Contenders 24 report and results: Butters beaten, Mezzetti wins title and Jaskiewicz scores KO of the year contender
Norfolk MMA prospect Scott Butters suffered his first pro defeat in the main event of a superb Contenders 24, which also featured a potential KO of the year and two tremendous title fights.
Butters, now 2-1, took a huge step up to face well-travelled and talented Kim Thinghaugen (now 8-6) in a bid to fast track himself up the unforgiving fistic ladder, but came unstuck, losing via first round TKO.
The Dereham grappler, roared on by a very vocal home crowd at the Epic Studios in Norwich, bravely battled through a shoulder injury – later diagnosed as a fracture – but could not escape from the heavy top game of Thinghaugen, who forced referee Daniel Movahedi to halt hostilities with seconds left in the first as he rained down punishment on the grounded Norfolk man.
Butters will only learn from his first taste of defeat in the pro ranks and come back stronger – perhaps dropping down to featherweight to resume his promising career.
Elsewhere, Konrad Jaskiewicz scored what will surely be one of the best knockouts seen anywhere this year in his scrap with world-class grappler Baruc Martin, of BMB Norwich.
The two had traded high-level grappling exchanges, with Martin largely on top, before Jaskiewicz, of Wisbech’s Avaddaon MMA, managed to get back to his feet and landed a brutal flying knee on Martin’s face, separating him from his senses, as he shot for another takedown in the first round.
The two title fights on the card both went the way of Norfolk fighters. First, dominant middleweight boxing champion Andris Kazoks, of Heros Gym in King’s Lynn, defended his belt with a unanimous points win over Lowestoft’s Danny Whitcombe.
Kazoks was always in control against the skilled and game Whitcombe, who refused to wilt in the face of the power-punching which has defined Kazoks’ championship reign.
Then, in a classic battle for the 74kg pro K1 title, Cromer’s Jack Mezzetti, of Fighting Fit Martial Arts, prevailed over the flashy Samir Bouamrane after being wobbled by a big head kick in round two.
With fans screaming ‘there’s only one Jack Mezzetti’, the relentless Norfolk fighter roared back in the same round, forcing Bouamrane to take a count as a result of his terrifying leg kicks, before ending matters with a perfectly-placed knee to the midsection.
It was also a brilliant night for Bury St Edmunds-based Blue Wave MMA, with all three of their fighters – Kasper Kozak, Alfie Fell and Cameron Cunningham – winning by stoppage.
Kozak claimed submission of the night honours for his rear-naked choke finish of explosive opponent Tariq Pell in the second stanza, having decked his opponent with a rapier left hook in the first.
Teenager Cunningham, who stopped Jake Catterall with a frightening barrage of ground and pound in the first round, looks to be a superstar in the making – already boasting fluid and powerful striking, he’s added grappling and wrestling to his game under renowned coach Windy Miller.
It will be fascinating to see just how far he can go, and he’ll be back to action quickly at the Cage Warriors Academy show in Colchester next month. Remember his name.
Fell, meanwhile, punished foe Dawid Cecylian with two rounds of gruelling grappling and ground and pound, leaving an exhausted Cecylian unable to answer the bell for the third and final round.
Finally, young Tommy Purdy, of Suffolk’s Mamba Martial Arts, beat Jack Clancy in a back-and-forth war which had the crowd enraptured, both fighters landing bombs before the Suffolk man found the body shots to end matters in round two.
Contenders 24 - full results
Phil Taylor beat Zak Denton via first round submission (choke) – flyweight MMA
Alex Andrews beat Joao Lopez via split decision – 65kg K1
Ewelina Rolinska beat Jen Stoner via unanimous decision – 57kg K1
Mangirdas Kiklieruis beat Pete Butler via UD – 74kg K1
Lewis Cresswell beat Danny Bryan via UD – welterweight MMA
Tommy Purdy beat Jack Clancy via second round TKO – 62kg K1
Alistair Bird beat Joe Lincoln via UD – 77kg K1
Alfie Fell beat Dawid Cecylian via third round TKO – lightweight MMA
Kasper Kozak beat Tariq Pell via second round submission (RNC) – welterweight MMA
Cameron Cunningham beat Jake Catterall via first round TKO – featherweight MMA
Andris Kazoks beat Danny Whitcombe via UD – retains Contenders middleweight boxing title
Konrad Jaskiewicz beat Baruc Martin via first round KO – catchweight 68kg MMA
Jack Mezzetti beat Samir Bouamrane via second round TKO – wins Contenders Pro 74kg K1 title
Kim Thinghaugen beat Scott Butters via first round TKO – lightweight MMA