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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Cumbrian cage fighter wins comeback bout - in 35 seconds

Big punching Martin ‘Ox’ Thompson had to sacrifice a payday to get back in action after almost two years out of the cage.

Martin Thompson photo
Martin Thompson

And it took the Cumbrian just 35 seconds to prove he still has what it takes to be a smash hit in the hard world of mixed martial arts. That was how long it took him to dismantle Thai boxer Alex Foreman, from Liverpool, on a Made 4 the Cage show in Sunderland.

Such was his reputation as the former top-ranked heavyweight in Britain, before a back injury took its toll, that despite internet pleas Thompson was unable to find a match until he offered to fight for expenses only.

“I had to fight for nothing just to get the fight,” said Thompson, from Whitehaven. “He was quite a bit heavier than me. I weighed 17 stone 10 and he made me look small. He had a record of 21-9 in Thai fighting, and I was delighted with the first round stoppage, chuffed to bits.”

Thompson is awaiting surgery on three bulging discs in his back but after recuperating is eyeing a tilt at the world’s biggest promotion.

“I should be getting an operation within two to three months,” added the 27-year-old. “I can get back to normal, to a degree, after the operation, and I will be happy. I can get back up to No 1 and try to get a shot at the UFC.”

Four years ago, Thompson was rated among the top three heavyweights in Europe, after first round wins over Cage Rage champion Tengiz Tedoradze, for the Ultimate Force title, in Doncaster, and ex-UFC fighter Colin Robinson, to claim the Strike and Submit belt in Newcastle.

But his hopes of moving on to the world stage were hit when he suffered a serious back injury playing rugby league.

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