On Top promotions returned with On Top 2 this weekend hosting Scotland’s first fully professional MMA card. Over one thousand MMA fans gathered in Bellahouston sports arena for biggest event in Scottish MMA to date and they weren’t disappointed. The card produced a mixture of highs, lows, early finishes and three round wars and On Top crowned their first champion. The fighters were not the only stars in attendance as UFC veteran Ian Freeman was the nights MC and one of the best referee’s in the world the Mark Goddard was in charge in the cage.
The big news of the night was that despite losing his semi-final bout Nico Musoke won the 4-man tournament to become the On Top welterweight champion.
The card started with a bang as Scotland’s only representative in the tournament Stevie Ray took on Northern Ireland’s Mervyn Mullholland. Ray dominated the fight from the outset, knocking Mullholland to the ground at the beginning of each round and busting him up with effective ground and pound throughout the fight. Ray secured his spot in the final of the tournament as he locked in a tight triangle choke and forced his opponent to the tap late in the second round. Despite being overwhelmed in the bout Mullholland landed several significant strikes and opened a cut on Ray’s on the Scotsman’s cheek.
The second semi-final of the tournament saw Ireland’s Cathal Pendred go up against the Swede Nico Musoke. In contrast to the first bout both men were more cautious in their approach and the fight resembled a tactical game of chess as opposed to the all-out bloody war. Both men showed their abilities on the ground but it was Pendred that secured the most takedowns and top positions and merited the judges’ decision. Despite neither fighter seemingly taking any significant damage the winner Pendred was forced to pull out of the tournament due to a hamstring injury.
Therefore the final of the tournament was to be battled out by Stevie Ray and Nico Musoke. From the outset the Swede pushed the pace and secured takedowns and dominated from the top position. Ray’s face was covered in blood as Nico took advantage of the damage Mullholland started in the first fight. To take the title Nico worked to take Ray’s back and lock in a rear naked choke in the closing seconds of the first round.
Elsewhere in the card former two time Sambo world champion and top ten European featherweight Sergei Grecicho took on BJJ black belt Marcos Nardini. In round one Nardini’s single leg takedown and top control was too much for the Lithuanian. However in the second and third rounds Grecicho continually sprawled on the takedown attempt and made Nardini pay with brutal ground and pound. Nardini’s heart shone through as he refused to give up and managed to survive until the final bell. Grecicho won the judge’s decision however in the eyes of the crowd both men showed emerged as winners.
Graham Armstrong was looking to extend his unbeaten run to 4 when he took on Claes Beverlov in a lightweight bout. Armstrong scored an early takedown as Beverlov looked for a spinning back fist. Composed on the ground the Swede locked in a triangle choke and forced Armstrong to tap at 1:31 of round 1.
In the bantamweight division Welshman Greg Knapp faced Rob McCrum. Coming back from a long layoff due to injury McCrum was fully focused on taking the scalp of his opponent who is ranked within the top 10 bantamweights in Britain. McCrum controlled the first round by pushing Knapp against the cage and scoring takedowns. The second round was equally as scrappy with most of the action taking place in the clinch and some accidental low blows slowed the action down. Knapp attacked with vicious knees to the body from the clinch which dropped McCrum and forced the referee to step in. Knapp won via TKO at 2:29 of round 2.
One of the rising stars in Scottish MMA Sean Wright took on Richard Edwards. Like in all of his fights to date Wright, a former Muay Thai British and international champion dominated the fight on the feet and landed some brutal shots from the clinch. Wright claimed knockout of the night prize as he landed a devastating knee from the clinch with just over 1 minute gone in round 1. Going 3-0 and finishing all of his fights in the first round Sean Wright is quickly climbing the ladder in the lightweight division.
Martin Delaney also went 3-0 as he beat Warren Mitchell half way through round one. Delaney didn’t waste any time as he scored a takedown and attacked with brutal ground and pound to force the referee to step in at 2:36 of round 1.
In the flyweight division, the fans favorite Brian Hyslop faced a tough challenge from Barry McGuigan. It was full steam ahead from the outset and Hyslop was pushing the pace, being the quicker man on the feet before scoring a takedown and landing punches and elbows from top position. The second round was much like the first as Hyslop dropped his opponent with a hook before raining down punched from top position. When the opportunity arose Hyslop took his opponents back and finished the fight with a rear naked choke halfway through round 2.
In the only middleweight match up on the card Alan Johnston took on Alex Montagnani. Johnston looked the much more dangerous fighter when standing landing the more significant strikes in particular several strong leg kicks which forced Montagnani to limp back to his corner at the end of the rounds. Despite not landing much from his feet Montagnani showed superior grappling and forced the fight to the cage and to the ground where he controlled the fight for long spells. The judge’s ruled that the fight was a draw, a result that neither fighter seemed happy with.
In the heavyweight division Andy Hillhouse took on John ‘Slugger’ McGurk. Before the fight ‘slugger’ predicted a quick ground and pound finish and he backed up to his word. Scoring a takedown early round Mcgurk landed strikes and worked his way into back mount before the referee had seen enough and called the bout to at 3:26 of the first round.
At a catchweight of 74kgs season 13 of the Ultimate Fighter participant Michael Bowman took on a powerful wrestler in Keiran Malone. Bowman looked strong using his sprawl and brawl style to stuff Malone’s takedowns and hurt him with strikes. Nearing the end of round 1 Malone did get the fight to the ground where he landed some strikes and finished in top position at the end of round one. The second round looked similar to the first and Bowman managed to lock in a guillotine choke with just less than one minute gone in round 2.
Darren Gray put on a great performance against Ryan Quinn in the bantamweight division. It was a high energy exciting fight but Gray came out on top. By securing several takedowns and landing strikes from top position. Gray won the fight via unanimous decision.
Mark Platts vs. Darren Gilchrist unfortunately ended in a controversial manner. Platts quickly took the fight to the ground and started to land some heavy ground and pound. Although Gilchrist was protecting his face the referee stepped in to stop the fight at 1:02 of round 1.
On Top 2 bonuses
Fight of the night: Ray v Mulholland
Knockout of the night: Sean Wright (Knee)
Submission of the night: Claes Beverlov triangle choke
Entrance of the night: Brian Hyslop
On Top 3
On Top promotions have announced that On Top 3 will take place on September the 24th. Moving onwards and upwards On Top 3 is already looking stacked these are the fights that have already been confirmed:
Lightweight Tournament- Wes Murch, Bobby McVitie, Dan Hope, Scott Jansen
Bantamweight title- James Doolan v Michal Hamrsmid
John Cullen v Olivier Pastor
Don’t miss out!