Straight Blast Gym - Ireland

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Straight Blast Gym Ireland
Straight Blast Gym.jpeg
Est. 2001
Founded by John Kavanagh
Primary trainers John Kavanagh (head coach)
Owen Roddy (striking)
Philip Mulpeter (fitness)
Sergey Pikulskiy (wrestling)
Karl Cannon (Muay Thai)
Tom King (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)
Clive Staunton (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)
Current titleholders Luka Jelčić
Final Fight Championship
(Lightweight Champion: 2016)
Past titleholders Conor McGregor
Ultimate Fighting Championship (Featherweight Champion: 2015-16)
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship (Lightweight Champion: 2012-13)
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship (Featherweight Champion: 2012-13)
John Phillips
BAMMA
(Middleweight Champion: 2016)

Frans Mlambo
IMMAF World Championships (Featherweight Champion: 2015)
Cathal Pendred
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship (Welterweight Champion: 2013)
Training facilities Dublin, Ireland
Website www.sbgireland.com

Straight Blast Gym Ireland is a mixed martial arts academy and professional team based in Dublin, Ireland. It is run by John Kavanagh, and is part of Straight Blast Gym International.[1] The team has produced several Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters.

History[edit]

The gym was founded in 2001 by John Kavanagh, who was a black belt in karate. Later that year it became part of Matt Thornton's Straight Blast Gym International (SBGi), a worldwide association of over 35 gyms, after Kavanagh met Thornton at a tournament in Africa. After partnering with SBGi, Thornton awarded Kavanagh his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) purple belt in 2002. Three years later, Kavanagh won gold at the 2005 European BJJ Championship. In 2007, he was awarded his BJJ black belt, making Kavanagh Ireland's first ever BJJ black belt in the process.[2]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

In 2009, Tom Egan became SBG's first ever fighter to compete in the UFC. Egan lost to John Hathaway at UFC 93: Franklin vs. Henderson in Dublin. It wasn't until 2012 that SBG returned to the UFC, when Gunnar Nelson made his debut against DaMarques Johnson at UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic, winning via first-round rear-naked choke. The following year, Conor McGregor made his debut in Sweden. He defeated Marcus Brimage with a first-round knockout, and marked the beginning of a new era of success for the team.[3]

At UFC 189 on July 11 2015, SBG won their first UFC belt. In the main event of the evening, Conor McGregor had been booked to face Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight title. Aldo pulled out of the fight due to a rib injury however, meaning McGregor instead faced Chad Mendes for the interim title. McGregor won the fight via second-round TKO, on a card that also featured a loss and a victory for SBG fighters Cathal Pendred and Gunnar Nelson respectively.[4]

At UFC 194, an event which set numerous records,[5] Conor McGregor finally got the chance to become the undisputed UFC Featherweight champion, and unify his belt against José Aldo who had been undefeated in over ten years. It took McGregor only 13 seconds to KO the Brazilian, making it the fastest ever finish in a UFC championship match.[6]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

Following McGregor's interim title win at UFC 189, the UFC announced that he would be coaching against Urijah Faber in Season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter.[7] In a "Europe vs USA" themed installment, McGregor was aided by his SBG coaches, Sergey Pikulskiy, Owen Roddy, Arkadiusz Sternalski and former SBG fighter Tom Egan who now coaches out of Peter Welch's Gym in Boston. Despite a slow start, Team Europe took six fighters into the quarter-finals, and then had three of the remaining four in the semi-finals. SBG's Artem Lobov was due to face England's Saul Rogers in an all-European Final, but visa issues saw Team USA's Ryan Hall replace Rogers in the season finale, where he utilized his superior grappling to great effect, and earned a unanimous decision victory over Lobov.[8]

Fighters[edit]

Status Name Weight Class Information Most Recent
Promotion
Active Finland Makwan Amirkhani 145 lb Four-time Finnish medalist in Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling. Ultimate Fighting Championship
Active Russia Ali Bagautinov 125 lb Former FNG Flyweight Champion / Former UFC Flyweight title challenger. Fight Nights Global
Active Argentina Francisco Barrio 145 lb Five-time international medalist in Greco-Roman Wrestling. Final Fight Championship
Active Netherlands Ilias Bulaid 145 lb World Champion in Kickboxing. Enfusion
Active Portugal Pedro Carvalho 145 lb Bellator
Active Republic of Ireland Kiefer Crosbie 170 lb Bellator
Retired Republic of Ireland Aisling Daly 115 lb Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Ultimate Fighting Championship
Active United States Dillon Danis 170 lb Seven-time international medalist and Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Bellator
Active Republic of Ireland James Gallagher 145 lb Three-time European medalist and Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Bellator
Retired Republic of Ireland Patrick Holohan 125 lb Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Ultimate Fighting Championship
Active Croatia Luka Jelčić 155 lb Former FFC Lightweight Champion. Bellator
Active Canada Brad Katona 145 lb TUF: Undefeated Featherweight Champion. Ultimate Fighting Championship
Active Republic of Ireland Sinead Kavanagh 155 lb IMMAF: World Championships silver medalist. Bellator
Active France Taylor Lapilus 135-145 lb Ultimate Fighting Championship
Active Russia Artem Lobov 145 lb TUF: Season 22 runner-up. Ultimate Fighting Championship
Active Republic of Ireland Conor McGregor 145-170 lb Former UFC Lightweight and Featherweight Champion / Former CWFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion / Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Ultimate Fighting Championship
Active Republic of Ireland Brian Moore 145 lb Bellator
Active Iceland Gunnar Nelson 170 lb Four-time international medalist and Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu / Black belt in Gōjū-ryū Karate. Ultimate Fighting Championship
Retired Republic of Ireland Cathal Pendred 170-185 lb Former CWFC Welterweight Champion / Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Ultimate Fighting Championship
Active Wales John Phillips 185 lb Former BAMMA Middleweight Champion. Ultimate Fighting Championship
Active Republic of Ireland Peter Queally 155 lb Fight Nights Global
Active Italy Daniele Scatizzi 145-170 lb Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Bellator
Active Republic of Ireland Richie Smullen 155 lb TUF: Undefeated contestant. Bellator

World MMA Awards[edit]

SBG and its team members have received various recognitions from The World MMA Awards:[9][10][11][12]

Gym / Personnel
Fighters

Gyms[edit]

While John Kavanagh's gym remains SBG Ireland's official headquarters, the association has added new branches with gyms across the country. The current gyms are as follows:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]