Caged Predators hosted their first show in Blackburn just five days ago and it was a fantastic event, where they hosted a night of MMA and Caged boxing action.
Outside the cage though a friend of mine, Ashleigh Molloy, headed to the event with me to film the fighters backstage as she looks to put a documentary together on the Blackburn Predators.
The event was also her first chance at seeing Mixed Martial Arts live and it gave me an idea to ask her to write down how she found it all, especially because MMA is something which seems to grab you from the moment you first see it happen.
It’s something I wish I had done years ago when I first saw the sport, but all I can remember was Tito Ortiz annoying Ken Shamrock and then in 2009 when I really got into it, Stefan Struve going for a superman punch against Paul Buentello but failing miserably and eating a big right.
So here are Ashleigh’s thoughts on her first MMA experience:
“I watched my first live MMA event in Blackburn last Saturday, it’s something that I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while now. Fighting as a sport is something that has always interested me and it was so great to see the real thing happen right in front of my eyes.
One thing that really shocked me in a good way, was how popular the event turned out to be. There were so many spectators and the atmosphere was vitalizing, it’s great to see even an amateur MMA event promoted in such a way!
Getting to go behind the scenes and film the event was something that really opened my eyes up about the sport too. In the past, all I’ve ever seemed to hear about MMA was ‘’Oh, it’s too brutal’’ and that it never received much coverage, seemingly because of people’s perspective on it. I think the main thing people need to realize about MMA, like I have, is that so much work is put into it and the fighters train incredibly hard. I feel the whole build up before the big fight makes it even more fulfilling to watch. It’s good to see the sport continuing to grow and be noticed.
Huge credit has to be given to those that do it. One thing I have also observed, is the respect each opposing fighter has for each other, you don’t get that in many other sports. The relationship between the coach and their fighter stands out too. During this particular night, I couldn’t help but notice the event organizer and coach of the Blackburn Predators, Rob Freedman supporting and urging every single young lad on his team who entered that cage with exactly the same encouragement for each, praising them whether they win or lose. In that way, they still come out of the cage with just as much determination, to either do better in their next fight or continue their winning run.
There is still so much for me to learn about the sport but every time I do learn something new about it, it gets even more exciting. Watching ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ on a weekly basis has certainly helped spark my interest too. Such a good show!
Overall though, the list goes on about how fascinating watching that event in Blackburn was for me, I can’t wait to see another already. Seeing fights of an admirable standard was breathtaking and the only downfall was that it all went by too quickly, if only we could see it live in slow motion. You’ve got to love those slow motion effects they show on TV”.
Ashleigh is currently in her third year, on the same course as myself at the university of central Lancashire, doing a BA (Hons) Sports Journalism, and is the deputy station manager at PSTV.
Her work is really good and she is going to go far in the world of journalism, so was nice of her to take the time out to give her thoughts.
You can check out some of her work at: http://ashleighmolloy.wordpress.com/
or follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/AshleighMolloy