THE world’s fastest-growing Muay Thai promotion resumes UK action this weekend with a bang following a five-month hiatus. The Muay Thai Grand Prix touches back down in London on Saturday night for a stacked card at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
And it’s set to be an incredible night of fights in South London. Topping the bill is the eagerly-anticipated final of the MTGP ONE Championship tournament. Eight of the world’s best 65kg fighters battled it out last year for the opportunity to win a life-changing six-figure contract with ONE. Craig Coakley and Nathan Bendon are the last men standing and will duke it out to earn themselves a spot on the roster of the fastest-growing martial arts promotion in the world.
Ireland’s Coakley, 30, booked his spot in the semis with a decision win over Sweden’s Kim Falk. And he earned his place in the life-changing final with a brutal second-round KO of Natty Dodds – which came courtesy of a picture-perfect elbow. Bendon, meanwhile, earned his spot in the final with wins over George Mouzaktitis and Mathias Phountoucos. The clash between Coakley and Bendon is one of FIVE special rules bouts – which will see the competitors compete in four-ounce gloves.
MTGP gold will also be on the line when Zambian-born Brit Charles Sikwa faces ‘Dangerous’ Darren Anstey for the 85kg world title. Standouts from Team Tieu – one of the UK’s best gyms – will also be in action on the mouthwatering card. Brit Liam Patel will throw down with Brazilian Harllem Igor. Georges-Remy Salomon also features on the card, locking horns with Prince Owuh. Welsh ‘Hurricane’ Elena Cresci will battle it out with Eleanor Fellows for the vacant MTGP 50kg British title. And Mo Abdurahman will make his Team Tieu bow against Romania’s Mihail Costandoi.
MTGP founder and CEO Philip Tieu is, understandably, looking forward to what promises to be yet another exciting event for the promotion.
He told SunSport: “I’m so excited to have one of the biggest domestic fights in the UK to ever happen in a long time. And to make it extra special, it will be in 4oz gloves and [have] a six-figure contract on the line. It’s not often we see two top UK fighters fight in 4oz gloves!