Regis Sugden has stolen the show on many occasions but officials and spectators alike agreed that his performance on Saturday 16 November 2013 has to be one of the best yet.
Regis was articulate and entertaining in the pre-fight interview ahead of the first ever KTMMA show at Porchester Hall in London. He was told: “If you fight as well as you interview, we’re in for a cracking contest!” by the film crew, although they probably did not take him entirely seriously when he replied: “You won’t be disappointed”.
A product of the correct schooling at NMA Fitness Centre, the young gun from Suggy’s Gym had trained with the very best in all relevant disciplines in preparation for this brand new concept: two five minute rounds, the first of Modified Kick-Thai Boxing and the second of Global Style MMA.
The fight was to be scored, with preference given to five areas: KO or submission; effective technique which causes damage to opponent; striking combos and ring dominance; take downs and effective take down defence; and effective aggression.
From the start Regis stalked his more mature opponent, Linas Meistavicius of Lithuania, landing some heavy kicks to the legs and body. He was the first to take advantage of throwing the knees and elbows to the head in the first stand up round which was in a pair of 10oz boxing gloves.
The aggressor from the off, Regis even looked like an MMA fighter as he tripped and threw Meistavicius, pushing the rule set to the limit despite the fact that officially the first round was striking only.
After the Kick-Thai Boxing round, the gloves were exchanged for 4oz MMA gloves for the second round. Exploding into action, with just over a minute gone Regis threw his trademark jump spinning hook kick which landed flush to his opponent’s jaw. Fortunately for Meistavicius, he was moving away as the technique landed but the force and speed still sent him to the canvas like a felled tree.
Regis followed it up with a barrage of punches and knees which were all thrown with force and intent, leaving the referee with no alternative but to stop the contest.
“I was nervous in the first round which allowed my opponent to change his gloves and get to the second,” said Regis, who was named Fighter of the Night at the end of the event. “Pushing the boundaries of the rule set and throwing him in the first round was a tactical move on my part, as he wouldn’t have been expecting it.”
“In the second round I relaxed and positioned him for my signature move. I thought the ref was going to stop it but just in case I followed it up with some explosive ground and pound.
“I’m really excited to be involved in this new concept as I am expecting some big news on the development of a TV deal shortly.”
Coach Dean Sugden said: “Being invited to take part in this brand new concept suited Regis’s ring name perfectly.”
“We’re often asked why he’s known as ‘The First’ but you only have to see him fight to understand. He’s always the first to step up to the challenge, the first to throw an exciting technique or combination, and tonight was no exception.”
Tim Izli, the entrepreneur behind the KTMMA concept, commented: “Regis was the most exciting fighter and the star of the show. It was a great KO and an explosive performance which has resulted in his being chosen as the poster boy for this new brand and fighting concept.”
Head of Rules and Officials Lee Hasdell added: “You don’t see kicks and technique like this in MMA. When we release the fight footage of that kick, it’s going to go viral.”
Professional commentator Malcolm Martin described the event as an excellent start for a fresh new concept with some great people on board. “It’s easy sometimes to forget that Regis is still so young but he puts many grown men to shame with his ability, manner and maturity,” he said. “The finish to his fight was explosive and clinical and his attitude after the win was everything you’d expect from a Sugden.”