This Sunday night Steven McCombe (20-25-1) will face Gavin Kelly (7-3) for the bantamweight title in fight that could literally go either way.
McCombe is a true veteran of Irish MMA and a bit of an unsung hero of sorts given his history of taking fights against bigger opponents, or fights on short notice, or fights against rising or established stars, and sometimes a combination of all three. Because of this he is one of the most respected fighters in Ireland and the UK.
In 2014 he announced his retirement from competition but almost a year to the day after he last fought he returned but lost a split decision to Brett Caswell (8-2), a rematch of their fight from early in 2014 which McCombe won. Now the Devil's Fight Team head coach will look to get the win in the main event of Clan Wars.
Gavin Kelly will serve as McCombe's opponent. Kelly is known on the scene as one of the division's best wrestlers. He comes into this fight off the back of a close split decision win over Neil Ward (1-2), a fighter he had lost too the previous year. With that win in the bag Kelly will be looking to start stringing together a few wins and get the 'W' over a fighter like McCombe will be a good win to get.
- McCombe has been fighting professionally since 2004. Kelly made his pro debut in 2011.
- McCombe has an incredible 16 submission victories to his name. Two of Kelly's three loses have been by submission.
- Kelly has a very well-rounded victory statistic of 2 wins via TKO & Submission and 3 decisions.
- McCombe has just won one fight via decision in over 45 outings. Kelly has yet to lose to a decision.
- McCombe comes into this fight on a three fight skid.
- Kelly has went two wins then a loss three times previous. He currently has one win and has never failed to get two wins in a row.
Kelly is the slightly bigger fighter in this bout. I personally like seeing McCombe fight at flyweight but he is always formidable at bantamweight.
This fight is most certainly destined for the ground. Between Kelly's wrestling and McCombe's dangerous grappling this could go either way. Kelly being the bigger guy will probably find himself getting the takedown but his top game must be on point to control McCombe who could easily take the back or grab a leg.
Prediction: I can see either fighter win this one but I will go with Kelly getting the decision using his size and wrestling to shut down McCombe's submission attack and grind out the win.
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Clan Wars 24 pro fighters cleared by Safe MMA