A great night of fights from the Regency Hotel last night were brought to Dublin by Andy Ryan, one of the country's premier grapplers.
With Setanta Sports in tow, Battlezone look like they've really found their feet as a promotion and what better way to show the viewers by having three title fights on the one card.
Cowzer and Dillion was where most of the talk lay going into this night, and a classic scrap unraveled before the jam packed venue which will live long in the memory of any regional MMA fan.
JMS and John Redmond would take to the cage for the main event of the night to decide the middleweight championship, and after a string of loses Redmond wanted to get back in the mix in his weight division.
Rimas Pukas would also have his hands full while trying to defend his light heavyweight strap against the unorthodox attacks of Karl Moore.
The under card also promised to be a good one with talents like middleweight Rob Wynne, a fan pleasing brawler like Blaine O'Driscoll and an intimidating debutant in Kevin Doyle all graced the card.
All pictures by MMA Kaptured
Battle hardened slugger Blaine O’Driscoll was back in action to start things off at Battlezone 4, with the Lucan MMA man squaring off against Steven Rogers of Extreme MMA.
O’Driscoll opened up with a barrage of strikes to pin his opponent back before executing a well-timed take down ending up in the guard of Rogers.
The Extreme MMA man was constantly looking for rubber guard but two big slams from O’Driscoll quickly put an end to that, and after getting swept the Lucan man found himself quickly back on top where he finished with hammer fists and various strikes signalling Dave Jones to step in and bring the scrap to an end.
O'Driscoll is one of the best campaigners on the Irish MMA scene, rarely in a bad fight and has gained himself quite a cult following for his industrious style.
O’Driscoll won by TKO in Round 1.
Aidan Devlin of FAI found himself in the ring with a fan favourite in Robbie Byrne whom half the crowd cheered on vigorously as he entered the cage.
Byrne made quick work of his opponent, opening up with a quick double leg from which he transitioned into half guard.
The fight went back to the feet but the Team Ryano man quickly tied up Devlin where he landed a succession of knees and set up the guillotine which he eventually finished the fight with.
Byrne celebrated in good form to the massive support he had in the audience and he will no doubt be in action again soon after an impressive win.
Robbie Byrne won by submission (guillotine) in Round 1.
Another Team Ryano fighter, Karl Kavanagh, looked to overwhelm his opponent Shane Lanigan of Tuatha de Danann.
Kavanagh took a lot out of Lanigan in the opening minutes, pressing his adversary against the cage and slowly wearing him down.
After the fight was moved away from the steel, Kavanagh threw all his eggs in the one basket by slapping on a guillotine and pulling Lanigan into his guard and after the De Danann man slipped his head out, Kavanagh ate some big shots.
Kavanagh showed an aggressive guard while taking the shots however, nearly having taken an armbar on Lanigan until he reacted with a big slam, finishing the round on top.
As they came out for the second round, Lanigan was visibly the worst for wear as far as conditioning was concerned but, he took his man down and finished with some heavy hands from half guard.
A good win for Lanigan, with Karl Kavanagh sure to be disappointed, maybe getting a little bit to comfortable off his back, from where he seemed to be quite active in the first round.
Kevin Doyle made a huge impact in his first match where he was far more conditioned and eager than his opponent, Aaron Skelly, who could easily make welterweight.
Doyle went straight for the takedown and after running Skelly into the cage, a massive slam shock the cage to its foundations before the Coolmine BJJ man landed some heavy sledgehammers to his downed opponent.
Skelly did well to get out from under Doyle’s crushing top game, but it wasn’t long before he was flying through the air again after the man they call “Smash” rag dolled the Rush man with another massive slam.
Doyle then landed an assault of strikes on Skelly, leaving Dave Jones no choice but to step in.
A fantastic debut for the big man from Blanch, and Luke Corcoran and Deano O'Sullivan have proven their ability as MMA coaches with such an emphatic victory, the future looks bright for the Coolmine BJJ team.
Kevin Doyle won by TKO in Round 1.
Two monsters stood toe to toe at the beginning of this middleweight contest between Rob Wynne of Owen Roddy’s Primal squad and I-B Sani of Lucan MMA.
Sani shocked Wynne early with his active hands in the opening exchanges, but Wynne wasn’t ready to give up with a fine display of striking by both the men.
The fight came to the clinch and Sani pulled off a magnificent hip toss but, unfortunately for the Lucan man, Wynne managed to get a hook in and work toward taking the his opponents back.
Wynne eventually managed to get two hooks and a seatbelt before Sani turned into his mount. In a beautiful sweeping effort Sani got out of trouble and ended up in Wynne’s guard.
I-B landed massive blows after posturing up and it looked like it was going to be stopped until the Primal man tied up his opponent and finished with a beautiful triangle choke.
Rob Wynne won by submission (triangle) in Round 1
Graham McCormack made short work of Team Ryano’s boxing ace, Niall Molloy, in the quickest fight of the night, lasting just over a minute.
The Boxing Clinic fighter went straight for the takedown and landed in side control, making a beautiful transition to mount after Molloy made no effort to block of his left hip.
Mounted strikes with Molloy not intelligently defending himself ended the fight.
McCormack's method proves how pivotal a game plan can be, with a lot of murmurs of a flash KO coming quickly from Molloy being the way most felt it would go.
Graham McCormack won by TKO in Round 1.
Ryan Curtis and Fabio Viti squared off in an explosive flyweight encounter with both men boasting massive support in the arena.
After some energetic exchanges with both men taking and landing some damaging blows, Viti pulled of an amazing piece of judo, with a well timed throw.
Far from being finished, Curtis showed great movement to fight off the Lucan fighter’s attempt to gain mount and worked him back to his guard.
From there, the Primal fighter managed to get top position on Viti and worked a beautiful transition to side control. Viti gave up his back and Curtis was all too happy to finish off with a strong rear naked choke.
Ryan Curtis won by Rear Naked Choke in Round 1.
Sean Crowe and Konrad Iwanski locked horns in the the only Heavyweight bout of the night.
Crowe, fighting out of FAI, won the decision through his ability to constantly stuff the takedowns of Iwanski, who was a hot favourite with the crowd, and showed great Greco Roman skills when he had his man against the cage.
Much the story of the first round, the second round had the same kind of tone with Crowe putting a lot of pressure on the smaller Team Ryano man.
Crowe managed to take the back of Iwanski at one stage, but the well supported heavyweight swept Crowe and took mount for all of two seconds.
In the last 30 seconds, Iwanski came at his opponent hard, throwing a melee of strikes that seemed to affect his opponent, it seemed that he had found his advantage in the fight and just after the bell Iwanski took Crowe down, letting him know he was still there.
A failed superman punch attempt got the third under way from the Team Ryano man. Crowe managed to score a takedown on Iwanski, but Lucan MMA's heavyweight set in a beautiful inverted triangle, leaving his opponent struggling to break free for the guts of a minute.
Crowe finally escaped but Iwanski quickly got back to his feet and the round finished with another failed takedown attempt from him.
Sean Crowe won by majority decision.
There was a lot of talk into the lead up of this Featherweight Title fight, with one of the key figures in the Irish scene, Paul Cowzer, taking on the current Champ Conor Dillion of Brazilian Top Team.
Dillion had apparently been calling out Conor McGregor via online forums, seemingly looking past Cowzer, who is predominately a coach rather than a fighter.
However, from the word go this fight was all down to Cowzer’s left hand, that called all the shots, landing crisply and precisely along with his constant right low kick that took out the champion’s lead leg.
Towards the end of the round Dillion managed to get a take down, but Cowzer showed great patience in tying him up, forcing the ref to put them back in the Rush Fight Academy man’s realm.
Cowzer finished the round by jumping on Dillion’s neck for a guillotine, which the BTT man did well to hang in from.
Out for the second round and Cowzer seemed to be planting himself and just waiting for a gap to open up to land a big haymaker. Noting this Dillion scored a beautiful takedown which didn’t cause Cowzer too much concern as he leapt straight back to his feet.
The second round came down to a scramble in the last minute, with the round being punctuated by the ever present jab of Cowzer’s, when the Rush man managed to take the back of Dillion, who did brilliantly to end up in Cowzer’s guard where again, he was tied up.
The defending champ came out for Round 3 knowing he had it all to do and this was evident from his start with a flying knee and a spinning back elbow. After Dillion took the fight down again, he put a tight guillotine on his opponent with the fight lasting two minutes before Cowzer escaped to half of the crowds relief.
From there, Cowzer start picking the BTT man apart, leading with the jab he landed sweet combinations that shuck Dillion’s brain. The champ tried to windmill in the last minute on a few occasions but Cowzer, a real craftsman with his hands, just circled out landing some accurate blows on each occasion.
The decision went Cowzer’s way and he more than deserved it, another classic fight from the Rush man who claimed in the post fight interview that he may never fight again.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever fight again”, said Cowzer, “coaching is my passion. I’m really a bantamweight anyway,” he said with the Featherweight strap around his waist.
Paul Cowzer won by decision and is the new Battlezone Featherweight Champion.
Firstly, a big thank you to Rimas Pukas fan club that stood directly in front of me for this whole fight, as wide as buses, you were a great help..... and a shout out to the smallest lad in the arena that asked them to move, a request that was promptly denied.
This fight didn't carry with it the same tension involved in Dillion vs Cowzer but both men looked ready for action as they faced off across from one another.
Moore was the first to attack, timing a nice hip toss well on Pukas who was all to aware of it and came out the better in the guard of Moore, from which he quickly transitioned to side control.
The Lucan MMA man seemed dominant in the position until he over committed to stopping the shrimping attempts of Moore, with FAI man reacting brilliantly, sweeping him into his own side mount.
Moore did well to take Pukas's back from their and finished with a well executed rear naked choke.
Karl Moore won the Light Heavyweight Title by Rear Naked Choke in round 1.
This was the second installment of the Shiel and Redmond saga, the first was a fight which Shiel won on short notice after his SBGi team mate, Chris 'The Killing' Fields, had to pull out of Cage Contender 8 which was to be for the Middleweight crown.
On this occasion it was all for the two men, and Redmond, as ever, looked supremely confident as he took to the cage with JMS looking as intimidating and primitive to counter balance it.
After a tentative start, Redmond did very well to stuff the explosive takedowns of Shiel, who must have wanted to take the fight as he took the first, straight to the ground.
Another takedown saw Redmond hit the mat, but he showed great hips and movement to be straight back up again ready to exchange in seconds.
It was third time lucky for JMS however, taking the Rush Fight Academy man down again and slowly working his way into the mount position where the ref stopped the fight with Redmond not intelligently defending himself.
Having met Redmond, I know he's an incredibly driven and competitive fighter, his personality makes people want to watch his fights and he's been a great character of the game.
With four loses on the trot now to Shiel, Fields, Fadipe and Shiel again, it's could be time for him to re-think his training.
One thing you have to give Redmond is his will to fight in unwavering and he isn't selective with his opponents like a lot of people are, put someone in front of him and he will give them a go, no doubt.
Shiel continues a fantastic run of results that improves him to 6-0. He's making a name for himself on the European stage and he looks a hard man to figure out for any opponent.