This Saturday the Cage Warriors Academy Ireland hits Belfast, featuring two Academy tournament semi-final match ups.
The first of the semi-final bouts sees Irish fighter Caolan Loughran take on Nathan Fletcher from England.
Caolan Loughran is the 8th ranked amateur bantamweight in the UK and Ireland and boasts an impressive 6-1 record. He comes in on a 3-fight win streak, winning the Clan Wars bantamweight title in his last fight by beating Micky Doran via a unanimous decision.
Loughran trains out of Konfliction MMA and carries the nickname “The Don” which represents his very confident and sometimes flashy fighting style. With 4 of his 6 wins coming via TKO finish, Caolan Loughran is always looking for a way to finish his opponents, whether it be on the feet or on the ground.
His opponent Nathan Fletcher is the 16th ranked bantamweight in the UK and Ireland and carries a 4-1 record. He comes into this fight following a submission loss to Richard Kallos in the 5th round.
Fletcher trains out of Next Generation MMA Liverpool, a gym that has found great success in Cage Warriors. His training at Next Generation MMA is reflected in his record as he holds wins via TKO, triangle choke and rear naked choke.
Both fighters are comfortable in all areas of the fight and use this quality to look for ways to finish their opponents, with neither wanting to leave it in the hands of the judges.
The second fight features flyweights Ciaran Mulholland from Ireland and Francis Breen from England.
Ciaran Mulholland has a record of 7-6, with a variety of finishes on his resume. He holds wins via guillotine choke, triangle choke, TKO and 2 finishes by rear naked choke and armbar.
His nickname “The Dark Horse” tells you all you need to know about Mulholland who refuses to be counted out in a fight. He trains out of the Belfast Martial Arts Academy and is ranked 34th in the UK and Ireland when fighting at flyweight.
He meets Francis Breen who similar to Nathan Fletcher, trains at Next Generation MMA Liverpool. His amateur record stands at 4-1 with 2 finishes, 1 via guillotine and 1 first round KO via flying knee.
Breen is the 19th ranked flyweight in the UK and Ireland and comes into the fight following a unanimous decision win over Sion Davies.
Both fighters offer varied offence that can come into play at any point in the fight. They both have the ability to find a finish in any situation so even the slightest mistake could cost a fighter in this upcoming semi-final bout.
These crucial semi-final match ups take place Saturday night at the Devenish Complex in Belfast with the first fight scheduled for 6pm.
All words by Kyle Dimond.