February’s UK and Irish Awards saw plenty of action, with most of the big promotions returning to the fray following the New Year slowdown.
All monthly winners (and a selection of "wild card" runners up) will go into the year end awards to be crowned ‘Best of UK and Irish MMA in 2014′. They will be sponsored by Caged Steel (any other potential sponsors please contact us for great marketing for your business, with everything going to the fighters).
With Cage Warriors, Made 4 The Cage, Fight UK and more all fielding good cards, here’s what you chose as the best of the action in February 2014.
UK/Irish MMA Awards: February 2014 Winners
UK/Irish Fighter of the Month – February 2014
Winner: James Mulheron (43%)
(Image via Angy Ellis)
North East heavyweight James Mulheron picked up his biggest win to date in a hard-fought battle against Stav Economou. Maintaining his unbeaten slate, Mulheron moved on 5-0, with four of his five bouts against ranked opponents.
In a very close run contest with Economou, Mulheron looked to land heavy shots in the open, and defended the takedown well when Economou looked to press the action against the fence. Showing a good gas tank, Mulheron finished stronger, having his biggest round to close out the fight.
He’s certainly a great prospect – one that top UK heavy Phil De Fries sees as a future UFC star. He hasn’t had his next fight announced, but it will be interesting to see what is lined up for ‘The Juggernaut’.
-Antanas Jazbutis (15%) Picked up an upset decision over Paul Cook
-Jake Bostwick (12%) On the winning end of our Fight of the Month
-Sam Creasey (12%) Excellent pro debut and Sub of the Month
International Fighter of the Month – February 2014
Winner: Michelle Nicolini (46%)
(Image via Angy Ellis)
The six-time world BJJ champion took part in just her second professional MMA fight, and showed why she is so hard to match. With top of the food chain grappling credentials, she was dominant from the off.
Lanchana Green fought off some tight looking chokes, but ultimately her striking background hadn’t prepared her for the level of jiu jitsu that Nicolini possesses. It’s not often you see a BJJ fighter of this calibre fighting on a domestic show, hence her comfortably winning February’s International Fighter of the Month.
-Boubacar Balde (24%) – Losing half of our Fight of the Month
-Juan Manuel Suarez (23%) – A spirited performance against Danny Roberts
– Arek Zeinkiewicz (4%) – Wins at IFP
Fight of the Month – February 2014
Winner: Jake Bostwick vs. Boubacar Balde (36%)
(Image via Cage Warriors/Dolly Clew)
Jake Bostwick is known for his aggressive fighting style, but at one point he was thought of as just a striker. However, he’s added some great tools to his game and his wrestling and ground and pound were really what helped him win this fight. He did drop Balde in the third, but the tough Frenchman stuck in there.
Both men were bloodied and bruised at the final bell after leaving everything on the line in London. A drop of claret wasn’t going to stop them coming forward, and they had the crowd on the edge of their seats as they constantly battled hard for position and to score damage.
-James Mulheron vs. Stav Economou (33%) – Close title fight in Sunderland
-Adam Bramhald vs. Luke Crossland (19%) – Excellent amateur matchup
Event of the Month – February 2014
Winner: Cage Warriors 64 (38%)
It almost seems unfair to separate them, as there was literally a handful of votes that came between Cage Warriors 64 and Made 4 The Cage 13 this month.
By the tighest of margins, CWFC’s huge card took the pole position, with fights such as Bostwick vs. Balde, Inman vs. Weibel, Roberts vs. Suarez and Pennington vs. Tait. Quality matchmaking as always led to some great encounters.
You can always count on CWFC to have high profile encounters, with top Europeans drafted in.
The fans at Made 4 The Cage are almost unrivalled, particularly when they get behind their local favourites. With the likes of James Mulheron, Ryan Scope, Paul Cook and Andrew Punshon bringing big crowds, the roof nearly came off the place at certain points.
Though the home favourites didn’t get it all their own way, there were some great fights and strong line-up from top to bottom that saw Made4TheCage get the second-most votes this time round.
CWFC are leading the way in Europe, but M4TC prove that their are regional promotions also delivering the goods on a regular basis.
-Made 4 The Cage 13 (37%) Narrowly pipped to the post by CWFC
-Fight UK Last Man Standing (12%) Tournament drama in Leicester
UIC 11 (8%) Good scraps in the South
Knockout of the Month – February 2014
Winner: Lewis Monarch (M4TC 13) – 32%
(Image via Angy Ellis)
Lewis Monarch was another North East fighter that retained his unbeaten record at Made 4 The Cage 13, as he stopped TSG Patrick Jalloh with a series of vicious knees. Jalloh was seen as a good prospect with several UCMMA victories under his belt, but he couldn’t keep Monarch on the mat and paid the price on the fence.
Monarch drilled several pinpoint knees to the head, knocking Jalloh out and putting another KO win on his resume. The Team Fish Tank fighter is one to watch.
-Warren De Reuck at UCMMA 38 (15%) Big right hand from De Reuck
-Harry Marple at Reps 5 (14%) Vicious knees to take the title
-Kev O Kane at Fight UK (14%) Brutal body shot to set up the finish
Submission of the Month – February 2014
Winner: Sam Creasey (Fight UK) – 28%
(Image via okphotography.net)
Sam Creasey made his professional debut last month after a solid amateur career. He took on Jimmy Wallhead trained Jack Young in a flyweight matchup, and was constantly looking to attack with submissions. He didn’t have it all his own way though, as Young showed some great wrestling and managed to throw Creasey around with some big slams.
However, as Young looked for another takedown on the fence, Creasey locked in a vicious guillotine, cranking hard with both arms to eventually drop Young to the mat unconscious.
-Cory Tait at CWFC 64 (19%) Nice guillotine over James Pennington
-Brad Wheeler at CWFC 64 (12%) Arm triangle over David Howell
That’s how the votes were cast after an exciting month of UK MMA. Keep your suggestions coming for March’s awards, as we’re expecting another busy month.
What do you think to the results? Let us know via www.facebook.com/YourMMA and via @ YourMMA on Twitter.