Norwich cage fighter proposes to girlfriend in front of hundreds of sports fans at Contenders 20 contest
- Credit: ISAAC HARGREAVES/MATYAS PAUL
It is not normally a sport associated with romantic gestures.
But a major mixed martial arts contest was the backdrop of a marriage proposal from a Norwich cage fighter who lost his kickboxing clash on points but won the heart of his girlfriend.
Daumantas Matulevicius, 24 - known as the Devil to fans because of his hard training ethic - popped the question to his partner of two years Andzelika Butkyte in front of 1,000 people at the Contenders 20 competition on the Norfolk Showground.
The unsuspecting 25-year-old, who has a three-month-old son with her cage fighting fiancé, was brought onto the ring after Mr Matulevicius' short fight against Aiva Ras.
Event MC, Tom Vince, said: 'In a sport that mostly deals with leg locks and spectacular knock-outs, it was nice to see a rare moment of romance. The audience lived it. The proposal went down like a storm.'
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Only Mr Matulevicius' trainer, Alan McKenzie, knew about what the cage fighter's grand plan, which prompted tears of joy from his fiancée.
Mr Matulevicius, who lives on Angel Road and trains at Assassins Gym in Norwich, said: 'I waited until she got into the ring before I went onto my knee. I felt great when I saw her smiling face. During my match I was thinking about the engagement ring rather than the fight.
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'The audience was very surprised. It felt good. She makes me happy and I want to be with her.
'Our friends and family are very happy about it.'
He decided to propose a few months ago and bought the engagement ring a month ago.
His future wife said: 'I felt good during the proposal. I'm very happy. He asked me to come up to the cage after the fight. I had no idea it was going to happen.'
The romantic gesture was caught on camera.
Mr Matulevicius, who fits windows for Anglian Home Improvements, took up cage fighting two years ago and was one of 28 fighters in the Contenders 20 event on September 16.
Competitors included a mix of amateur and professionals from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Britain and abroad.
There are four Contenters events in Norwich each year.