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Harry Marple Becomes first FIGHT UK LMS Lightweight Tournament Winner

At the end of another stellar night of fights at The Athena, Leicester, "Dirty" Harry Marple stood on the top of the heap in FIGHT UK's first Lightweight LMS tournament, the second event of their 2014 Last Man Standing series. "Dirty" posted three excellent performances, including two submissions, to secure the title of FIGHT UK's Last Man Standing topping the field of 8.

His first opponent, Jake Ocean, could not escape Marple's submission savvy ground game and ultimately had to tap once Marple secured a beautiful D'Arce choke. Meanwhile Geof Ogendo and Sam Wilkinson outpointed their opponents John Dewis and Rob Vials to advance to the semi finals, while Richard Herbert booked his place with a Rear naked choke at the end of the third round.

Unfortunately it was not to be for Wilkinson, who was forced to withdraw before his scheduled bout with Marple. Instead Marple was faced with the challenging strength and dynamic takedowns of Krzysztof Adamczyk, who stepped up from the undercard to complete the semi final roster. It did not take long for Marple to gain control of the fight after an early takedown onslaught by Adamczyk, including a highlight reel slam, but after returning to his feet Marple began to wear on the Pole with knees from the clinch and crisp combinations as they separated. Eventually Marple took advantage of a single leg attempt to progress to his opponents back and from there, submitted his opponent with a textbook rear naked choke.

Meanwhile Richard Herbert and Geof Ogendo squared off for the other final place with Herbert winning a clear cut decision using a wide variety of kicks and punches, punctuating a smothering clinch game which kept Ogendo on the back foot. Herbert may have felt a finish was on the cards after a leg kick brought his opponent to the floor and shortly thereafter as a series of punishing knees to the body found their mark from the clinch, but Ogendo was hard to put away and managed to see the final bell.

Facing a strong grappler in Herbert, Marple had to turn to his striking to find victory in the final. He proved clearly that he has a very well rounded game, using his advantageous reach to get the better of almost all the longer range exchanges, particularly in the first round, landing a series of jabs and leg kicks, before setting up more powerful hooks and uppercuts. Herbert began to impose his clinch heavy game somewhat more successfully towards the end of the fight, controlling Marple against the cage for much of the third round. It was Marple, however, who got the crucial takedown in round two, using a Ko Soto Gake Judo trip. Once on the floor Marple proved to have the advantage, almost pulling off a second D'Arce choke of the night. Clearly deterred,  Herbert, created a scramble and used the opportunity to regain his feet and get a takedown of his own in the dying seconds of the round, but with no time to work from top position he was unable to gain much from it. Having edged rounds one and two Marple simply had to survive the final round to win the tournament. Round 3 was largely controlled by Herbert, using his excellent cage control in the clinch and landing damaging strikes from there, but Marple had already amassed an unassailable lead. Herbert's astonishment at the final decision was not entirely unfounded. Round three was clear cut while rounds one and two were a little less clear, but ultimately the judges made the right decision. Marple was the best man on the night, and with a well rounded and already highly developed skill set, has a bright future ahead of him.

FIGHT UK MMA will be holding four more Last Man Standing Tournaments in 2014 and with the first two providing such excellent entertainment and quality, the remainder are not to be missed. For more details visit the FIGHT UK MMA home page.

Click here for the FIGHT UK MMA Press Teams "Best of the Rest" detailing the highlights from the rest of the nights action, including two title fights, 3 epic KO's and 4 great submissions can be found here.

FIGHT UK MMA Press Officers, Owen Carey & Verity Stephens

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