1. ITV Report

Liverpool's Lawrence Fitzpatrick overcomes the odds to beat MMA veteran

Lawrence Fitzpatrick submits veteran MMA superstar 'Felony' Charles Bennett Photo: SG Fight Photography

In what was arguably his biggest test to date Liverpool’s Lawrence Fitzpatrick won his highly anticipated bout with veteran American MMA fighter Charles ‘Felony’ Bennett at the third installation of Tanko Fighting Championships at The Victoria Warehouse, yesterday evening.

Although the Florida native formally known as ‘Krazy Horse’ had the clear advantage with experience having had over 60 fights, Fitzpatrick was able to control the fight and submit Bennett with a rear naked choke in the latter stages of the opening round.

Infamous for being an eccentric showman, Bennett documented his arrival to the UK in a YouTube video, touring Manchester wearing a Manchester United scarf seemingly as a way to wind up Fitzpatrick. Despite this, Fitzpatrick was able to keep calm in the cage and won decisively, taking his MMA record to 5 wins and 0 losses or draws.

Speaking to post fight, Fitzpatrick confirmed he didn’t think the fight would happen:

I literally did my whole camp thinking I’ll just get a match with someone [else] last minute. My mate tagged me on Instagram of a picture of [Bennett] coming over on a plane. I seen pictures of him with a Man United scarf, so he’s here.

The gameplan was to keep it standing. I wasn’t expecting him to shoot so that was a bit unexpected so that’s when I let my ground game go.

It’s given me the chance to improve and mature as a fighter now I’ve had the experience to fight someone like that- I’ve been watching him for years.

– Lawrence Fitzpatrick
Mokaev hits home with a front kick. Credit: SG Fight Photography

In other action, 16-year-old Muhammad Mokaev was crowned the inaugural ‘Tanko FC Amateur Flyweight’ champion after forcing the fight to go to a decision. The teenage wonderkid won via unanimous decision after a gritty ground-based battle with Southport’s Liam Gittins. Mokaev, originally from Dagestan, trains with the Wigan based Team Kaobon.

After the win, he spoke about his tough upbringing in Dagestan:

Mokaev celebrates with the new Tanko FC Amateur Flyweight belt. Credit: SG Fight Photography

After the win, he spoke about his tough upbringing in Dagestan:

Thank you everyone who came to support me here in Manchester. I come from a very dangerous place called Dagestan, South Russia where there’s about 15 fighters in the UFC. We have a really tough life over there, some people survive and some people don’t and you fight and wrestle on the streets- no mats, no nothing.

– Muhammad Mokaev
Mokaev after the fight with the new belt. Credit: Jam Williams-Thomas