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“This one’s for you Wales” – how UFC history was made

ULTIMATE Fighting Championship history was made over the weekend, with the first fighters from Wales winning their debut bouts.

As we reported last week, UFC is a mixed martial arts cage fight where contestants are matched by weight, they enter an eight-sided cage called the Octagon and have to defeat their opponents by knockout, submission or judges’ decision.

Fights are shown around the world and audiences for the biggest fights number in the millions. UFC is known for its bloody action and minimal rules.

Jack “Hammer” Marshman and Brett “The Pikey” Johns entered the Octagon in Belfast, Northern Ireland at Fight Night 99, but neither had an easy first fight.

Wales go 2-0 in the UFC ??? #TeamMarshman #TeamJohns

A photo posted by Brett Johns (@brettjohnsmma) on

Johns’ excitement was clear as he entered the arena screaming “Come on!” before facing off against South Korea’s Kwan Ho Kwak.

Johns had a height and reach advantage over his opponent which he used to great effect as he pinned Kwak against the side of the Octagon.

Using his arsenal of Judo moves, Johns slammed Kwak repeatedly into the floor, dominating the first round.

At the start of the second round, Johns’ ran into the centre, leading with an uppercut, leaving Kwak looking shaken.

Sending a knee into the South Korean’s chest, Johns showed that surprise truly is an art form with feints that caught Kwak off guard.

By the end of the round, Kwak struggled to his feet but came back hard in the third with a flurry of punches.

With a well-timed grab, Johns had it all back on his terms, slamming Kwak down again and again.

An exhausted-looking Johns was declared the winner by judges’ decision and in his post-match interview he asked for “someone a bit easier next time”.

This ones for you wales 🙂 ??? #Wales #Swansea #Pontarddulais #UFC #UFCFightNight99 #ufcfighter

A photo posted by Brett Johns (@brettjohnsmma) on

Marshman entered the arena draped in a Welsh flag, shaking fans’ hands on the way round. He looked a lot calmer than Johns.

Sweden’s Magnus Cedenblad, Marshman’s opponent, dominated the first round circling the Welshman for some time before leading with a high kick to the head.

Cedenblad fell as Marshman landed a powerful left hook to the side of the Swede’s head before quickly scrambling on top of the Welshman.

Pinned against the cage, Marshman struggled to his feet but was quickly taken down again.

Protecting his face, Marshman struggled for the rest of the round to keep up his guard and avoid blows to his bloodied face.

Going into the second round, Marshman looked tired but managed to dodge Cedenblad’s kicks.

Cedenblad failed to use his increased height and reach over Marshman to his advantage, stepping in too close and receiving multiple hits in return.

With an overhand right Marshman managed to daze Cedenblad, but was quickly pulled down against the cage.

This time Marshman managed to get himself back on his feet.

Pushing Cedenblad against the side, he knocked him to the ground with one powerful punch.

Marshman rained down blow after blow, climbing on top to finish Cedenblad with hammer fists.

The judges declared a bloodied and exhausted Marshman the winner by knockout.

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