UFC Fight Night 46 went down last night (Sat. July 19, 2014) and provided fans in the 02 Arena, Dublin, Ireland with a near seamless evening of exciting action. The home soil fighters stayed perfect, and the fans blew the roof off the venue to show support for their boys. With such an action packed event, there are a number of points that prevail.
Straight Blast Gym is for real
SBG is the home of ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor, Gunnar Nelson, Patrick ‘Hooligan’ Holohan and Cathal Pendrad, and last night showed that John Kavanagh and his team in Dublin, Ireland are destined for big things. The unorthodox style that fighters from the SBG clan bring is hard to handle and the team shined on home turf at Fight Night 46.
Could this be the rise of the next camp of champions? Gyms in the old days such as The Lion’s Den, Miletich Martial Arts, The Gracies, and Chute Box exploded on the scene of the old school. Modern day top level gyms such as Greg Jackson’s MMA, Tristar, ATT, AKA and The Blackzilians produce seemingly endless talents. Although not quite up to the level of the aforementioned gyms, it really is hard to deny the legitimacy of SBG after last night.
Ladies and gentlemen, Conor McGregor
The hype surrounding Conor McGregor’s rise through the ranks is surely gaining momentum, and last night answered a lot of questions about the young Irish phenom. Fans questioned the recent performance against Max Holloway, although he dominated through injury, and also whether his performance against Marcus Brimage was a one-off.
Diego Brandao is far from a title calibre fighter, but he is a dangerous former TUF winner who has more grappling experience than ‘The Notorious’. Add in that McGregor had all the pressure of an entire home country on his shoulders, and just about every MMA fan with a TV watching him. He showed us that he can handle pressure, get the finish when it counts, and primarily that he is ready for a top 10 opponent.
Irish fans are awesome
From the first fight of the evening, to the last punch landed on Diego Brandao’s nugget, the Irish fans in the 02 Arena, Dublin were absolutely electric. I honestly can’t recall hearing a crowd go so crazy at an MMA event, not even in Brazil when Jose Aldo knocked out Chad Mendes at UFC 142. Not only that, the Irish fans in attendence were respectful and educated.
No boos or jeers in sight, and an all round feeling of good sportsmanship and support were shown by the crowd, and reflected in the actions of McGregor as he commiserated ‘DB’ in the wake of his landmark win. Expect more regular visits to the Emerald Isles, thanks in a big part to the fiery Celtic contingency at last night’s UFC Fight Night 46.