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The University of Bristol and the University of the West of England created history on Tuesday night in the Anson rooms as the first MMA fight night took place.

In front of a big crowd, UoB came out on top overall against rivals UWE in a Varsity fixture that covered three different sports. Kickboxing, Taekwondo and Muay Thai were all on show as the best fighters from the two universities put on a spectacle of fighting talent.

Muay Thai was the category which got us under way. First up was Angus Robinson from Bristol against Joe McGovern from UWE. It was a close and exhilarating bout to start off proceedings, but you sensed that the UoB man had the better of his counter-part from the early stages.

So it proved and Robinson went on to win – a great start in front of a lively home crowd. The next fight staged Taekwondo and was fought between two UoB students. Dan Connelly was the eventual winner in which the crowd was shown some incredible athleticism through their kicking impressive techniques.

It was then the girls’ turn and it was another UoB against UoB fixture. Both of the fighters demonstrated great speed in this kickboxing contest, with Chloe finishing the eventual winner as the second round came to a close.

It was then back onto Muay Thai in the boys category and big blows were landed throughout. The fighter from the University of Bristol, cheered on by the crowd, overcame the setback of being put on the floor early on as the fight ended in a draw.


Victoria Turner was next up for UoB in kickboxing. In the second round she landed a strong right kick to the face of the UWE fighter, but unfortunately for her it was not quite enough to win the fight as it finished in another draw.

The next fight saw one of the heavier categories of fighting take place and it lived up to all expectation. The UoB fighter, in the blue corner, was a fighter who weighed over 100 kg, whilst UWE was no slouch either.

It turned out to be a non-contest as the UoB fighter outshone his opponent and knocked him to the floor within the opening exchanges – a fine showcasing of power and skill.

The next bout saw UWE taken on by UoB’s top Taekwondo fighter, and the best fighter for that category in the country. Despite the UoB fighter being twice left on the floor, he fought his way back into the bout and won.

It was then the girls’ turn again and it was another victory for UoB as Annie, who was performing for the second time in the evening, overcame the challenge of a stubborn UWE fighter.

UoB went on to secure the next win too, this time in the men’s Taekwondo category. Matt from UoB showed outstanding speed and skill to out point the UWE fighter on the judge’s cards. It was, nonetheless, a valiant effort from the UWE man who came away with several cuts on his face.

UWE went on to take the final two fights of the contest. The first came in Taekwondo, in which both fighters had their opposition number on the floor and ended in another judge’s decision.

A show of great sportsmanship was on the cards for the crowd in the final fight. The two kickboxing fighters put on a fantastic fight, with UWE having the upper hand from the start.

After the defeat of the home fighter, the two contestants walked around the ring with arms over each other’s shoulders. It was a hair raising moment and a fitting way to cap off a remarkable event and another victory for Bristol.


Get involved in Varsity by using the hashtag #WeAreBristol

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