Brian Hyslop won Scotland’s first-ever flyweight bout by unanimous decision in an exciting encounter with Darren Gilchrist.
In one of many good fights at Sportfight Scotland 13, pro debutant Hyslop and formerly 1-0 Gilchrist fought an action-packed, predominantly ground-based battle.
Hyslop had a clear advantage in the takedown department and used that to control where the fight took place. The first round clearly went his way as he controlled from top position in Gilchrist’s guard, despite not landing many significant blows.
The second round arguably went to Gilchrist. Although it began similarly to the first, Gilchrist managed to sweep Hyslop and gain top position himself. Towards the end of the round he gained full mount and was looking for a rear-naked choke with books hooks in towards the end of the round, until Hyslop managed to escape with seconds remaining.
The third round mirrored the first, with Hyslop taking his opponent down and unloading a little more, although neither fighter was rocked throughout. After this good victory Hyslop moves on to fight Barry McGuigan at On Top 2 on the 18th of June. Speaking on the Scottish Fighting Breakdown Show podcast, Hyslop said he was very happy to get the win and looking forward to seeing the flyweight division flourish.
The opposite end of MMA weight classes was also on display as Rab Truesdale and Tam Watson fought an entertaining back-and-forth brawl for the full 15 minutes. Watson’s international wrestling pedigree allowed him to take Truesdale to the mat at will, but Truesdale was able to find his feet again on several occasions and nearly finished the fight with huge blows in the third round. In a rare occurrence, the crowd mostly agreed with the judges who awarded the fight a majority draw. Both fighters are keen to rematch at some stage in the future and find a conclusive winner.
From a technical standpoint the fight-of-the-night was Garry Ward against Adam Stevenson. The first round was very close, with Stevenson stalking the much taller Ward but not being able to land any significant blows. Ward used his long range in the second round to execute some good jabs, and the fight was relatively even going into the third round. The last round then exploded as Ward landed a good shot or two before Stevenson brought it to the mat, where a vicious upward elbow from Ward cut Stevenson so badly the fight was rightly stopped.
Post-fight, Ward said: “You saw the real Garry Ward tonight. I don’t want to make excuses about the Armstrong fight [at On Top 1], but that was the real me.”
Stevenson was very active throughout and took the fight at shot notice, but Ward looked very dangerous in only his second pro fight. If he continues to improve as much as this in each of his fights he will be challenging Scotland’s best at lightweight in due course.
In the main event, hometown boy Martin Delaney thrilled the crowd, tearing Ireland’s Stephen Kingsbury apart in 38 seconds. Delaney came out firing, using his Judo background to throw his opponent to the floor, pepper him with swift and powerful shots before locking in the rear-naked choke.
The pick of the undercard was Lukasz Szarafiniak’s deadly accurate spinning back fist KO against Scott Flynn. The fight had been fairly even until Headhunters member Szarafiniak sent his opponent straight to the canvas.
Sportfight Scotland’s 13th event had plenty of competitive and exciting fights. Many of the professional fighters showed they have real talent at the moment, but the most exciting development at Sportfight was fighters like Delaney, Hyslop, Ward, Truesdale and Gilchrist showing how much potential they have, given that their careers are just beginning.
Martin Delaney beat Stephen Kingsbury by submission (rear naked choke) in round one.
Rab Truesdale and Tam Watson fought to a majority draw.
Brian Hyslop defeated Darren Gilchrist by unanimous decision.
Gary Ward beat Adam Stevenson by referee stoppage (cut) in round three.
Alan Johnson beat Josh Dilcock by submission (kimura) in round one.
Sean Epton defeated Dan Wilson by unanimous decision.
John Paul Grace beat Richard Shore by submission (armbar) in round one.
William McCurdy defeated David Mackie by submission (armbar) in round one.
Nathan Wilson beat Sean Swailes by submission (guillotine) in round two.
Lukaz Szarafiniak defeated Scott Flynn by KO (spinning back fist) in round two.
Charlie McLean beat Robin Montgomery by TKO (knees) in round one.