For the final bout of the night, fight fans were treated to the main event which promised to be packed full of unadulterated violence. Azi Thomas of HAMMA Academy of MMA, took on late stand-in for Emrah Sonmez and Bellator regular, Jeremy Petley of GBTT, for the Contenders Featherweight Championship.
I was fortunate enough to have a quick chat with Azi, in the build up to his war with Petley for the Contenders31 main event.
Appreciate you taking the time to speak to me mate, how are you feeling in the build up to your championship bout?
“I feel good, can’t wait to fight. Looking forward to it now, I got the hand grenade with me and he’s been coaching me all week to work on certain moves you’re gonna be seeing tonight.”
In regards to your training in fight camp, how was it for you?
“Well I went on the p*** for a stag do about two weeks ago, that was pretty good and yeah sparing has been going really well at HAMMA aswell.”
Jeremy was a last minute stand-in, in the build up to your Featherweight title aspirations here at Contenders31, have you taken some time to study your opponent?
“Yeah, he’s a very good dancer, wrestler and he’s gonna come and bring it tonight, but he’s gonna get KO’D.”
A main event of epic proportions was promised and Contenders delivered in unbelievable fashion. Five, five minute rounds were set for this blockbuster and all five were needed, both fighters showing amazing composure in the place they have spent many years of their illustrious careers. Despite a valiant effort shown by Thomas, the night and the Featherweight title went to Petley. Both were worthy of the standing ovation they received at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
For the all out brawl we saw on Saturday night, in my opinion it would be the ultimate fight to make again. Despite the loss, Thomas showed he was exactly where he was supposed to be, centre stage, main event. Will we see this one brought back? Only time will tell, keep a close eye for this one in future announcements by Contenders, it’s definitely a war you’d not want to miss.