Belfast Telegraph

Friday 9 October 2015

Fighter hits big-time

Published 05/12/2013

Carl McNally fighting in the Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Ireland's first Ulster final
Carl McNally fighting in the Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Ireland's first Ulster final

A NEWTOWNABBEY fighter has become an overnight internet sensation after an online clip of him executing a title winning move went viral.

Over 115,000 people, including ex UFC world champions BJ Penn and Bas Rutten, have watched Carl McNally secure a bantamweight title in spectacular fashion on YouTube.

Last week, the Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Ireland held its first Ulster final and despite a busy schedule of talented fighters, the night will certainly be remembered for a move more suited to a video game than in the Octagon.

Less than one minute into the first round, McNally fighting out of the Zanshin Karate Jutsu club in Newtownabbey, performed a spinning heel kick that converted, somewhat unbelievably, into an arm-bar.

The move has been described as needing to be seen to be believed and when the video was posted on YouTube, people all over the world watched in their thousands.

The video is continuing to grow online and has been viewed, shared, commented and mentioned by UFC and world champions.

Danny Corr,  the director of the mixed martial arts federation of Ireland and McNally's coach said: "Carl is a fantastic fighter and a great kid. I'm proud of how well he has developed and I can see a bright future for him.”

McNally and his training partner Aaron Kennedy,  who won the ulster welterweight championship last week,  both now have the opportunity to fight for a place in the Irish team for the world amateur MMA championship next year in Las Vegas.

"Last weeks finish was just a taste of what I can do," commented McNally.

"I'm just looking forward to joining that Irish squad and going to Vegas to show the world what I’m capable of. Next stop. The UFC," he added.

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