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Contenders 24 preview: Butters gunning for a submission win, plus everything you need to know

PUBLISHED: 13:02 21 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:02 21 September 2018

Unbeaten lightweight Scott Butters faces the toughest test of his career against Kim Thinghaugen in the main event of Contenders 24 Picture: BRETT KING

Unbeaten lightweight Scott Butters faces the toughest test of his career against Kim Thinghaugen in the main event of Contenders 24 Picture: BRETT KING

Archant

Mark Heath speaks to lightweight prospect Scott Butters ahead of his tough main event fight at Contenders 24, plus previews the rest of what promises to be a superb card.

Unbeaten MMA prospect Scott Butters knows that his next fight is the biggest and toughest of his career – and that’s exactly how he wants it.

Butters is 2-0 with two first round finishes since turning pro, but now faces the experienced and talented Kim Thinghaugen in the main event of Contenders 24 at the Epic Studios in Norwich on September 29.

While his 7-6 record looks modest, the Norwegian has mixed it with the likes of Suffolk’s UFC star Arnold Allen and Cage Warriors lightweight contender Jack Grant, plus upset hotly-touted Norfolk talent Andre Goncalves in a TKO win at Contenders 17 back in December 2016.

He mixes composed and flashy striking with a dangerous ground game – he’s one of few pro fighters to have a ‘Twister’ submission on his record – and will be a big step-up in class for Dereham’s Butters.

Scott Butters sinks in the fight-ending choke in his win against Jonathan Templier at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KINGScott Butters sinks in the fight-ending choke in his win against Jonathan Templier at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KING

But the 30-year-old, nicknamed ‘Superman’ is unfazed. He said: “I’m just excited. I always get a big following at Contenders and it’s a privilege to be the main event again.

“It’s going to be a tough fight, but it’s a very winnable fight for me. We’ve seen holes in his performance and I think we’ve got the gameplan to win, as long as I stick to it.

“He’s a flashy striker who likes to throw spinning stuff, so I’ve been emulating that in sparring, making sure my hands are up at all times.

“I’m comfortable on my feet, but this time I’m looking for the takedown and I’m going to finish it on the ground. I’m looking for a submission win and to get back to my old ways, looking to rip people’s necks off.

“It’s definitely going to be tough, but that’s what I want. I’m not in this for easy fights.”

Butters, who won his last fight on Contenders 23 by guillotine choke, acknowledges that Thinghaugen’s CV and fighting history make him the underdog for the first time in his pro career.

But he said: “It doesn’t faze me, I’ve been the underdog before, fighting in other people’s back yards. Beating a name like that is going to open up some doors for me.

“I’m confident that 2019 is going to be a very big year for me. We’re looking at some big shows – it’s no secret they all watch Contenders – so look for Superman to be putting on a show in a Bellator or Cage Warriors or BAMMA after this.”

Butters also thanked his sponsors – Ultimate Fight Outlet, DC’s Bar, CBD Ultra, MTF Up, Sports Asylum Nutrition, Hybrid Performance, Gooch Accident and Repair, Butter Bros Beard Company, Focus 4 Fitness, Max Bateman Diversifit, Wymondham Scaffolding, Team Fuzeta, The Studio Martial Arts & Fitness and Almighty Fight Management.

Co-main

A K-1 barnburner between Cromer’s Jack Mezzetti and the flashy Samir Bouamrane, from the Knowlsey Academy.

This is going to be explosive, a battle between Mezzetti’s furious combinations, relentless pressure and low kicks, and Bouamrane’s brutal hooks and array of kick attacks - the axe kick being a particular favourite.

A potential fight of the year contender.

Other highlights

Bury St Edmunds’ Cameron Cunningham, who’s learning his wrestling and BJJ under renowned coach Windy Miller at Bluewave, makes his MMA debut here in a featherweight clash with Jake Catterall, another talent from Cromer’s Fighting Fit Martial Arts.

Both young fighters come from a striking background, and actually fought each other before in a K1 clash at Contenders 17, with Catterall prevailing after a brilliant back-and-forth battle.

It will be fascinating to see what adjustments they make for an MMA fight - one imagines the smaller gloves will help the brutally powerful Cunningham, but time will tell!

Boxer Andris Kazoks can usually be found in either good fights or detonating a nuclear knockout right hand on his unfortunate foes, so it will be interesting to see how he fares against Will Cairns, who comes from a bare-knuckle boxing background.

Irvidas Juskys, from King’s Lynn’s powerful Heros Gym, is always entertaining and often lives up to his Punisher nickname, so keep an eye on his boxing bout with Adam Muncaster.

And I’ve heard a lot of good things about Joe Lincoln, who fights out of Norwich’s new Elite Gym, and faces Alister Bird here in a K1 scrap.

When and where

Contenders 24 takes place at Epic Studios in Norwich on Saturday, September 29. The first fight is at 6pm, with the main event usually around 10.30pm.

How to watch

If you can’t make it to Epic, you can watch the whole event live on Fite TV. Simply log on to www.fitetv and search for Contenders 24.

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