Grimsby fighter Andy Craven wins on pro debut at the Doncaster Dome
DEBUTANT Andy Craven showed maturity beyond his years as he eased to victory on his professional MMA bow last weekend.
In front of 2,000 spectators at the Doncaster Dome, the 20-year-old Grimsby fighter stopped opponent Danny Welsh in the second round.
Craven – who trains at Grimsby Fight Ministry (GFM) – controlled the bout from beginning to end, landing some impressive shots against the veteran.
With more than 30 professional fights under his belt, Welsh could and should have posed Craven with a stern test on his first outing.
However, the talented Craven took the initiative in round one with a dynamic combination, hitting the Leeds man with a series of strong punches.
The Grimsby fighter scored a take down midway through the first round, and continued to dominate as the journeyman struggled to cope with his raw power.
In round two, the action continued at a frantic pace – but it was Craven who provided all the noteworthy moves.
Following a brief grapple on the ground, Craven put an end to the contest with a well-executed heel hook, forcing the experienced Welsh into submission just one minute after the re-start.
Meanwhile, on the same Doncaster card, lightweight (-70kg) Jack Grant was scheduled to fight Chris Clarke – from Bolton – in his second professional match.
However, Clarke was forced to withdraw on the night, and late replacement Nikolia Lazerov – a London-based Lithuanian – also failed to show.
A less than ideal situation led to the event's promoter asking Danny Welsh to fight Grant – providing he was cleared to do so by the on-site medical team.
So, later in the evening, Welsh returned to the arena to battle once again with a Grimsby fighter!
From the outset, Grant looked far superior to Welsh, who was perhaps feeling the effects of his earlier contest, and landed two early roundhouse kicks.
The 21-year-old Grimsby man followed his dominant start with a series of bit shots, before he ended the match prematurely with a exceptionally well-timed suplex.
Following the double GFM success, head coach Neal Lofts said: "Before the first I asked for evidence of their technical improvement, and they couldn't have done any more to show that.
"A precise heel hook by Andy and a fight-winning suplex from Jack – both of which are technically very difficult. But they both executed them to perfection.
"Danny Welsh must be applauded. He is an independent fighter, who has come up against everyone and is as tough as granite. If he could make it regularly to Grimsby I would give him my time for free."