While the major one was Turner (Dinky Ninjas) versus Dave Marlow, we also had Ross Turner prepared for his first MMA fight at semi –pro.
Ross was meant to be fighting Barry John Colquhoon from Nealston. We were informed that there was no contact with the fighter who had not shown up although there happened to be one of the judges ringside with exactly the same name apparently! So Ross agreed to demo with the enigmatic champion Paul McVeigh and the two put on a great show with the right attitude.
We knew there was a fight, there were now only 4 on the card, between us and the next one so we weren’t in that much of a rush, getting Dave ready in our sweet time. That is until we were told 1 minute to go!
Turner is the Scottish Welterweight Champion, so with the 4 man competition being cancelled, it was a good assumption that this would be a pro fight with the belt up on line. But that would mean that the fighters would be getting paid so we found out it was not a title shot and it was semi pro. In the rules meeting – where the referee was NOT present – both fighters agreed PRO rules but NO stomps to the head, which is plainly stupid to be allowed in the fast growing sport already under pressure from bad press.
The difference with the Pros rules was that we could strike with the fist to the face on the ground and knees to the head were allowed. You could strike the opponent on a different level as well ie standing punches to a prone opponent.
So the fight was on and Turner who weighed in a kilo heavier came out with his trademark blast with which he is extremely good. We know that he has to cut weight to get into the under 70 bracket so we also prepared to defend the onslaught and wait to clinch and take it down. Marlow wasn’t as sharp as usual after being offshore for the last 8 or 9 days and so got a pasting. He went down but fought his way back up before Turner knocked him down again and started to put in some big punches.
The quality of the cage netting was poor, it was rather loose and this certainly aided Marlow as he sagged back which saw some knockout blows scuff him where if the cage had been taught I doubt he would have woken up for a couple of days. Marlow covered up and looked for an escape from the impressive Turner.
The referee quickly jumped in and split the two fighters. I was furious as I could see that Marlow was still in the fight despite the impressive attack from Turner. As the ref jumped in Marlow had grabbed Turners leg to attempt a knee bar and this changed the Refs decision (he later admitted). However, the ref was also under the misconception that this was semi pro rules – a factor that would bear significance later – so he also broke the fighters up as the striking was on two levels rather than one.
The fight continued with the strong Turner trying to return to the striking where Marlow was clinging on clearing his head. Eventually the fighters went to the ground with a throw from Turner but Marlow reversed the position and stayed on top for the rest of the round and clinically returned the punishment. From this it would be fair to say that Turner has a jaw made of Granite as he took some serious punishment.
End of Round 1
Round 2 started again with the stand up flurry with two exhausted fighters exchanging kicks and punches till Marlow clinched and took it down to regain his dominant mount position and continue to punish Turner who had very little to respond with. Then the referee stood them up and the fight soon went back down with Marlow clinically picking his shots but the strong Turner not giving up. The ref then stood Marlow up to warn him – we think – because of the knees but after consultation he was advised by the judges and promoter that it was PRO rules and so the fight was restarted at the same position. This left a sour taste and took the sting out of a great fight between two of Scotlands best fighters at that weight.
The fight was called a draw because of the controversy and to us it didn’t matter anymore. Two fighters had performed to a level that was far beyond the expected and a show that was becoming a farce. By the end of the night there was no acrimony between the two camps and the two fighters got a written IOU for their purse which only made the whole event more laughable.
John Jamieson lost to Dean Robertson through a cut to the head and Doolan finished off his opponent ion the first minute with a knee to the head with the Lithuainan seeing it as a good way out and a quick purse.
Too many people were involved in preparing their fighters, fighting and raising the standard. The show and its organisation though did not deserve any of the above. A week to sell tickets and fighters not knowing who they are fighting till they turn up is pathetic.
However, some can hold their heads up high and that includes the fighters and the people who support their efforts
Big thanks to Siva and Steve for the invaluable help on the day.