Team EPIC Continued a November to remember as several of our members stepped inside the Total Valour (TV) ring in front of 250+ people.
The Total Valour 3 crowd were noisy even though the numbers weren’t as high as the previous ‘TV2’ audience which was believed to be in the region of 300-400. The home fighters filled most of the ring-side tables and the support behind them was deafening at times.
The fighting opened up with several back to back fights with EPIC students. First of all Harrison Doyle stepped into the ring against experienced Storm fighter Igor Krygier. The fight opened up well from the start with neither fighter scoring any decisive techniques in the early exchanges. A lovely two-punch and roundhouse kick combination landed for the home fighter which got the crowd going. However with slick movement and stronger landing combinations Krygier was up at the interval. The second round Doyle started better and set up an interesting first 30 seconds before the intensity wore off and the Storm fighter did enough to claim the win.
Next up was Jess Andrews who took on the Nemesis club fighter Lailah Hanif. The bout started with the usual pleasantries but with a stare of intent from the taller Hanif. After final words from the coaches either side referee Lloyd Allen started the fight. Hanif was on Andrews in a flash with an array of kicking ability on show but Andrews covered up well early on. She found herself a few points down due to head kicks and a couple of combinations in the first minute of the fight before Andrews settled and fought back. Three times Andrews had Hanif pinned in the corner of the ring while she rained punches down on her. The round ended narrowly with Hanif up. The second round was more of the same, with the points talley going to the away fighter by a unanimous 1-point margin. What a close fight! There could have been another swing to this one as much of the home crowd and coaches felt that the 5-times that Hanif’s gum shield came out was excessive and should have carried a penalty but referee Lloyd Allen took no action.
The third fight saw Dylan Hunt fight JBS fighter Cjay Jackson. The action in this fight was fairly one sided with plenty of strikes landing from Hunt as he racked up the points with further kicks to the head to be comfortably ahead after the first round. The second round was more of the same as Hunt continued to dominate his opponent. He moved well and threw crisp combinations in front of the cheering crowd, with a roar every time a head kick landed. Lloyd Allen lifted the home fighters hand and one final roar of approval from the home fans greeted the lifting of the trophy.
The beautiful young Teia Doyle stepped into the ring next against JBS fighter Chelsie Bates after Bates’ opponent pulled out at the last minute. This was a great fight and one that the crowd was in awe off for more than one reason. Not only did both girls put their heart and soul into the fight but they are both small, cute and only 7 or 8 years of age. With both fighters throwing lots of combinations the straight punches were what were landing more and Doyle was throwing more straights compared to Bates’ preference to kick first. This was what gave her a slender lead at the interval. The second round was Teia’s comfortably as she showed little sign of fatigue and the pace didn’t drop at all. The referee lifted her hands up to the delight of the home crowd.
For the fifth straight fight EPIC were present in the ring. The home fighter represented everything that was good about martial arts and the youngest ever fighter to step in the total valour ring to date. 6 1/2 year old Harvey Pollard stepped up to the plate and did his very best despite only beginning continuous training 6 weeks before. Both fighters threw lots of punches, a lot didn’t land but those that did brought roars of approval from the crowd as both fighters poured everything they had into this bout. Pollard’s opponent was JBS fighter Fred Stokes, who brought with him a talent for kicking and slightly slicker combinations that his younger opponent. The first round was Stokes’ but not by much. The second round was a close affair with the judges scoring the victory to the older boy, but a great effort and entertaining fight from both fighters.
Fight 6 saw EPIC’s Dean Andrews win by the first TKO of the night. He rained slick combinations and high kicks down on his opponent, which during round 2 was just too much. Storm fighter Adam Devet was unable to carry on and referee Lloyd Allen called a halt to the action with over a minute to go. The perfect combination of Jab, cross, Jab, round kick landed time and time again, scoring points at every attack. The points difference at the break was healthy in Andrews’ favour and would have taken a serious turn around in round 2 to have not resulted in a home victory.
A couple of fights went by before the co-main event which was none other than world champion Kameron Doyle against Welsh champion Liam Cross from Storm. The fighters both came out to great songs, pumping the crowd up for the spectacle that was about to unfold. Both fighters were up for the fight as the gloves touched in respect before the bell went to signify the start of the action. Doyle was first to go, striking his opponent with a solid 3 strike combo before ending it with a round kick that thudded into Cross’ guard as a sign on intent. Cross threw a few combinations before Doyle landed a sickening head kick that downed his opponent for a 7-count. Doyle dominated the fight totally from there on, almost KO-ing his opponent with a spinning hook kick and landing so many punches that he was easily up at the break. The second round started much the same as the first round ended. Doyle landing more shooting techniques as the fight grew more into the Kam Doyle show second by second. After a jumping back kick landed into Cross’ guard and a sweep took the Welshman to the ground, Doyle was looking to wow the home crowd by ending the fight before the final bell. After a slick punching combination landed, Cross threw the towel in to avoid further punishment and the winner by TKO celebrated in front of the home crowd and a pulsating atmosphere was across the venue.
After the interval it was the ladies turn as Grainne Quinn took on Body Focus’ Emma Sheppard in a 2×2 minute boxing bout. The match was met with a ground-shaking noise from the TV3 crowd. Both fighters put everything into round one with two and three punch combinations landing from both sides. Quinn was moving better than Sheppard but Sheppard was hitting harder in round one where the score was so close at the interval that you cut the tension with a knife. The second round saw the fighters tire and a lot of the round was littered with the ladies coming together and hitting each other equally with shots, with the odd sickening strike to the face from both fighters. The final score was a split decision win in Quinn’s favour.
Next up for EPIC was Lloyd Brown against Simon Harrison from the highly regarded Jamie Woodlands Black Belt Academy. The first round was all Harrison as he littered his smaller opponent with combinations left, right and centre as the experience counted. Brown had a late flurry in the first round as he took the fight back to Harrison. The round was up in the away fighters favour. The second round was an identical version of the first round. The final decision was in the JWBBA fighters favour but now Brown has the experience in the ring he has vowed to come back stronger next time and is going to hunt for victory in the ring.
Luke Coombes was next up to fight, in his first ring bout as he left the home crowd buzzing with an opening exchange with opponent Paul Smith from Fighting Fit gym. The fight night atmosphere was electric as the two fighters shared slick-strike combinations and a mutual level of contact. The fight went on to be one of the more entertaining on the night and the two fighters had a lot of skill on show. The first round was very close in the FF fighters favour. The second round was just as entertaining, with the action running strong right up until the buzzer. Both of the fighters landed shots and both were taking hits in their stride. The final result was unanimously but only just in the favour of Smith.
The final fighter to represent EPIC on the night was fan favourite Rakan Sabbah. Sabbah, who won at Total Valour 2 back in May stepped into the ring for the second time in 6 months and opened up his account for the night by flying at his opponent. The early part of the first round was an even affair but Sabbah soon showed his attacking prowess as wave after wave of ‘Palestinian power’ combos landed from the Jordanian fighter. Sabbah won the first round and dominated the second round by hitting his opponent Guy Trotman all around the ring, scoring a lot of points. The crowd went wild as his hand was lifted in a unanimous decision to claim his second win in two ring bouts. A great victory for the warrior who always believes.
The night had one fight remaining which was the main event. The heavyweights battled out a skilled and heavy hitting bout which ultimately unanimously went in the favour of fighting fit warrior Reece Phillips over Adam Drescher of JWBBA.
A great nights action, Total Valour 4 will take place on February 25th 2017.