WATCH: ‘I’m going to the top!’ insists Steve Owens

Keith O'Rulligan and Gracjen Drezwski lock horns during the 66kg fight at Saturday night's MMA Real Fighting Championship at the Foyle Arena. DER3816MC029
Keith O'Rulligan and Gracjen Drezwski lock horns during the 66kg fight at Saturday night's MMA Real Fighting Championship at the Foyle Arena. DER3816MC029

STEVE Owens would’ve been forgiven for taking his eye off the prize having been tasked with co-promoting, match-making and headlining the hugely successful ‘Real Fighting Championship’ at the Foyle Arena last Saturday night.

It was a brave move for the SBG member who was making his professional debut in the Octagon against a formidable opponent in Keith ‘The Butcher’ McCabe from rival Dublin club, Team Ryano.

He also had to deal with the disruption and stress of two of his opponents pulling out at late notice on top of the chaotic build-up to fight night.

But he’s never been a man to shirk a challenge and met this one head-on, delivering a spectacular first round TKO of his opponent to make a significant statement in the pro MMA ranks.

He’s certainly got a bright future in the fight industry and he showed he’s improved his all-round game on his way to a richly deserved victory in front of SBG Head Coach, John Kavanagh and former UFC star, Paddy “The Hooligan’ Holohan and over 1,000 fight fans.

“It’s been a crazy few days with my opponent pulling out in the week of the fight and with the stress of promoting. But that feels nice to get a first round TKO” said Owens who believes he can become a household name in the MMA world.

Steve Owens who defeated  Keith McCabe in his professional MMA debut at the Foyle Arena on Saturday night.

Steve Owens who defeated Keith McCabe in his professional MMA debut at the Foyle Arena on Saturday night.

“A lot of people were saying I’m a striker and will want to stay on my feet but I can grapple and wrestle.

“I’m a top class fighter. I’m going to the top,” he said defiantly.

“It was a great show and I’m on to bigger and better things now.

“It’s great to have the spotlight in Derry. There’s great fans and we’re looking for another one in March.

Not once leading up to this did I take my concentration off my fight. Thanks to everyone that came. I want to give a big ‘thank you’ to my coach John Kavanagh for welcoming me into SBG and helping me grow as a martial artist.

Steve Owens

Steve Owens is a name you’ll remember - trust me, I’ll take anyone on.

“It was seriously incredible to showcase in front my hometown and get my first pro MMA win.

“Not once leading up to this did I take my concentration off my fight. Thanks to everyone that came. I want to give a big ‘thank you’ to my coach John Kavanagh for welcoming me into SBG and helping me grow as a martial artist. Everything’s getting bigger and better from here on in!”.

Meanwhile it was a terrific night for Derry’s Mayhem Martial Arts club as former world champion, Brian Houston clinched a sensational second round TKO victory over the highly rated SBG man, Derry Guinan.

Eamon Clinton gets some repair work carried out between rounds in his 70kg battle with Jack Hamil on Saturday night at the Foyle Arena. DER3816MC034

Eamon Clinton gets some repair work carried out between rounds in his 70kg battle with Jack Hamil on Saturday night at the Foyle Arena. DER3816MC034

The ‘Fight of the Night’ accolade went to Waterside man, Sean Devine and David Howlin of SBG after a non-stop three round contest with Howlin taking a narrow decision.

Howlin was staggered by a huge right hook in round one which knocked him backwards but he bounced back with a flurry of punches but despite a brave showing right until the final bell, Devine was on the wrong end of the judges’ decision.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Mayhem’s Cian McGilloway and an impressive TKO for his stablemate, Aaron Butler who stopped his opponent, Gary Elliot after successive kicks to the ribs.

Keith O'Rulligan and Gracjen Drezwski lock horns during the 66kg fight at Saturday night's MMA Real Fighting Championship at the Foyle Arena. DER3816MC030

Keith O'Rulligan and Gracjen Drezwski lock horns during the 66kg fight at Saturday night's MMA Real Fighting Championship at the Foyle Arena. DER3816MC030

Derryman Sean Devine in his 64kg battle with David Howlin at the Foyle Arena on Saturday night. DER3816MC041

Derryman Sean Devine in his 64kg battle with David Howlin at the Foyle Arena on Saturday night. DER3816MC041

A 'bloodied' Eamon Clinton is counted out during Saturday night's MMA Real Fighting Championship 70kg fight with Jack Hamil at the Foyle Arena. DER3816MC032

A 'bloodied' Eamon Clinton is counted out during Saturday night's MMA Real Fighting Championship 70kg fight with Jack Hamil at the Foyle Arena. DER3816MC032

John Mitchell and Nathan O'Neill battle it out in their 70 kg fight at the Foyle Arena on Saturday night. DER3816MC042

John Mitchell and Nathan O'Neill battle it out in their 70 kg fight at the Foyle Arena on Saturday night. DER3816MC042