This past Saturday, one of Scotland’s top MMA (mixed martial arts) shows, The Art of Combat, returned to the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline for their ninth event, and not a single fan in attendance will have left disappointed.
The event was a great success for local Team Unity, who train out of Underdog Combat Centre in Kirkcaldy, with their MMA team winning three of their four fights, again cementing themselves as far and away Fife’s top MMA team.
The main event had an international flavour, with highly touted Scott Malone of Dundee Shooters competing against fellow professional debutant Imam Dabo, fighting out of Crossfit France.
Frenchman Dabo shocked the Scottish MMA community by catching Malone in his own signature move, the armbar, and forcing Malone to submit in the first round.
The co main event of the evening saw the MMA community give back; Dundee Shooters’ Craig Robertson, at the ripe old age of 44, facing off with Vincenzo Parente, competing out of his own Forza MMA, with both fighters donating their purses to charity.
Robertson overwhelmed Parente landing an early takedown and unleashing a ferocious barrage of elbows forcing the verbal submission from Parente.
The Art of Combat has built its reputation on showcasing Scotland’s best amateur fighters and this event was no different.
Recent UFC signee Steven Ray fought on the Art of Combat when his career was just beginning and the future of Scottish MMA is looking bright.
Scottish MMA news outlet Fight Talk Scotland (FTS) called the bantamweight amateur bout between Peter McCafferty (Higher Level) and Kevin Lobban (Team Unity) the Fight of The Night and it was easy to see why.
The two top young prospects went at it from bell to bell in a bout that showcased every aspect of Mixed Martial Arts, with both fighters almost securing the win both on the ground and on the feet multiple times.
Lobban emerged as the victor by a split decision, and now goes on to compete for the promotion’s Amateur Bantamweight belt as result of this upset victory.
FTS named Team Viper’s Dean Elliott as their fighter of the night, due to his impressive third round submission victory over Kev Brooks of the Dinky Ninja Fight Team.
Dean used his grappling to control the fight and eventually submitted the highly-touted Brooks.
It was very impressive from Elliott to get a submission victory over a prospect fighting out of Scotland’s undisputed top MMA team – both fighters look to have a bright future.
Other impressive performances on the night included Higher Level’s Stevie McIntosh cementing his reputation as one of the country’s top amateur welterweights with a submission victory over previously undefeated Steven Kelly of Team Viper.
Thomas Hepburn of Rick Young’s showed why he is one of the most exciting fighters to watch in Scotland with his demolition and subsequent submission of Team Unity’s Valentine Duke, Michael McMullen knocked out Calum Owens (House of Pain) in just 31 seconds in a battle of the big boys, and opening the show, in a demonstration again of The Art of Combat developing the sport, Euan Reid of Team Unity won a decision in a fun Junior MMA bout with Lee Meacher of Tei MMA.
Euan Reid (Team Unity) def Lee Meacher (Tei MMA) via Decision – Junior bout; Dane Dickson (Shooters Dundee) bt Piotr Pozdniakow (Headhunters) via TKO; Jason Baird (Team Extreme) bt Jack Demarco (Forza MMA) via Decision; Connor Imison (GCG) bt Keir Harvie (Headhunters) via Decision; Ross Cleave (Team Unity) bt Sean Cochrane (Independent) via Submission; Mike McMullen (Independent) bt Calum Owens (House of Pain) via TKO; Craig Robertson (Shooters Dundee) bt Enzo Parente (Forza MMA) via Submission – Pro; Dean Barry (Dundee Elite) bt Nicky Beveridge (Team Unity) via Decision – K1; Stevie McIntosh (DNFT) bt Steven Kelly (Team Viper) via Submission; Martin Watkins (Dundee Shooters) bt Paul Halkett (Independent) via TKO; Thomas Hepburn (Rick Young’s) bt Valentine Duke (Team Unity) via Submission; Dean Elliott (Team Viper) bt Kev Brooks (DNFT) via Submission;
Kev Lobban (Team Unity) bt Peter McCafferty (DNFT) via Decision; Imam Dabo (Crossfit France) bt Scott Malone (Shooters Dundee) via Submission - Pro.