The Merseyside representatives at Full Contact Contender (FCC) 31 put on a good display for The Olympia crowd. With a total of nine fighters from the area, be it through their gym or birthplace, the audience were treated to six victories and three losses on a 17 fight card.

Harry Shaw v Liam McCracken – Co-Main Event

Making his debut, Shaw found himself up against an unbeaten McCracken – who had two wins under his belt pre-fight. Owing to an explosive start, he took Shaw down and was almost in full mount but for some good defensive work by Shaw. McCracken manoeuvred into a rear naked choke hold in the first round and his counterpart had no option but to tap out.

Jake McEvoy v Jack Axworthy

Axworthy really showed his skill in this fight. He put up an impressive first round display, taking his opponent’s feet out from beneath him. The Merseysider, fighting out of Aspire Combat Sports Academy (Aspire CSA), split McEvoy’s left eye open and managed to complete a takedown in the second round. With a unanimous decision, Axworthy came out victorious.

Axworthy and McEvoy mid-fight
Axworthy and McEvoy mid-fight. Photo: Olly Scott

Teddy Stringer v Jack Dunleavy – Lightweight Championship bout

It was disappointment for Liverpool’s Dunleavy on the night as he lost his lightweight title to Teddy Stringer. Stringer had the experience on his side as he had competed in 20 amateur fights compared to Dunleavy’s four, where he was unbeaten. However, his unbeaten run had to end. Owing to an impressive rear naked choke hold, Dunleavy had to tap out and hand over the title to Stringer.

Faid Abdella v John Johnson

Abdella edged the first round in what was a fairly even opening. He had Johnson on the canvas for much of the first. The bout turned in favour of Johnson in the second round. Landing a jump switch roundhouse kick, he unsettled Abdella. The man fighting out of Aspire CSA dominated the second round and parts of the final round. The judges decided he had done enough for him to be awarded the win by unanimous decision.

Declan Marshall v Luke Burns

Merseyside’s Burns tasted defeat at the hands of Marshall despite having some threatening moments. Fighting out of the Mad Hatters Academy, Marshall controlled the spacing around the octagon and came out on top via unanimous decision.

David Adams v Rich Lunt

Fighting out of HAMMA academy in St Helens, Lunt put on a show professional featherweight bout. A quick head kick early in the first round led to David Adams losing balance. Lunt took full advantage as he unleashed several blows whilst Adams was on the ground. The contest had to be stopped in the first round with Lunt being crowned the victor via TKO.

Mo Safi v Dan Farrell

This was an evenly contested affair. Both fighters managed to take each other down throughout the fight with Safi’s striking being cleaner. Aspire CSA’s Farrell showed good flexibility and transitional speed from his back to takedown attempts. With the final round being end to end, the judges awarded Farrell the win via split decision.

Anthony O’Connor v Dec Dean

In front of a home crowd, O’Connor struggled in this professional lightweight bout. A violent ground and pound in the first round led to the contest being stopped with Dean taking the victory back to 12 Gauge MMA.

Cory O’Donovan v Scot Sidwell

From the Masda Gym in Liverpool, O’Donovan put in a strong display in this bantamweight bout. He connected with multiple hooks and jabs and took his opponent down in the first round. This domination continued with him almost locking in an armbar but Sidwell managed to manoeuvre out of it. O’Donovan won via unanimous decision.

Tommy Clarke v Joe Field – Interim Flyweight Title Bout

Field put in an impressive display as he extended his win streak to five. He was the more controlled and composed fighter in the first three rounds of this bout and threatened a rear naked choke hold. Clarke grew into the fight towards the end with a nice takedown in the fourth round however it wasn’t enough. Fields won the title via unanimous decision and sets up a tie with Connor Walsh in March.

Fields celebrating following his title win
Fields celebrating following his title win. Photo: Olly Scott

James Williams v Jamie Kelly – Main Event

With a big following in attendance at The Olympia, Williams did not let them down. He was in control for most of the fight with multiple takedowns despite not having much success with his striking. Locking in a rear naked choke hold, Kelly tapped out in the third round.

Georgi Stefanov v Leon Armes

An explosive display from Armes with a first round TKO one minute and 33 seconds into the fight after an impressive head kick unsettled Stefanov.

Mbaye Gueye v Zanyar Kamaran

Gueye added another win to his record in what was a controlled performance. He landed a number of body and head shots as he worked his way around the octagon. He held Kamaran by the edges of the cage, running down the clock, before time was up. Gueye took home the victory via unanimous decision.

Ben Ojog v Aden Wainwright

In this light heavyweight matchup, two undefeated fighters stepped into the octagon together. Both fighters put on a fast-paced show. Several heavy punches and a few kicks had the fighters exhausted. A second wind led to more strong punches from Ojog and the bout was stopped by the referee.

Ojog v Wainwright
Ojog v Wainwright. Photo: Olly Scott

Cammy Rea v Nathan Mann

A bout between two fighters looking for their first win. One making their debut: Cammy Rea. One looking to put right their initial loss: Nathan Mann. Rea edged the first round. Mann showed good defensive ability as he reversed a takedown attempt and unleashed a multitude of kicks whilst his opponent was grounded. Mann was awarded the win via split decision.

Zack Sari v Josh Dean

Looking to end his poor run of four losses on the bounce, Josh Dean was comfortably the superior fighting. Landing a succession of hard-hitting kicks to his fellow fighter’s leg, his opponent dropped to the canvas. This led to a further flurry of kicks from Dean before the bout was stopped due to a leg-kick TKO.

Greg Ball v Lewis Bragg

This contest was between two fighters that were both making their debuts. Bragg looked the more composed fighter in the opening round, landing plenty of good strikes and kicks. Ball tired as the first round ended but he had a revival in the second round. Getting his opponent on to the canvas, he was in full mount. One minute and 49 seconds in to the second round, Ball came out victorious via TKO.