MMA octagon in the GL1 facility in Gloucester.
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MMA promotion Battle Arena 64 makes debut in Gloucester, main event cancelled

MMA organisation Battle Arena marked its debut in Gloucester with a largely successful outing in spite of the cancellation of the main event.

Battle Arena 64, which took place on Saturday night, saw 11 fights hosted at Gloucester’s GL1 Leisure centre in front of a packed-out crowd.

The main event was due to be headlined by the contest of Josh Neale vs. Johnny Bryant, but Neale missed weight by 1.9kg and refused to try and lose the weight despite being given a two-hour window at the weigh-in.

The 77kg contest between Jack Woodard and Kieran Williams took its place, which Williams won via decision marking just the second fight to do so of the night.

“I’m an international grappler by trade,” said Tom Nicholas, one of 9 fighters to earn a finish that evening. But I’m here to show these middleweights that I have striking too, and I have f*****g power.”

It was a mixed bag for Gloucestershire’s local fighters with Top Team Gloucester’s Frankie Mercer and Dominik Baniowski enjoying victories, but also saw a loss for Benjamin McIvor.

The organisation has been billed as Europe’s premiere amateur MMA organisation with shows previously in the likes of Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Leicester but has never featured in Gloucester before Saturday night.

The GL1 Leisure centre in Gloucester – usually used to hosting basketball and swimming – was transformed by the Battle Arena events team with the inclusion of an octagon, interview area, VIP seating, commentary booth and all the broadcast equipment.

The event was also livestreamed online as a pay-per-view broadcast for £9.99.  

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