By Dean Parr
With crowd trouble preventing Lockdown MMA's March 31st event from concluding and numerous bad write-ups consequently being published online, it wouldn't have been surprising if it was the organisation's first and last offering.
However, promoter, Will Burke has rebounded from this with a determined attitude, and will present another event on October 13th.
"The trouble came about very late in the show and was started by a very small group of people intent on ruining everybody else’s evening by throwing things into other parts of the crowd, deliberately trying to start a fight with other fans," noted Will, giving his interpretation of the first Lockdown bill.
"It was enough that we had to move the whole crowd outside to break it up, which we did, and we decided at that point to halt the show. To be honest, it was blown way out of proportion.
"There were wild claims on internet sites about the police having to break up the trouble, when in reality the police arrived and actually had nothing to do with it as we'd already moved everybody outside and there was nothing happening by that point.
"The officer in charge actually questioned why they'd been called, as nobody was hurt and there was no damage. Still, neither myself nor the manager of the venue will accept this kind of behaviour at our events and we've taken a number of steps to prevent anything like this ever happening again.
"We have a security team over three times larger than that at the last event, and have also altered the venue layout to include fixed seating throughout and prevent large groups of fans building up in small areas.
"We will also be strict on our door control. Lockdown is a family show. We will turn away anybody who turns up drunk, and will hand over anybody we believe to be using or carrying banned substances to the police, without exception.
"I was very disappointed for the fighters that didn’t get to fight, as after training hard for two-to-three months leading up to this one event, they were the main victims of the incident, but running events is a learning process and as long as we keep changing things for the better and learning from our mistakes, we'll keep growing.
"Although Lockdown is a new show, I've been involved in running successful smaller shows both here and abroad for a few years now, and if I was easily disheartened I would have given up long before this. We are all motivated to put on the best show we can this time.
"Everybody involved in the last event, from the venue, officials, staff and fighters, to the fans, is full of support and all wanted to be involved in this next show."
Moving forward, Burke is excited by the potential of the October event, and pointed out a few scraps of particular intrigue to him on the show. He said,
"I’m really pleased with this card. One of the fights I'm most looking forward to is Michael Cruickshanks vs. Ryan Kelly. Both these guys fought on the last event and have proven themselves to be extremely tough fighters who only go in one direction, and that's forward.
"Neither of these guys will go down or take a step backwards, and they seem well matched in every area. I think we will see fireworks on the feet, and as both fighters have a good ground game, I'll be interested to see if either of them decide to take it to the mat.
"I'm also excited to have two young, upcoming, undefeated and talked about fighters in Callum Brady and Kris Leeson facing off against each other. These guys are experienced amateurs and have both made statements in their careers already. Both these fighters expect a win on October 13th, so this could be another exciting match.
"We also have Dan Hitchins and David Bull, again two experienced and technical fighters; Dan Hitchins being a training partner of Callum Brady at Manchester Undisputed.
"In other matches, watch out for Danny Holmes and Chris Senior, both guys are explosive, well rounded and similar in style, with Danny coming off a good win at Cage Conflict with a first round stoppage."
To wrap up, Will wished to offer a few ways fans could keep up to date with the show's updates.
"Our promo video will be going online within the next two weeks and will include fighter interviews as well as footage of our fighters in training for this event," noted Burke, himself an MMA coach at the Predators Gym and a BJJ purple belt.
"You can see it for free at on our official website by clicking on the media page, or by searching for 'Lockdown Mma Show' on Facebook. For information or tickets, people may call 07891 451 280 or visit the site."
Fight card as it stands:
Amateur A Class (unified amateur rules)
64kg: Dan Hitchins vs. David Bull.
77kg: Callum Brady vs. Kris Leeson.
Amateur B Class (no head shots on the ground)
70kg: Michael Cruickshanks vs. Ryan Kelly.
80kg: Danny Holmes vs. Chris Senior.
77kg: Daniel Ingham vs. Tony Morgan.
70kg: Jay Hooper vs. Danny Heuer.
88kg: Ashley Herrett vs. Omar Frederick.
75kg: Kyle Winder vs. James Ducket.
70kg: Jack Roughly vs. Sam Thomas.
77kg: Dan Kelsall vs. TBC.
77kg: Chris Arrigonie vs. Aaron McDonnell.
Amateur C Class (no head shots standing or on the ground)
75kg: Michael Stepien vs. Gordon Haig.
63kg: Connor York vs. Joe Henderson.
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