By Saam Falahati
On Top Promotions made a triumphant return to the Kelvin Hall on the February 25th to put on their fourth show and celebrate their one year anniversary. With a stacked card, featuring good level domestic bouts to top class European fights, On Top once again showed how far they have come so quickly to become Scotland’s top promotion. With a full ten fight pro card here is how the event ran down:
On Top Lightweight Title: Mamour Fall (Snake Team, France) vs. Martin Delaney (DNFT)
Mamour Fall returned to On Top to face Martin Delaney in the main event for his first title defence having won the belt at On Top 3. In the first round, both fighters started by feeling each other out, with Delaney having success landing some leg kicks, and Fall trying to find his reach by utilizing his jab. Delaney eventually pushed Fall against the cage, working for the takedown, Delaney managed to achieve double underhooks from the back, and landed a nice takedown, with Fall attempting a rolling kneebar once the fight was on the ground.
In the second, Delaney capitalized by catching one of Fall’s leg kicks early on and landing a takedown into Fall’s guard. The Frenchman managed to get back up to his feet, and secure a takedown of his own, but Delaney managed to reverse this nicely, and spent the majority of the second round on top of Fall.
Delaney was starting to show signs of fatigue in round three, and Fall managed to land a big shot which rocked Delaney. Fall quickly rushed in looking for the finish, landing nice shots, but Delaney managed to reclaim full guard and survive. The rest of the round saw Fall work from Delaney’s guard, trying to land some ground and pound, and the round closed off with Delaney getting back up to his feet, looking for a takedown, which was unsuccessful.
The fourth round was Fall‘s, with him attempting a tight guillotine, which Delaney managed to get out of. Fall worked his way into side control, and stayed on top working from there for most of the round.
The final round looked to be crucial, with what was a very even fight up to this point, Delaney managed to quickly secure a takedown early on, and spent the whole round on top of Fall, trying to pass his guard, and land some shots, Fall looked for an armbar, but was unsuccessful with the attempt.
In the end the judges scored the bout, 48-46 Fall, 48-47 Delaney, and 48-47 Delaney, to award Martin Delaney the win and crown him the new On Top Lightweight champion. Delaney remains unbeaten and now 6-0, with Fall going to 11-6.
Olivier Pastor (Team Pythagore) vs. Sergej Grecicho (The Knight of Plunge)
A high level European bout between two of the best featherweights in Europe; this was a number one contender fight for the vacant On Top Featherweight championship.
Almost instantly, Grecicho secured a takedown and worked from top landing shots and looking for submissions, this was the theme of the fight throughout all three rounds, and Pastor showed good defensive skills in not allowing Grecicho to do as much damage as he could. Grecicho showed great technique in all three rounds, pulling off such things as reverse triangles.
However, he was unable to get the finish, but done enough to earn the unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the fight 30-27. It will now be interesting to see who will fight Grecicho for the belt at On Top 5. Grecicho now goes to 11-4-1, while Pastor is now 14-8-1.
Brian Hyslop (DNFT) vs. Mark Platts (Fight Faktory, Newcastle)
Brian Hyslop and Mark Platts showed how exciting the lighter guys can be in a Flyweight attraction that didn't disappoint. Both fighters exchanged standing up to start in round one, with Hyslop showing some good counter-attacking boxing. Hyslop managed a takedown into Platts’ guard. Hyslop looked for a guillotine, giving up top position in the process, which allowed Platts to escape and start working from the top himself, Hyslop managed to get back up to his feet, and attempt a takedown of his own, which Platts sprawled on, looking for an anaconda choke, which looked tight as the round drew to a close.
The second started in frantic fashion, with both fighters exchanging wildly with Hyslop being the aggressor. Hyslop again looked for a guillotine, but Platts escaped out of it once more. Platts was able to take Hyslop’s back, and use some ground and pound to open Hyslop up and secure a rear-naked choke for the win. Platts goes to 9-7 with a good win in the flyweight division. Hyslop snaps his winning streak, and is now 4-1.
Steven Ray (Edge MMA) vs. Vaidas Valancius (The Knight of Plunge)
Steven Ray proved too much for his Lithuanian opponent. A brief exchange on the feet, ended with Ray taking down Valancius straight into full mount. After a large amount of ground and pound, Valancius gave up his back and succumbed to a rear naked choke. Ray is now 9-2, with Valancius, 11-8-2.
Alan Johnston (DNFT) vs. Ousmane Sidibe (France)
Another welterweight fight saw Johnston quickly push Sidibe against the cage, and secure a takedown landing in half guard. Sidibe tried for a guillotine from this position, but Johnston got his head out. Johnston worked his way into side control and looked for a Kimura, which he looked to be tightening up, when the referee stopped the fight. Sidibe was upset at the stoppage, as he said he never tapped. Johnston maintains his undefeated record and is now 6-0-1, and Sidibe is now 3-4.
Danny Henry (Headhunters MMA) vs. Kieran Malone (DNFT)
In a domestic lightweight fight, Danny Henry took on a Kieran Malone. Malone, the wrestler, managed to land a take down almost straight away. From Henry’s guard, he managed to pass, and eventually ended up in full mount. Henry managed to reclaim full guard, but again, Malone landed managed to pass, and landed some elbows, eventually taking Henry’s back.
Malone worked for a rear naked choke, and eventually transitioned into an armbar. Henry managed to escape the armbar however, and this allowed him to take Malone’s back. It was now Henry’s turn to land some shots, and work for the rear naked choke, which he managed to secure to elicit the tap. Danny Henry goes to 2-0, and Kieran Malone goes to 2-6.
Jo Calderwood (DNFT) vs. Noella Molena (Blackout Academy, Monaco)
In Scotland’s first ever female pro MMA fight, Jo Calderwood made her MMA debut against Noella Molena at 53kg. After some feeling out on the feet, the two clinched up exchanging shots, and Calderwood secured a takedown into half guard. She managed to pass into full mount, and landed heavy ground and pound to win in her debut.
Adam Stevenson (SMAC) vs. Kyle Cassidy (Fighters Hive)
At a catchweight of 72kg, Adam Stevenson took on Kyle Cassidy. Both fighters are known for liking to stand and bang, but it took little time for Stevenson to push Cassidy against the cage and go for the takedown. Stevenson couldn’t successfully complete it, and Cassidy ended up on top in full mount. Stevenson looked to reclaim guard, whilst Cassidy attempted to land some ground and pound, when Stevenson latched onto an armbar to win via tapout. Stevenson wins his third consecutive fight via armbar, and goes to 4-3. Cassidy moves to 1-3.
James McAllister (DNFT) vs. Peter Smith
Flyweights McAllister and Smith started the fight exchanging leg kicks. Smith landed a leg kick which seemed to hurt McAllister, and attempted another which the latter caught and used to trip Smith. McAllister clinched with Smith, and landed knees which landed flush, and caused the ref to stop the fight via TKO. McAllister is now 3-1.
Craig Docherty (DNFT) vs. Nathan Thompson
Craig Docherty had a successful MMA debut against Nathan Thompson. The former Commonwealth boxing champion and Thompson clinched against the cage, with Thompson changing levels for a takedown. Thompson eventually managed to take Docherty down, but Docherty got back up to his feet, only for Thompson to take his back standing. Docherty managed to shake Thompson off, and landed body shots, which seemed to hurt Thompson. Docherty landed some more again, and Thompson crumbled, forcing the stoppage. Docherty is now 1-0.
There are lots of talking points emanating from the show. A suitable challenger to face Grecicho for the vacant featherweight title for one, with possible Scottish options being Paul Reed or Graham Turner. Also it will be interesting to see who Delaney’s first title defence will be against. On Top may well look to bring in some of the top lightweights from the rest of the UK, or match an exciting domestic fight, with Bobby McVitie and Davie Galbraith as viable options. All in all, On Top 4 proved to be a great success.
More information on On Top can be found on their official website.