MMA: Competitive night for local cage fighters at ICE FC Fight Festival

Date published: 10 July 2018

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Professional Mixed Martial Artists (cage fighters) Martin Stapleton and Antonio Sheldon, from Rochdale, faced tough competition on Saturday (7 July) as they competed in Gio Goi and ICE FC’s Fight Festival in Manchester.

Bowler’s Exhibition Centre played host to both amateur and professional cage fighters from Blackburn, Liverpool, Wigan, Salford and Stockport.

The fights were three rounds lasting five minutes each.

Martin Stapleton, co-owner of Full Contact Performance Centre on Queensway in Rochdale, fought Adam Boussif for the main event.

Stapleton trained at SBG Manchester every day and SBG Dublin to prepare for the fight. Talking before the fight, he said: “This will be the first time I’ve fought in Manchester for five years. It’s nice to be fighting at home where I can show off to all my family and friends.

“You’ve got to work for the victory and I’ve definitely been doing that.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Professional cage fighter Martin Stapleton
Martin Stapleton

Stapleton lost by guillotine choke half way into the third round, bringing his current record to 19 wins and seven losses.

He said: “What can I say? I felt I was putting in the best performance of my career. The first two and a half rounds went exactly as we had trained for and I felt I was dominating every minute of it.

"Well done to Adam he threw that guilotine on very fast and very tight.”

“I enjoyed every second of that fight and I’m proud of my performance.

Professional cage fighters Martin Stapleton
Martin Stapleton and Adam Boussif

“I would like to say a massive thank you yet again to everyone that has got behind me throughout this camp, I’ve loved every minute of it and I’m overwhelmed by your support. It really does mean the world to me.”

Professional cage fighter Antonio Sheldon
Antonio Sheldon

Antonio Sheldon, who trains at Full Contact Performance Centre, fought Ross Coe from Sunderland in his fourth fight as a professional.

Professional cage fighter Antonio Sheldon
Antonio Sheldon

Sheldon became a professional fighter one year ago but has fought for over five years.

Talking pre-fight, he said: “I’m always prepared for upcoming fights. I train twice a day and I’ve been going to SBG in Dublin so I’m confident.

“It’s good practice going to Dublin because we can train with different bodies and mix the styles up.

“Every fighter uses different techniques and moves, so it’s a good way to get prepared.

“I haven’t really looked into my opponent because I’d rather focus on myself and not what my opponents been up to.

“For me, it’s just another fight.”

Professional cage fighter Antonio Sheldon
Ross Coe and Antonio Sheldon

Sheldon also lost on the night. After fighting in all three rounds with no clear winner, the decision went to the judges who chose Ross Coe.

Sheldon said: “It was a split decision from the judges meaning it was a close draw.

“I thought, and spectators commented, that two out of the three rounds were definitely mine. I was on top of him for the most part.

“I don’t consider myself a loser it’s just is what it is. I’m going to crack on and keep preparing myself for the next.”

This result brings Sheldon’s professional record to two wins and two losses.

The festival, described as an ‘action packed night of MMA with live music’, hosted sixteen fights. Live music was provided by The Oasis Experience, DJ Paul Taylor, Prose and Daz 808 State.


Professional cage fighters Antonio Sheldon and Martin Stapleton competed in Gio Goi and ICE FC’s Fight Festival at Trafford Park
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