Owen “Rowdy” Roddy confirmed that he is ready to face world class opposition at Cage Contender XIV last Saturday, when he earned a split decision win over UFC veteran Shannon Gugerty in a bout of Rocky proportions.
Gugerty wasn’t taking any prisoners in the first, he put pressure on Roddy, who danced around the cage, but a scramble led to the San Diego native taking the Dubliner’s back and, after securing a body triangle, he sunk in a rear naked choke that could’ve tamed the most stubborn of lions.
The Ballymun crowd screamed their support at their champion, who seemed to be in the choke for about three minutes—the arm was under the chin, Roddy’s head was going purple—but still the courageous protagonist of the card managed to escape.
The second round began with a big knee from the American in the first 10 seconds which opened up the nose of his opponent, but Roddy began to come into his own, slipping, weaving and landing sharp punches with Gugerty appearing to wear throughout the round.
The only time Roddy seemed in trouble in the second was when he, in an attempt to take the back, secured one hook and tied it up and tried to drag the black belt onto the ground. Gugerty managed to take the back himself from the situation, but Roddy was quickly up again and finished the round in dominant fashion.
Out for the third round and the whole National Basketball Arena were on their feet, throwing every punch, kick and shot with their hero. He fought well and certainly won the round, really hurting the former UFC lightweight on two occasions.
Roddy took the split decision win, and he rightfully was given a standing ovation by the crowd.
He mentioned that he would prefer to fight at bantamweight in his post-fight address, but after making such a big ripple in the featherweight waters, it may be hard to get top-class opposition if he drops down again.
Certainly, he has paid his dues to make a big splash in the mainstream of the sport, and the whole country will be behind him when the day comes.
Fraser Opie and Ivan Salaverry squared off in a fight to determine the Cage Contender light-heavyweight strap in the match before, and despite being quite the spectacle, it is destined to be remembered for it’s stoppage that didn’t seem warranted.
Opie's elbows opened a massive cut across the forehead of Salaverry in Round 1, but the former UFC middleweight didn’t look uncomfortable at all, standing in a karate stance for the majority of the matchup, landing straight punches.
The 41-year-old ATT legend may have let the first round slip, but Fraser took his licks in the second before Salaverry went for a leg lock, to which Opie followed suit.
With both fighter in a 50/50—both exchanging leg locks—Salaverry seemed to be looking to kick Opie’s arm for a way to stop the his sub attempt, but his foot grazed him in the face.
Personally, I didn’t think the shot even landed, but Opie, fully conscious, turned to referee Peter Lavery and said “he kicked me in the face,” after which the fight was then stopped and the belt awarded to the South African.
Lavery is a quality referee and it’s undoubtedly the hardest job to have in MMA, but such a big call in a title fight should never happen, especially when the promotion has done so much to attract a legend like Salaverry to their event.
Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan, after a knock out in his last bout to secure a place in the final, showed his amazing versatility when he submitted Artemij Sitenkov in the decider of the bantamweight grand prix.
Holohan was quickly put in a heel hook by Sitenkov, but the Tallaght man’s flexibility and knowledge on the ground led him to a successful escape, despite the submission looking very deep.
After he got out, Holohan forced his opponent into his guard, where he put on a masterclass of jiu jitsu from the bottom—first looking for an omoplata, then for a gogoplata, before sinking in a beautiful triangle just beyond the halfway mark of the fight—a bridge too far for Sitenkov.
Holohan looks like he’s cleared out the majority of bantamweights in the country, and it’ll be interesting to see who the animated customer is matched with next.
Karl Moore took his first professional win under the Cage Contender banner at the weekend, when he faced off against experienced campaigner, Washington Ferreira, who boasted a record of 17-8 coming into the bout.
Moore looked to push the pace in the first round, but the bout constantly turned into a Greco roman matchup against the fence, and the same could be said for the second, but Moore took his chance when it came after landing a few good shots, taking his opponent’s back and finishing with a rear naked choke.
We’ve still a lot to see of Moore, but there’s no doubting he has talent, a match with Jonny Dargan who recorded a 16-second knockout on the undercard on the same night could be a cracking matchup, to see how the man from the North deals with a top-caliber striker.
Another interesting situation that came out of the undercard was another win for Joe McColgan, over another SBGi fighter, James “Sexual” Heelan.
McColgan, in his post-fight interview, declared himself as the “SBGi Hunter”, and I have no doubt that he’ll get a chance to prove the legitimacy of that statement soon, having now won decisions against Levi Kehoe and Heelan.
Jonny Dargan (SBGi) -v- Keith Elliot (Lucan MMA)
Result: Dargan, KO
Jonny Origan (Coolmine MMA) -v- Glenn Moore (Kyoujin)
Result: Origan, Majority decision
Gerard “RPG” McKee (Evolve) -v- Josh Mahoney (KTP)
Result: McKee, Rnd 1, Submission (Arm Bar)
Joe McColgan (FAI) -v- James Heelan (SBGi)
Result: McColgan, Majority decision
Modestas Ukaitis (Shootfighters) -v- Colin Tyndale (KTP)
Result: Ukaitis, Rnd 2, Submission (Triangle)