MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: AT the end of a week in which MMA's reputation was set back by a Lancashire promoter's decision to allow two children to take part in a grappling match inside a cage, the sport's reputation mercifully reached a new high in Scotland as more than 1000 people watched an incredible card of fights at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall.
The venue has played host to a string of great boxing encounters down the years, but the first MMA event to grace the hall will live long in the memory.
On Top 3 saw two title belts awarded to foreign stars, one fight ended by a freak injury sustained during the first strike of the match and the welterweight division turned on its head as Scotland’s top two clashed.
The lightweight title was on the line in the now familiar four-man tournament format where Greenock fighter Bobby McVitie easily finished opponent Scott Jansen by guillotine choke in under 30 seconds in the first semi-final.
The second semi-final ended even quicker, but in bizarre circumstances. Muay Thai specialist Sean Wright threw a brutal low kick after 13 seconds, only for it to be successfully checked by French opponent Mamour Fall.
As shin met shin, Wright’s leg broke under the impact, handing Fall a TKO win without having thrown a single strike of his own.
McVitie and Fall were both fresh for the final later in the night, and the Frenchman did enough over three rounds to take a decision win and claim the belt.
The bantamweight title was also on the line with Lanark star James Doolan the favourite ahead of his clash with undefeated Spanish sensation David Aranda.
It was felt that Doolan would be a huge step up in competition for Aranda, who had won all of his previous professional fights by first round submission.
Doolan had the better of the second and thirds rounds, but Aranda’s impressive ground skills helped him finally catch Doolan in a rear naked choke in the fourth round, meaning that all of Scottish promotion On Top’s champions to date hail from foreign shores.
The highly anticipated match between John Quinn, Scotland’s top-ranked welterweight, and Steven Ray, number two in the rankings, saw Fifer Ray enter the cage in typically animated fashion.
The stare down between the fighters had the crowd on their feet and it was the more aggressive Ray who won the right to face champion Niko Musoke for the title at On Top 4 when he knocked out Quinn in little over a minute, stealing Quinn’s number one ranking in the process.
Heavyweight Rab Truesdale chalked up another win to remain undefeated, coming back from a first round beating at the hands of debutante Kris Gordon.
Truesdale, representing Hostile Territory in Alloa, found a second wind before taking Gordon’s back, laying on some heavy ground and pound and forcing referee Marc Goddard to step in.
At the opposite end of the weight scale, flyweight star Brian Hyslop made short work of Sham Haque to keep his flawless record intact.
There was a massive shock as Dumbarton striker John Cullen was knocked out by Olivier Pastor in the first round.
And charismatic featherweight Doni Miller won plaudits for his brilliant submission victory over Souk Kampasath.
The event was streamed live over the internet and can still be viewed for free at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/on-top-3
Tournament semi-final: Bobby McVitie defeated Scott Jansen by submission (guillotine choke) in first round.
Tournament semi-final: Mamour Fall defeated Sean Wright by TKO in first round.
Tournament final for Lightweight title: Mamour Fall defeated Bobby McVitie by majority decision.
Bantamweight title fight: David Aranda defeated James Doolan by submission (rear naked choke) in fourth round.
Welterweight bout: Steven Ray defeated John Quinn by knockout in first round.
Flyweight bout: Brian Hyslop defeated Sham Haque by TKO in first round.
Featherweight bout: Olivier Pastor defeated John Cullen by knockout in first round.
Lightweight bout: Martin Delaney defeated Alex Dallacosta by TKO in second round.
Welterweight bout: Alan Johnston defeated Chris Carmichael by submission (guillotine choke) in first round.
Heavyweight bout: Rab Truesdale defeated Kris Gordon by TKO in second round.
Featherweight bout: Doni Miller defeated Souk Kampasath by submission (triangle choke) in first round.
73kg catchweight bout: Adam Stevenson defeated Michael Doyle by submission (armbar) in first round.