Fight Preview: Immortal Fighting Championship 5
There’s a stacked MMA card on offer Saturday night at the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny as the Immortal Fighting Championships rolls into town with its fifth event. Thirty-two fighters are representing twelve clubs from all over Ireland. JOE caught up with the main-eventers, local man Steve Coll and Bushmill’s own, Norman Parke.
By Fergus Ryan
The main event at Immortal Fighting Championships features the shining light of Ireland’s lightweight division and a man more than qualified to take that crown should he win on Saturday.
Steve Coll might be a new name for some, but he comes into the bout with Norman Parke boasting a fine combat sports pedigree. With a two and half year amateur boxing career backed up with a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Coll and is a former MMA League divisional winner and represents a stern test for Parke.
Coll has had three different names in front of him for the fight on Saturday. After Martin Begley pulled out due to injury, Ali Maclean of The Ultimate Fighter season 15 fame stepped in. When word circulated on the MMA circuit of an injury to Maclean, Parke contacted promoter Conor Cassidy to offer his services.
The rotating cast of opponents hasn’t phased Coll. He told JOE “I haven’t changed how I’ve trained to be honest, but naturally I’ve changed how I’d approach the fight as different fighters have different strengths. Norman is probably the most complete fighter I’ve faced, so tactically it’ll be different to a Begley or Maclean fight”.
In addition to the change in opponent there may be some added pressure being from a Letterkenny club, but Coll doesn’t see it that way.
“I’ve fought at Immortal before in Letterkenny so I’m used to the home town crowd. If anything it’s great to have the local support.”
In addition to training with Brian Coyle and his team mates at Rillion Gracie, Coll wanted to thank Paul Gallagher (Physical Therapist), Paddy McConigley (cornerman), Powering Through (Strength & Conditioning) and the Lemontree Restaurant (sponsorship) for their help during training.
Parke is the Cage Contender lightweight champion and for many years has been tipped as an Irish MMA fighter who could make a go of it in the US. “I had been training away for a trip to the States and a fight over there, but that fight got shelved and then I heard Ali might be injured, so I gave Conor a shout. I’d know him personally and just said look, I’m available.”
Taking a fight at short notice shouldn’t be a problem for Parke, who usually stays in good condition. “I’ve just to lose a few more kilos to make the weight and that should be no bother. I prefer to use a hot bath and epsom salts rather than the sauna. I find it works quicker for my body and it’s not as claustrophobic.”
Parke will get his chance to shine in the US during the summer in a fight against UFC vet Marcus Aurelio. “I head to the US on Wednesday so its perfect timing to get a fight in and then head to the US sharp for training for my next fight in Las Vegas in July.” Parke wanted to thank his management at KO Dynasty, Rodney Moore and all his training partners at Next Generation and his fiancée, Amanda, for all their support during his career.
There are some tickets left at €25 and these can be bought from the Clanree Hotel or promoter Conor Cassidy on 0044 784 269 6675. Doors open at 6.30pm with the first fight scheduled for 7.30pm.
- Stephen Coll (Rillion Gracie) V Norman Parke (Next Generation)
- Tommy McCafferty (LKKB) V Stuart Davies (England )
- Richard Gorey (Pedro Bessa) V Tom Sullivan (Spirit MMA)
- Hugh Harris (Spirit MMA) V Paddy Mc Bride (Rillion Gracie)
- Bryan Gorman (Fighting Fit) V Chris Boujard (Team Ryano)
- Luke O’Neill (Red Dragon) V Rickey Morrision (Evolve)
- Robbie Byrne (Team Ryano) V Ciaran Barr (Immortal)
- Ciaran Mc Fadden (Rillion Gracie) V Denis Perry (Immortal)
- Niall Molly (Team Ryano) V Aaron Devlin (Immortal)
- Emmett Toland V Luke Mc Andrews Evolve (Immortal)
- Paddy Walsh (Milford JJ) V Barry McCrossan (Immortal)
- Geard Mc Meninem (Immortal) V Niall Smyth (Red Dragon)
- Ryan Russell (Rillion Gracie) V Ikthar Asmatulayer (Spirit MMA)
- Marcus Monanagh Fighting Fit) V Ken Smith (Red Dragon)
- Ronan Mc Grinder (Immortal) V Paul Higgins (Red Dragon)
- Vinny Ferry (Milford JJ) V Mark Walker (Red Dragon)
The above card may be subject to change.