KEVIN McAloon took just one minute and 31 seconds to claim victory in his first-ever mixed martial arts competitive bout.
And there was double joy for Moray’s Fusion MMA team when fellow Elgin fighter Euan McLeod also won his opening contest in Saturday’s Immortals Fight Promotions night at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom.
The successes come hard on the heels of a second Scottish title belt for another Moray MMA competitor, Aidan Stephen.
But Saturday was all about debut glory for McAloon and McLeod, who both defeated Polish opponents in spectacular fights.
Lightweight McAloon, fighting in the 70 kilo division, could hardly have made a more impressive entrance to the caged arena, taking his rival down quickly and working his way to the mount position before forcing him into an armlock, a move which resulted in submission after 91 seconds.
The Elgin Amateur Boxing Club fighter, who also competes in Brazilian jiu jitsu and Muay Thai boxing, was thrilled that both he and team-mate McLeod kicked off their MMA competitive careers in style.
“It was an amazing night to for us to get a win on our debuts, but to do it together made it really special,” he said. “We worked really hard and it’s great for the hard work to pay off the way it did.
“We both had really tough opponents so it was brilliant to be able to overcome them and show everyone our skills in the process. But we absolutely couldn’t have done it though without the help of our team-mates and coaches.”
McAloon said he was initially forced back into the cage wall by the powerful Pole, who delivered the first telling kick to the Elgin fighter’s leg.
But his grappling skills gained from jiu jitsu soon came to the fore and he took up a position of strength which he never relinquished.
McLeod lived up to his reputation as a ferocious striker by taking the fight straight to his opponent with furious combinations, executing brilliant phase work straight from his boxing background.
He claimed the first round with his excellent strike rate but was taken down in the second, however his Brazilian jiu jitsu also took effect and ensured he made it into a winner-takes-all final round.
McLeod then turned the tables by taking his opponent down, showcasing excellent composure and conditioning to keep the pressure on his opponent and seal the victory by a unanimous judges’ decision.
Fellow Fusion fighter Stephen also fought in Aberdeen in an exhibition bout to warm up the crowd, displaying awesome acrobatic striking against Muay Thai fighter Leon Mitchell in a battle which ended in a draw and will not feature on either fighters’ record.
Stephen will be going for his third Scottish title in Dunfermline on September 28, having won his second in Hamilton last month at featherweight in the Show FFC3 event. He fights in Fife alongside McLeod who will feature in his second competitive bout, and the club is keen to recruit support from Moray to help cheer on their fighters in Dunfermline.
A fourth Elgin-based MMA fighter, Martin Donaldson, has also been highly successful in the cage, as well as providing support to his team-mates at all competitions.
The Moray quartet are keen to attract sponsorship as they continue to make a name for themselves on the national stage and put their home area on the martial arts map.
Any businesses or individuals keen to put their name to the cause and help the lads cover increasing costs of travel and competition can contact Kevin McAloon by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fighters train with Fusion MMA at Focus Fitness Centre in Elgin as well as at Elgin Amateur Boxing Club, and hope more people in Moray will follow them into their chosen sports and join each club for training sessions each week.