At UFC Rotterdam last Sunday, “The Iron Lady” Germaine de Randamie fought at the UFC’s maiden show in her home country of the Netherlands. Despite fellow countrymen Stefan Struve and Alistair Overeem fighting in the co-main and main event of the night respectively, de Randamie unquestionably received the loudest ovation from the Dutch fans. The reception during her walkout was deafening and, following her TKO of Anna Elmose, the crowd erupted once more. It truly was a goosebump inducing moment. With that in mind, let’s look back on some of the most memorable home crowd reactions in UFC history.
Germaine de Randamie – UFC Rotterdam, May 8th 2016
Since it was alluded to above, this is the perfect place to start. UFC Rotterdam was the first UFC event to take place in the Netherlands, a country famed for its kickboxing history. Germaine de Randamie is part of that illustrious history, holding an undefeated record in muay thai kickboxing and having 10 titles to her name. As soon as she walked out at the Ahoy, becoming the first Dutch fighter to do so, there was a party atmosphere inside the arena. Indeed, during her entrance, you could be forgiven for thinking a rave had broken out amongst the crowd. Her performance matched the occasion, with the crowd cheering every time she landed a strike on Elmose. Ultimately, there was only so much her Danish opponent could withstand and de Randamie finished the fight with a brutal knee to the body sparking more wild celebrations in the crowd.
Georges St Pierre – UFC 83, April 19th 2008
The furthest back moment on our list takes us to the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for UFC 83. Georges St Pierre was looking for revenge on the man who had beaten him a year earlier at UFC 69, Matt Serra. There was a lot of bad blood leading into the event, exacerbated by Serra calling St Pierre “Frenchy” in a radio interview prior to the event. As the main event drew closer, the Canadian fans prepared to welcome their hero. When his music hit, the, at that time, record UFC crowd erupted. The 20,000+ strong crowd roared St Pierre to a second round TKO victory and, at the conclusion of the fight, St Pierre stood before his adoring fans as the UFC welterweight champion once more.
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira – UFC 134, August 27th 2011
Heading into UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there were some who felt that Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira should have called an end to his legendary career following a crushing knockout loss at the hands of Cain Velasquez a year earlier. Big Nog was the underdog heading into a clash with the rising Brendan Schaub and, rather than picking a winner, many fans were instead debating when Schaub would take out the Brazilian. Nogueira had not read the script. The crowd in Rio were, as Brazilian crowds typically are, in fine voice and welcomed one of the true heavyweight greats with gusto when he made his walk to the cage. However, the best was yet to come. Nogueira exchanged willingly with his opponent on the feet and backed Schaub to the cage before unleashing a one-two that badly hurt the American. Quickly following up with a further flurry, Nogueira floored Schaub, knocking him out. The significance of that moment was not lost on the fans who rose as one in euphoria to loudly salute the victorious Nogueira, who jumped onto the cage in celebration. The win would earn Nogueira his first Knockout of the Night bonus and forged a lasting memory in the minds of all who witnessed it.
Michael Bisping – UFC 105, 14th November 2009
Denis Kang in his home town of Manchester, England at UFC 105. As soon as his usual entrance music (Song 2 by Blur) hit, the English fans roared their support to “The Count”. After surviving a scare in the first round in which Kang dropped him, Bisping recovered to get out of the first round. The crowd continued to get behind their man, and he did not disappoint. Bisping came out strong in the second round, swarming his opponent with his varied arsenal of strikes and takedowns. By the time the round was winding down, Kang was visibly hurt and tired from the pace pushed by Bisping. One final attack to a turtled up Kang sealed the stoppage win for Bisping, sending the partisan Manchester crowd into raptures.
Conor McGregor – UFC Dublin, July 19th 2014
No list of the top crowd reactions in UFC history would be complete without at least one mention of an Irish fight card. When the UFC came to Dublin in 2014, everything went perfectly for the Irish faithful, who created an incredible atmosphere from the very first fight to the last. In truth, this section could simply be titled “The Irish Contingent” such was the level of support given by the fans on that night. From Paddy Holohan’s curtain raising submission of Josh Sampo, to Cathal Pendred’s miraculous come from behind submission of Mike King complete with cries of “You’ll never beat the Irish” from the crowd, to Neil Seery’s first UFC win and adopted Irishman Gunnar Nelson getting in on the party with a submission of his own, the night could not have gone much better for the hometown heroes. However, special mention goes to the reaction to Conor McGregor’s TKO of Diego Brandao. At the moment McGregor finished that fight in the first round, the noise level in the arena reached a staggering 111 decibels – louder than most rock concerts.
Seo Hee Ham – UFC Korea, November 28th, 2015
Once again we have a first for the UFC, this time a first event in South Korea which took place in the capital city of Seoul. The Fight of the Night for that event was between local fighter Seo Hee Ham and Cortney Casey – a fight which the fans certainly showed their appreciation for. As Ham danced her way to the cage, Korean fans greeted her with a wall of cheers. The fight itself was all action and reached the judges’ scorecards. After an agonising wait for the fans to see if their woman would get the nod, Ham was declared unanimously the winner, which caused mass euphoria inside the Olympic Gymnastics Arena.
Jose Aldo – UFC 142, January 14th, 2012
Once more we visit Brazil and Rio de Janeiro for UFC 142. The main event for the card was a featherweight title match between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. Aldo was yet to taste defeat in WEC or the UFC and Mendes was seen as the biggest threat to his title. In the end, Mendes would not make it out of the first round, with Aldo knocking the American out with a crushing knee with a second remaining in the opening stanza. As expected, the crowd showed their admiration for their champion in vociferous fashion, but nobody was prepared for what came next. Aldo ran straight out the cage door and into the crowd, who swarmed around him. In commentary, Joe Rogan compared the scene to a near riot breaking out in the HSBC arena. Aldo was hoisted onto the shoulders of fans as the celebrations continued before being led back to the ring by security personnel. It remains one of the most iconic moments ever seen inside, or in this case outside, the octagon.
Robert Whiteford – UFC Glasgow, July 18th 2015
Once more, this was an event in which a number of receptions could have been chosen, with Joanne Calderwood and Stevie Ray receiving deafening ovations, but perhaps the most special on the night was during Robert Whiteford’s fight. Entering the octagon to the tune “Flower of Scotland”, his nation’s national anthem, Whiteford immediately generated an incredible atmosphere in The Hydro, with the fans singing along and holding Scottish flags proudly aloft. During his introduction, Bruce Buffer was barely audible among the din of the Glasgow crowd and the noise in the building when Whiteford knocked out his opponent, Paul Redmond, was such that it is a wonder the roof stayed on.
Aisling Daly – UFC Dublin, October 24th, 2015
Aisling Daly had missed out on the previous UFC event in her home country due to her involvement in The Ultimate Fighter season 20. When the UFC announced their return to Ireland in October of 2015, there was no way she was going to miss out a second time. The Irish once again created the atmosphere they have become famous for, with Neil Seery again getting a thunderous ovation, but the reception for Daly stood out. Walking to the ring draped in her country’s tricolour “Ais the Bash” received a rapturous welcome, almost as if the fans were extra loud to make up for Daly’s missed experience the last time the UFC came to town. Her walkout song of choice was “Zombie” by The Cranberries and all 9,000 fans in attendance rose in unison to belt out the lyrics in what has to go down as one of, if not the most spine tingling moments ever in the UFC. The performance from Daly matched the crowd’s enthusiasm and the announcement of her win sent the crowd into delirium. Daly was overcome with the emotion of the moment that was felt all around the MMA world.
So there we have it, a selection of some of the top home crowd reactions in UFC history. Which one was your favourite? Has your favourite been missed from this list? Get in touch @MMALatestNws on Twitter and let us know.
EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity
Jack Shore, a promising up and coming Welsh Featherweight who will be fighting on his fourth main Cage Warriors card in only his sixth professional fight. Despite his opponent, Federico Mini, dropping out days prior to the event, Shore isn’t concerned ahead of the opponent change. “Just another fight, I’m ready for anything come fight night and I’m looking forward to the challenge”. Cage Warriors have confirmed that Shore will now be fighting Italian, Mattia Galbiati.
Shore last fought at the Newport Centre, Wales at Cage Warriors 83, defeating his opponent Konmon Deh convincingly with a first-round submission. The crowd was electric for both his entrance and when his opponent tapped due to armbar, “I have a massive following and they like to make themselves heard on fight night, it’s getting bigger and bigger every time!”
Whilst using his extensive grappling to win the fight, the Tillery Combat MMA Academy fighter was very aggressive with his strikes on the ground, “I believe my grappling style is very different to what people are used to seeing and that’s why it’s entertaining to watch. I’m always looking to advance and put the pressure on, but I also try to use punches and elbows to set up my transitions.”
Being undefeated throughout his amateur career (including winning the IMMAF European Championships), to then continue being undefeated throughout his early professional career, Shore has a mature mindset for such a young fighter to how the sport works, “Obviously no one wants to lose but you have to be aware that it’s a possibility because anything can happen in this sport. But by being aware it allows me to train and prepare correctly to do everything I can (do) to prevent that from happening.”
Whilst growing up, Shore states that he wasn’t the most confident of people, “As a kid growing up I was never the world’s most confident person.” Cage Warriors being on BT Sport within the UK, being the biggest European MMA promotion, and having the following Shore has, he feels no pressure of fighting, “But as far as MMA is concerned I don’t feel any pressure at all. There’s obviously the fight day nerves but anyone will tell you I deal with them very well and am more than comfortable in that environment.”
With the current revolution of MMA in Wales occurring, former Cage Warriors fighters Brett Johns, Jack Marshman and John Philips all in the UFC, Josh Reed who has just come off a title shot with Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood, Lewis Long being the best Welterweight in the UK. It brings a realistic opportunity of making the UFC, “Definitely. Since the first bunch of Welsh guys have been signed to the UFC it’s shown for guys like me, Lewis Long and Josh Reed that what we are pushing for is no doubt achievable. I believe that if we keep doing what we are doing then that dream won’t be too far away.”
Whilst having such a successful start to his professional career, and with the attention, this young Welshman is bringing, Shore is in no rush for the Cage Warriors belt, but is prepared if the opportunity arises. “I’m just taking one fight at a time. I’m aware that I’m still young in terms of my pro career so I will continue to fight whoever Cage Warriors put in front of me. Should a big opportunity like that present itself I’ll make sure I’m ready.”
Shore seems to be mature for someone of the age of just 22, the future seems bright for the young Welshman. Jack Shore fights on the up and coming Cage Warriors 87 card Saturday, 14th October at the Newport Centre, Newport, Wales. The event will be free-to-air on UK sports channels FreeSports, as well as be on UFC FightPass and via the red button on BT Sport.
Check the main card out for Cage Warriors 87 below:
Lewis Long vs Roberto Soldic (Welterweight)
Craig White vs Matt Inman (Welterweight)
Jack Shore vs Mattia Galbiati (Featherweight)
Aiden Lee vs Ludovit Klein (Featherweight)
Aaron Khalid vs Ross Houston (Welterweight)
By Ieuan Thomas.
Battle Arena 47 Preview: Five Title Fights in Bedfordshire
Battle Arena fight cards almost always provide us with some of the most entertaining amateur MMA bouts you will see.
This Saturday’s Battle Arena 47 card in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire promises to continue the trend with five… yes five title fights.
Mathieu James, fighting out of MD Fight Club, takes on the Norweigan Johane Stromsnes in a featherweight bout to kick off the card. Followed by a lightweight fight with Max Pearson from Rising Crane MMA taking on Birmingham’s Bahtar Oryakhil. Pearson’s last appearance on Battle Arena was a split decision win back in February and he looks to take his Battle Arena record to 2-0-0.
Skipping through the undercard, Erland Limanduik Myhr vs. Lee Anthony certainly raises an eyebrown. Anthony, who is moving up to lightweight after two previous featherweight bouts, looks to shake off a decision loss last time out in April and regain the form he showed in his Battle Arena debut where he knocked out his opponent after just 38 seconds. Anthony who stands well over 6 foot will look to use his height advantage to out strike his opponent.
Callum Birkenshaw from SLKMMA in Bedworth puts his undefeated 3-0 record on the line against Liam Hardy from Mcleods MMA in a welterweight fight. In his last fight, Birkenshaw used his kickboxing skills to perfection, showing off 101-varieties of kicks and effective takedowns to stroll to a decision win over a resilient and super tough Jack Lake.
Now… time for the title fights! Our first of the evening sees Molly Lyndsey fight Megan Norman for the European title at 63kg. After a dominant display in her Battle Arena debut showing, Lyndsey was then outclassed on the canvas against Magdelina Giec, who’s very credible judo and jiu jitsu eventually led to her dislocating Lyndsey’s elbow.
Giechas now gone on to represent Poland at the World Games in jiu jitsu, so Lyndsey shouldn’t grade herself too harshly as she looks to take the European belt against Norman.
Next up is the bantamweight European title as Rob Masters defends his belt again, this time against Badar Khalid from Prime MMA in Dunstable.
Masters, who likes to start quickly, came back from a long lay off with a split decision win over Ollie Southam to retain his belt last time out, however Masters himself said via his Instagram.
Masters fights Badar Khalid who trains with Battle Arena featherweight champion Duncan Djillali. This should benefit Khalid mentally with the champions mentality oozing out at sessions looking at that belt hanging in the gym. Khalid is moving down a weight class for this bout and it looks to be an extremely exciting fight.
Two more title fights follow as Fred Sjolie defends his European lightweight title against the Irishman Shane Geraghty who fought just 4 weeks ago, choking out his opponent in the process.
The co-main event sees a regional title fight in the bantamweight division which is bursting with talent as George Caruna takes on Tom Gibbs for the belt. Both fighters will be high on confidence as they fight off the back of wins so expect to see an explosive bout.
Finally, the main event. Jaye John vs Duncan Djillali, for the British bantamweight title.
Another title fight from the bantamweight division? How good is this weight class in Battle Arena?
Djillali started the year brightly racking up three wins before suffering an extremely controversial decision loss. Feeling that he deserved another chance at a title, Battle Arena gave this to him. In comes Jaye John.
John fought and was defeated just two weeks ago, so as you can imagine his bravery is admired for stepping back into the cage so soon with the chance to win the British title. We expect Duncan to keep the fight standing up to show off his extremely credible boxing skills.
Battle Arena is renowned for being one of the biggest amateur MMA shows in Europe so expect fireworks, expect finishes and expect some stars to break out.
Full fight card below:
Mathieu James (MD Fight Club) vs Johane Stromsnes (Front line academy) – 66KG
Max Pearson (Rising Crane MMA ) vs Bahtar Oryakhil (Counter Combat) – 70KG
Attila Hanzel (SBJMMA ) vs Tyler Thomas (Hells Pit) – 84KG
Louise Dempter (BMAC) vs Anna Askvik (Pancrase Stokholm) – 52KG
Harvey Stacy (RGA Bucks) vs Lionel Alexis (Bedford MMA) – 77KG
Erland Limanduik Myhr (ILA MMA) vs Lee Anthony (Elite TC) – 70KG
Hanna Ingram (5 Elements) vs Danielle Hutton (Team Walhead) – 66KG
Liam Hardy (McLeods MMA) vs Callum Birkenshaw (SLKMMA) – 77KG
Mark Kelly (Rising Crane MMA) vs Melvin Galdal (Frontline Academy) – 70KG
Jack Fletcher (RGA Bucks) vs Elijas Paknys (Frontline academy) – 84KG
Molly Lyndsey (5 Elements) vs Megan Norman (Hells pit) – 63KG – European Title
Rob Masters (Rising Crane MMA) vs Badar Khalid (Prime MMA) – 61KG – European Title
Shane Geraty (Samsons Martial Arts) vs Fred Sjolie (Frontline Academy) – 70KG – European Title
George Caruna (Mcleods MMA) vs Tom Gibbs (Elite TC) – 61KG – Region Title
Jaye John (Combat & Exercise) vs Duncan Djillali (Prima MMA) – 61KG – British Title
Written by Jack Wright
Cage Warriors 84: Results
Cage Warriors returns to the Indigo @ The O2 Arena in London, England with Nathaniel Wood headlining the card against Marko Kovacevic for the vacant bantamweight title.
The card also features a light heavyweight co-main event between Kenneth Bergh and Norman Paraisy as well as Matt iNman taking on Brad Wheeler in the welterweight division.
Stay tuned to our Twitter for live coverage!
Main Card (Live on BT Sport and UFC Fight Pass)
Cage Warriors Bantamweight Title: Nathaniel Wood def. Marko Kovacevic via TKO (punches) after 3:41 of Round 1.
Light-heavyweight: Kenneth Bergh def. Norman Paraisy via submission (guillotine) after 2:13 of Round 2.
Welterweight: Matt Inman def. Brad Wheeler via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Lightweight: Alexander Jacobsen def. Tom Green via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Welterweight: Craig White def. Hakon Foss via submission (guillotine) after 1:18 of Round 1.
Prelims (Live on SPORTbible Facebook)
Lightweight: Steve O’Keeffe def. Sean Carter via submission (heel hook) after 2:10
Catchweight (177lbs): Thomas Robertsen def. Phil Wells via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Middleweight: Mirko Jurkovic def. James Webb via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Flyweight: Sam Creasey def. Iurie Bejenari via submission (rear-naked choke) after 3:41 of Round 1.
Bantamweight: Darren O’Gorman def. Bryan Creighton via submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 2.
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