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New Contenders signing Liam Cullen ‘all about entertainment’

PUBLISHED: 13:03 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:11 07 February 2018

Decorated fighter Liam Cullen has signed to fight for the Contenders promotion. Picture: CONTENDERS

Decorated fighter Liam Cullen has signed to fight for the Contenders promotion. Picture: CONTENDERS

Archant

After having almost 150 fights in his decorated career, Liam Cullen is in no doubt as to what is most important to him when he goes into battle – entertainment.

Liam Cullen will fight Dean Pattinson for the 79kg WKO English title at Contenders Kickboxing on March 31. Picture: CONTENDERSLiam Cullen will fight Dean Pattinson for the 79kg WKO English title at Contenders Kickboxing on March 31. Picture: CONTENDERS

And the 31-year-old plans to do just that after becoming the first fighter to sign an exclusive deal with the Norwich-based Contenders promotion, which will start with him competing for the English 79kg WKO title in the main event of Contenders Kickboxing at Epic Studios on March 31.

It’s quite a signing for Contenders and promoter Steve Newman, who will put on seven shows this year - five of their usual mix of MMA, K1 and boxing in a cage, plus two new Contenders Kickboxing events.

‘Irish Samurai’ Cullen has won multiple world, European and national titles across a whole range of combat sports including kickboxing, MMA and Muay Thai. Most recently he fought to a draw in a world title BKB bare-knuckle boxing clash with Sean George at the 02. In all, he’s had 146 fights – and lost just 17.

“The Contenders move has come about basically because of my relationship with Steve,” said Cullen, who hails from Colchester but is currently based in Leeds and fights out of Tobins Gym.

“The first time I fought for Contenders I did it for free because he allowed me to have a whip round for a little lad with health issues - his morals and my morals seem to be the same.”

When asked what he’ll bring to the promotion, Cullen – who will rematch George for the BKB world title in June – said: “I bring the full show. I’m all about entertainment.

“I don’t just want to fight, get a knockout and take my money, I want to demonstrate my skill set and show why I train. Those spinning back kicks and jumping kicks that you only see in films, I want to show that they actually work.

“For me, fighting is not about hurting or knocking out my opponent. I love the test of character – it’s a question of how good am I, am I as good as I think, and how good could I be?”

He’ll face the highly regarded Dean Pattinson as he looks to add another title to his fistic resume at Contenders next month.

“I’m expecting a tough, hard fight,” he said. “Steve’s told me how good this guy is and that’s what I want. He’s mustard, but I expect to have my hand raised in the end.”

Newman added: “I am excited about this. When Liam first fought on Contenders, back in September 2013 as our co-main event, his talent was evident for all to see.

“He can control a fight well and is an intelligent fighter, using his speed and movement, careful not to be drawn in, but always ready to pick a great shot.

“His last fight, the BKB bout at the O2, was a perfect example – he looked as fresh as a daisy at the end of the five rounds, like he hadn’t broken a sweat!”

Cullen also thanked his sponsors – the Prettygate Pub and Premier Signs in Colchester, plus Top Line Management and Accounts.

Contenders puts on their first show of the year, Contenders 22, at Epic Studios in Norwich on February 17.

- You can buy tickets for all their shows at www.contendersea.com.

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