MCR FC #1 Genesis – Review

Manchester Fighting Championship

Manchester Fighting Championship held it’s first show on Saturday 6th July from the Irlam and Cadishead Leisure Centre, with 13 fights on the full card there was something for everyone that loves MMA.  Before the event MCR FC stated their intentions:

“MCRFC is an MMA show ran by fighters for fighters – ensuring the best match ups, fights & experiences possible”.

Split Decision MMA UK came along to see for themselves how the night would play out, we were given the opportunity to conduct post-fight video interviews with the winners, links for these can be found after each fight review below. 

Here is our full fight card review:

Craig Kelly vs. Mark Williams – Featherweight

The fight started and Williams gave his opponent no time to settle and moved in quickly getting a clinch against the cage.  From here he looked for a double leg takedown and took Kelly to the ground where he landed some good shots from the top.  Kelly fought back and tried to get into a better position but Williams was not about to give up his chance to do more damage forcing him back down and from the top unloaded more strikes to get the TKO stoppage at 54 seconds of the first round.

Williams def. Kelly via TKO – Round 1, 0:54

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)

Chris Saundersom vs. Jon Nezzi – Heavyweight

The contest began with Saundersom ducking under and trying for a quick takedown but lost his balance and fell back with Nezzi getting control on the ground.  Here he worked his way into the full mount, fired some heavy strikes in and then briefly took Saundersom’s back as he tried to defend the damage he was taking.  The fight ended when Nezzi moved back into full mount and then continued his ground and pound from the top until his opponent had to submit to strikes.

Nezzi def. Saundersom via submission (strikes) – Round 1, 1:21

Nathan Jones vs. Jack Drabble – Catchweight (73kg)

Jones lands a kick to start the fight and they both trade on the feet with Jones connecting with some good punches early on. He then hits a good front kick after Drabble tries an overhand shot that is partly blocked.  Jones manages to grab his opponent’s back while they both stand and they move to the side of the cage where they clinch with Jones controlling the positioning.  They break away and trade strikes on the feet again this time with Jones landing a strong right hand perfectly placed to drop his opponent to the ground, he followed in with a few more quick strikes on the ground to force the referee to move in and stop the contest at 2 minutes and 5 seconds of the opening round by TKO. 

Jones def. Drabble via TKO – Round 1, 2:05

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)

Rory Lonsdale vs. Baz William – Featherweight

This 66kg contest begins with William coming out swinging and getting a quick takedown but they are soon back up to their feet.  Lonsdale throws a high kick but slips over and they both trade shots some more.P1020798 cropped  Lonsdale lands a low blow forcing the referee to give a time out while William recovers before the referee restarts the fight.  William throws his opponent down and gets his back while landing strikes, they roll over and get back to their feet exchanging punches again both trying to gain the upperhand.  Both fighters grapple for a while with Lonsdale trying a submission hold then they switch around with William attempting a rear-naked choke but Lonsdale slipped his way out of the submission attempt to bring the round to a close.

The second round started at a slower pace at first with them both connecting with kicks and jabs feeling each other out.P1020808 cropped  The fight eventually going to ground briefly then back to the feet before back down again with William on top landing shots and trying for a rear-naked choke but he couldn’t quite get his leg hooks in.  Lonsdale took advantage of this and quickly switched the action around on him getting William’s back and attempting his own rear-naked choke.  He forced the tap at just over two minutes of the second round giving him a hard fought victory in what was a very evenly matched contest that was one of the fights of the night.  

Lonsdale def. William via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:05

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)

Daniel Cassell (red) vs. Ben Thompson (white) – Catchweight (87-88kg)

Cassell started the fight with a quick takedown but landed in a guillotine choke, he escaped the hold and moved to side control on top.  Once the fight moved back to the feet Cassell seemed to pull guard and tried another submission but Thompson avoided this, both went back to the feet where some good leg kicks landed and strikes from each fighter were on show.P1020844 cropped  Cassell forced the action against the cage where he looked for a takedown but his opponent kept control of his neck and gained the advantage against the cage.  They split from there and Thompson got a single leg takedown and worked his position into side control.  After not much damage they both stood and landed shots on the feet before Cassell got a takedown to see out the first round.

The next round started with a touch of gloves and then an exchange of punches from the fighters, the action moved to the cage with Cassell ending up on top on the floor before they went back to standing. At this point Cassell applied a standing guillotine but Thompson escaped the hold and the fight went back to the ground with Cassell finding himself in side control.P1020830 cropped Thompson worked his way back up to his feet now against the cage, where he controlled Cassell until they separated and both threw hard shots.  The round ended with Thompson holding a guillotine choke after pulling guard.

Cassell opened the final round by landing a good jab or two before they moved to the ground with Thompson in full mount where he kept his position low to avoid being dislodged from the top.  He took Cassell’s back and slapped on a rear-naked choke but didn’t get the tap he’d worked for, now back into full mount and he tried for another submission but was rolled over and ended up on the bottom.  Cassell in his opponents’s guard now from where he landed some more stikes from the top, before the round ended and went to the judges for the decision.  

Cassell def. Thompson via unanimous decision (29-28)

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)


Tony Kirwan vs. Dawid Zimno – Heavyweight

P1020863 croppedZimno making his MMA debut came out landing some heavy shots, he missed with a high kick to the head then after another brief exchange he landed a couple more kicks but one got caught and Kirwan took advantage of the opening and got a quick takedown from it.  Kirwan held his opponent in a headlock which he eventually moved into a rear-naked choke.  Zimno stood up with Kirwan on his back but could do nothing more as the submission was on tight and he had no choice but to tap giving Kirwan the win.

Kirwan def. Zimno via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:24

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)

Dawid Zan vs. Rob Nicholson – Lightweight

Nicholson throws a headkick to begin the fight but puts that much into it he slips, the action moves back and forth on the feet with Nicholson landing a nice right front leg kick and then Zan answers back with some solid strikes of his own.  Nicholson fired in another strong kick to the body, Zan blocks a kick to the head but takes a few low leg shots while looking for an opening with his strikes.

P1020893 cropped

The next round Nicholson continues his offence with leg kicks while Zan works his jab, Nicholson catches his opponent with a nice uppercut at one point.  Zan looks for and gets a solid takedown and worked in Nicholson’s guard until the end of the the round.

P1020910 croppedBoth fighters began the final round throwing leg kicks then Zan ducked down and grabbed Nicholson for a takedown into side cotrol, moving back into the full guard.  From here Zan landed some heavy body shots and tried to pass the guard but Nicholson showed some excellent defence to prevent this.  Nicholson eventually pushed Zan off and the fight moved back to the feet but the contest came to an end soon after and went to the judges for the decision.

Zan def. Nicholson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)

Ste Peakin vs. Liam Burke – Catchweight (73kg)

Both fighters came out trading kicks and punches on the feet, Burke managed to get the action to the ground by overpowering his opponent, getting his back and moving into a rear-naked choke position for the win in just over a minute of round one. 

Burke def. Peakin via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:03

Mike Smith vs. Dan Riley – Welterweight

This one got underway with Riley looking for a takedown but he got pushed back and Smith got on top briefly then the action quickly moved back up to the feet.  It soon went back to the ground with Smith on top again this time he dropped a barrage of shots down on his opponent forcing the stoppage at 36 seconds via ground and pound.

Smith def. Riley via TKO – Round 1, 0:36

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)

Josh Jarvis vs. John Spencer – Featherweight

Jarvis started the fight looking to get Spencer to the ground and ended up in half guard briefly stacking his opponent up to land ground strikes down, he then moved into side control.P1020934 cropped   From here he worked into the full mount position and landed some good punches down on Spencer at one point pinning his right arm down with his knee to hinder his opponent’s defence.  After some movement on the floor Spencer got back to his feet but Jarvis at this point picked him up and calmly walked across the cage with Spencer over his shoulder before slamming him down just like Matt Hughes in his prime, to end the round.

The second round began with current FCC Champion Josh Jarvis taking the fight to the cage and securing a takedown, from here he got control on the ground and ended the fight with an arm choke submission.

Jarvis def. Spencer via submission – Round 2, 0:53

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)

Jack Davison vs. Lee Cropper – Bantamweight

This bantamweight contest began with Davison hitting a great takedown from the start and being in side control on the ground.P1020945 cropped  It moved back to the feet with Cropper being forced against the cage at speed, here Davison worked a single leg takedown into side control again and from there tried to land some punches to the body.  Davison transitioned into full mount with his opponent doing well to block the shots pouring down on him from above, he tried to buck Davison off but he wouldn’t be moved.  The referee tried to give Cropper as long as he could before stepping in to end the bout at 2 minutes and 50 seconds of the first round by TKO via ground and pound.

Davison def. Cropper via TKO – Round 1, 2:50

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)

Dave Jones vs. Vince Irving – Featherweight

Irving was making his MMA debut tonight in this featherweight contest, it began with Jones throwing a few kicks and then trying a takedown but a scramble for top position began.  Irving ending up on top but then Jones sweeping him over and quickly getting his opponent’s back and attempting a rear-naked choke.  This didn’t get the tap so he moved to the full mount.  After more ground work the two fighters went back to their feet and Jones landed a knee to the chest of Irving, he then managed to get a grip of Irving’s neck and dropped back into a guillotine submission to end the fight at just over a minute.

Jones def. Irving via submission (guillotine) – Round 1

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)

Micky Oliver vs. Tom Blay – Welterweight

A late replacement fighter Micky Oliver who is always willing to step in lightens the mood with his cheeky entrance to 80’s classic ‘Hey Mickey’ by Toni Basil.P1030001  Both fighters began the main event exchanging blows before Blay executed a great slam from a double leg pickup into side control.  Here he worked the body with some hard punches and a knee before moving into full mount and then applying an arm-triangle choke at 1 minute and 30 seconds for the submission victory.

Blay def. Oliver via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 1:30

(Click here to view the winner’s post-fight video interview)

If we were to pick we’d give:

KO Of The Night – Nathan Jones

Sub Of The Night –  Rory Lonsdale  (for the way he went from being in a RNC to applying the hold himself in a few seconds)

Fight Of The Night –  Baz William vs. Rory Lonsdale  (a perfectly matched fight that could have gone either way many times)

On behalf of Split Decision MMA UK I would like to express our thanks to Aaron Wilkinson & Carl Prince for allowing us to cover their show and all who contributed to making MCR FC #1 a great event.

(Click here to hear what Carl and Aaron had to say after the show)

The next Manchester Fighting Championships are to be held on October 19th 2013, from the same venue.

Check out their facebook page for updates:


Photo Credits:  Simon Cafferty & David Gillibrand

Video Credits:  James Entwistle

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