Irvine lands first NI title for Kesh club
NSAC Northern Ireland Middleweight champion Glenn Irvine (centre) with coaches Shane Brimstone and Bruce Irvine.
Glenn Irvine became the first person from the Immortal Fermanagh Mixed Martial Arts club to land a Northern Ireland title last week, after he defeated a much fancied Ken "Big Dog" Smyth in the very first round.
With the fight being held at Smyth's local British Legion Club in Antrim, Irvine arrived to a much expected hostile arena, but he kept his cool to defeat his opponent early on in the opening round, to claim the NSAC Northern Ireland Middleweight title in fine style.
The 21-year-old Kesh fighter came out strongly, dominating his Antrim counterpart in the early exchanges. Indeed he got Smyth on the canvas after just 30 seconds, but the referee stood the fight up. Both fighters then held a guillotine submission apiece, but again the referee deemed neither to be worthy of victory as both were broke up.
Irvine looked keen to end the fight as quickly as possible though, and soon after he again got Smyth onto the canvas, this time with a mount submission, and the Red Dragons fighter had no answer, with Irvine clinching victory to land the Middleweight title.
Irvine's Coach Shane Brimstrone, who founded the Immortal Fermanagh MMA club back in 2008, was delighted with his fighter's victory. He said, "It's great for Glenn and for the club. It's the first title in the club's short history. Red Dragons are a top club in Ireland, so for Glenn to go up there in Smyth's backyard and get the win is fantastic. We knew it would be hostile, but Glenn did brilliantly."
Brimstone and Pro Wrestling Coach Bruce Irvine have been training the fighters at the Kesh club for the past four years, and Brimstone is hopeful of more success for the club in the future. "We've got some promising talent coming through at the minute so we're hopeful of more titles in the coming months. We have 15 fighters at present who actually fight competitively, and more that train with us that are picking it up, so it's looking good at the minute."
Brimstone also believes MMA's popularity is growing stronger by the day in the UK, as more and more fighters switch to the discipline.
"It's definitely not the most popular fighting discipline, but there are rewards there for those who are successful in the sport, and for local fighters it gives them a better opportunity to get their name out there in the fighting world. It's two guys in a cage, the best man on the night wins; it really is as simple as that."
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 12 Jul 12