WRIGHT ON TARGET: Mildura Martial Arts’ Ben Wright being formally acknowledged by the referee after his knockout victory over Rohullah Rohullah. Photo: JAZMIN FRANK
By MITCH RODD
AN overhand right punch after just 34 seconds was all it took for Ben Wright to win his debut Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) bout.
The 24-year-old from Mildura Martial Arts expected his amateur match-up with Adelaide’s Rohullah Rohullah to last all three of the scheduled three-minute rounds. It would finish just over a sixth of the way through the opening round.
Much of Wright’s seven-week training schedule was focused on grappling his fellow in-ring debutant at last weekend’s Eternal MMA 43 event at HQ Complex.
As it turned out, however, that training would not need to be called on, as his overhand punch resulted in a knockout victory.
Wright, who came to MMA from a boxing background, said the result was better than he had expected.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking, especially after watching a couple of the fighters beforehand, but once I did some pad work and the blood got pumping, I was ready to go,” he said.
“It ended a bit sooner than expected. The seven weeks of training was so intense in the lead-up, and in my head I thought it was going to be a nine-minute war. In the end I got him with an overhand right.”
Mildura Martial Arts head coach, Mick Moloney, said much of the credit for Wright’s performance had to go to John Loughhead, who led Wright through the majority of his pre-event training.
“John took on the challenge of training Ben, and really he is the one responsible for the win,” Moloney said.
“While I oversee everything, the fact we have guys and girls in the gym who take on individualised training for others is fantastic. I’m absolutely rapt with him (Loughhead).
“I knew Ben could get him on the ground, and because he was taller Ben either had to be up on the inside, or outside of his reach.
“A lot of the guys at the gym don’t realise how good they are until they get into the ring.”
Wright added: “I have to thank Mick, John and everyone at Mildura Martial Arts for all their help in getting me up to that level.”
Wright is looking to finalise his working visa and head over to Canada for the skiing season in the coming months.