HARTLEPOOL Closed Combat Academy clinched double success at an action-packed night of closed combat at the Borough Hall.
Combat Challenge North-East staged amateur and professional MMA bouts along with a boxing contest on their promotion at the famous Hartlepool fight venue.
A contender for fight of the night was the town derby between Robbie Brown (Hartlepool CCA) and Michael Bates (Renzo Gracie)
Bradley Nelson, of Hartlepool CCA, took title glory when he defeated James Donnelly, from Akurei MMA, for the UAR welterweight belt.
It was a real crowd-pleasing display from both fighters with the majority of the bout being contested on the feet.
There were some great exchanges and some pure grit shown by both fighters including a strong kick, taking to the midsection of the southpaw Nelson.
But he took it like a true champ that he now is as he picked up a split decision victory in a very-closely contested bout.
A contender for fight of the night was the town derby between Robbie Brown (Hartlepool CCA) and Michael Bates (Renzo Gracie).
The interesting facet about this bout was that both guys are former training partners at John Dawson’s CCA camp.
But there were no hard feelings – just two guys testing their MMA skills against one another to see who would come out on top in their hometown.
After three hard-fought rounds the judges scored the bout in favour of Brown against the Gus Robinson Developments-based fighter.
The main event was a Professional MMA bout between hometown hero Ash Griffiths, a veteran of over 70 bouts in various styles of fighting against Kieran Malone, a Scottish national wrestler, from the formidable Dinky Ninja fight team in Glasgow.
Predictions from people in the MMA community prior to the bout were that Kieran could out-wrestle Ash to a points victory or the Gus Robinson Developments fighter would neutralise Kieran’s wrestling with crispy clean strikes and potentially KO the Scot.
But no-one had predicted the explosive fast finish to the fight that occurred on Saturday night.
Both fighters squared up in the centre of the ring and just 14 seconds in to the bout, Malone landed a clean head kick which knocked Griffiths out instantly.
This highlight reel knockout closed the show in explosive fashion.
Hartlepool was represented in the only boxing contest of the night.
This bout got the crowd on their feet in a back and forth battle between Army boxer Brad Rogerson-Bromely and Rick Boyle.
Brad, from Hartlepool but now based in Catterick, was hellbent on getting the win in his hometown.
However, Rick had other plans which made for a great contest that ultimately saw the Bishop Auckland pick up the victory.
The event had kicked off with an MMA bout between Kyle Lester, from Bradford, and debutant Adam Todd, from Middlesbrough, with Lester submitting Todd deep into the third round via a triangle choke.
It was a great fight night with the next event to be held by Combat Challenge in the North East taking place in Middlesbrough on July 11.
Kieran Malone defeated Ash Griffiths via KO (Head kick) in round 1
Harry Hardwick defeated Chris Telford via Unanimous decision
New Welterweight UAR champion
Brad Nelson defeated James Donnelly via Split decision
New Lightweight UAR champion
Shaun Luther defeated Kieran Lister via Unanimous decision
Matty Batty defeated Jamie Wroe via TKO in round 1
Ben Bennett defeated Dave Young via TKO in round 1
Robbie Brown defeated Michael Bates via Unanimous decision
Rick Boyle defeated Brad Rogerson-Bromley via Unanimous decision (Boxing Bout)
Alex Welby defeated Wes O’Neil via TKO in round 1
Mansoor Sidiq defeated Mark Stewart via Submission (RNC) in round 1
Kyle Lester defeated Adam Todd via Submission (Mounted Triangle) in round 3