Martin Stapleton To Face Greg Loughran In The Main Event Of Absolute Combat 2
Warrior Promotions Fighter Management are proud to announce their Lightweight star Martin Stapleton (7-1-0) is set to return to action for the third time in five months when he headlines Absolute Combat 2: The Gathering on November 28th in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Stapleton (Currently ranked 9th in the UK) returns to action after two straight wins against high level UK opposition in the last few months. A three year veteran of the sport, he fights out of Team Kaobon and Team Quannum and started his career with a flurry racing away to a 5-1 record fighting on top UK shows such as Cage Warriors and Cage Gladiators. (With his only loss against the undefeated Liverpudlian Paul Sass)
However Stapleton is best known by most MMA fans because of his stint on the ninth season of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s The Ultimate Fighter TV show. After going through months of interviews, the 26 year old joined Michael Bisping’s “Team UK” on the popular reality TV show after defeating Dan James in the eliminator bout held in Liverpool, England. This allowed him to fly out to Las Vegas where he took part in the 12 week TV show that was broadcast both in the United States (on Spike TV) and on Setanta Sports (in the UK).
Although the Royal Marine Physical Training Instructor was well received on the show, he unfortunately lost in his first bout inside the house (albeit under controversial circumstances) after an accident headbutt by his opponent Cameron Dollar stunned him and allowed the American to win by submission. However Stapleton found his time in the TUF house to be a very positive experience and has been determined to capitalise of his time in the house.
Unlike some other fighters who were denied a UFC deal once the TUF 9 series ended; Stapleton showed his commitment to one day fighting in an official sanctioned UFC bout, by taking a fight just two weeks after receiving his release. As he returned to action in the Main Event of Strike and Submit 11 where he faced the local submission specialist Andrew Fisher for the vacant British Title.
After a tentative start Stapleton wore down his opponent with superior striking, clinch and ground work. Whilst by round two, he was able to claim the win after working through Fisher’s ground defence and landed an array of powerful ground shots to seal the win and claim the Strike and Submit British Lightweight Title in the process.
Then just two months later Stapleton was back in action again at Clash of Warriors in Nottingham, where he displayed a new edge to his game by patiently picking off his opponent Ashley Smith (5-1-0) from the outside with a stiff jab, which allowed him to control and dictate the majority of a very tense and tactical bout. This approach saw Stapleton take an unanimous decision win and the vacant Clash of Warriors British Title in the process.
Now Stapleton faces the toughest test of his career to date when he takes on the tough Northern Irishman Greg “Hitman” Loughran (21-12-0) from the EFR Fight Team. Loughran is one of the UK’s top Lightweights (currently ranked 8th in the UK) and unlike many of his contemporaries, has carved out a name for himself by constantly fighting the best guys in his division and also by not being afraid to travel abroad to fight. A veteran of Cage Warriors, Cage Rage, Cage Gladiators and several other top European promotions. This likeable 25 year old, is already a nine year veteran of the sport and was fighting as a professional before his 18th Birthday on the Irish circuit.
Despite facing some tough UK based opposition during the formative years of his career; Loughran has showed he is a skilful all-round fighter who is comfortable fighting both on his feet and on the floor. Over the past few years Loughran has started to show his true potential and has won 10 of his last 13 bouts. During his impressive run of form Loughran has defeated some top UK based talent such as the TUF 9 finalist Andre Winner (via Submission), the Strike and Submit British and European Welterweight Champion Pete Irving, and the former Cage Gladiators British Champion Rob Sinclair.
However the Northern Irishman is no stranger to fans across the pond having defeated the WEC and Bellator FC veteran Jonathan Brookins at the inaugural Cage Warriors event in the USA last year. He has since returned to Florida twice during 2009 where he gave the World top ten Lightweight Eddie Alvarez a scare in the opening round of the Bellator Lightweight Tournament, as the EFR Team member floored the eventual Champion early on before being caught in a guillotine choke later on in the first round.
Loughran returned to Florida for a third time in August where he took on the Bellator FC veteran Eric Reynolds (11-3-0) at the Art Of Fighting show in Tampa. But once against despite spending time training with fellow Brit Jason Ball at Gracie Barra Orlando, he was TKO’ed by his American opponent in round 1. Loughran now returns to to fight in the UK determined to get back not only to winning ways but also to show why he is one of the UK’s best unsigned talented in a truly stacked 70.3 kg / 155 lbs division.
This is a dream Main Event for UK fans, which will see these closely matched top 10 UK Lightweight fighters do battle as they look to be signed by one of the World’s elite shows in the near future.
This event also features several other exciting marquee bouts as the Bristol based Scotsman Paul Reed (10-4-0) returns after taking the top ranked Canadian Thierry Quenneville the distance at Ringside MMA in Montreal, Quebec. Canada. The European top ten ranked Featherweight will Balloch’s John Cullen (9-3-0) in a bout that will determine Scotland’s Top Featherweight.
Whilst in another highly anticipated domestic bout. Scotland’s widely regarded top Middleweight James Mair (8-2-0-1nc) will drop down in weight to face Scotland’s top Welterweight John Quinn (6-0-0) in a bout that could well see the winner break the top 10 UK rankings. Also the exciting Total Combat Lightweight Champion Graham Turner (8-5-0) will drop down in weight to featherweight to face tough Irishman and Pride & Glory Champion Gary Morris (5-5-0).
Tickets for this event are already on sale from Meadowbank Sports Centre and www.tickets-scotland.com. Or alternatively call their credit card hotline on 0870 220 1116 for tickets. Tickets are separated into 2 bands and cost either £25 (Standard Admission) or £35 (Close to Ringside) Seating is unreserved apart from the Close to Ringside.
Whilst those fans on Facebook can check out the event fan group here
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