeat and immediately congratulated his fellow fighter.
Mariusz Brozda, in particular his infamous hands, are ones to look out for on the fight scene in the future.
The other highlight of the night was crowd favourite and 309’s own Ger Kennedy’s amateur contest against Warriors’Anthony O’Gorman at the 70kg limit.
When Kennedy approached the ring the audience erupted with noise. Along with being Mr popular that evening, he had the skills required to warrant his overwhelming support.
When the opening bell was about to sound, O’Gorman smiled to his coaches, an expression that symbolised the realisation that the audience craved his downfall and one that emphasized his determination to take on the challenge.
But in the end, his mental strength wasn’t enough to succeed. Kennedy was too clever and clinical throughout the five rounds.
O’Gorman kept attempting a push kick to the mid-section but Kennedy was ruthless enough to catch the leg with one hand and fire a punch with the other to floor his opponent. Kennedy scored three knock downs in total.
After the sensational spectacle, Ger Kennedy spoke exclusively to FightstorePROi.
Asked about the atmosphere, Kennedy reflected: “It’s great when you have the home crowd with you. I have to say the atmosphere was brilliant right through the whole fight. It’s what kept me going.”
He also spoke of the durability of his opponent.
“He (O’Gorman) just kept coming back no matter what I threw at him. In the third round he caught me with a good dig and I was seeing stars. I shook it off with the crowd and came back,” said the delighted fighter.
Kennedy concluded by stating that he thrives under the support of the audience instead of being pressured by it.
He added: “You kind of tune out but when you hear them cheering and when you’re in a bit of trouble it motivates you to go again and again.”
‘The New Bloods III’ show had everything you would expect from a Muay Thai event.
Brutal finishes, teenagers with potential to go far, close encounters, an exhilarated crowd and an overall good night of entertainment provided by the sport appropriately known as the art of eight limbs.
Article by Liam McInerney