For our featured article this week we would like to highlight the accomplishments of event promotion Cage Legacy Fighting Championship run by CEO and owner Declan Kenna and president Darren Sonik. Cage Legacy is Ireland’s leading Mixed Martial Arts promotion and has even become a forerunner for combat events worldwide as the first ever MMA event to adhere to the fighter safety guidelines set by SAFE MMA and endorsed by IMMAA, thereby raising the safety standards and setting an exemplary precedent for fight promotions across the world.Declan and Darren first came up with the idea for Cage Legacy MMA in 2015 because as Head Coaches of Full Power MMA and SANDA MMA Dundalk respectively they saw how incredibly hard their students were working but were aware that it was becoming increasingly difficult to attain fights within Ireland. The entrepreneurial pair felt that there were not enough opportunities in Ireland at the time for fighters to compete in a controlled and safe environment and having both come from a diverse combat background, they wanted to provide a platform for fighters to showcase their skills in their home country. After a busy year of planning, promoting, creating and developing their brand, Cage Legacy 1 premiered in October 2016 with professional mixed martial artists Peter “The Showstopper”‘Queally vs Decky ‘The Diamond’ Dalton as the main event. This premier event proved to be a staggering success as ticket sales far exceeded expectations and the electric atmosphere experienced on the night generated great excitement among the Irish MMA community.Cage Legacy Fighting Championship has since branched out into three distinctive combat promotions including Cage Legacy MMA for mixed martial artists, Cage Legacy Kickboxing for K1 bouts and Cage Legacy Future Stars which gives competitors aged 6-15 the opportunity to take centre stage and demonstrate their abilities in K1 striking contests. Since its debut show in 2016 Cage Legacy has hosted 12 MMA events, 5 kickboxing events and 5 future stars events which have contributed greatly to the progression of Irish combat athletes of all ages, sizes and experience levels.CEO Declan Kenna maintains that fighter safety is of paramount importance at all Cage Legacy events and they ensure to comply with all regulations in accordance with SafeMMA guidelines including MRI scans, blood tests and pre and post fight medical examinations.Establishing a leading fight promotion is a tiresome job which requires endless amounts of planning and preparation months in advance and is a feat that Declan and Darren do not take lightly. While they are grateful to have a wonderful team of supportive members of the MMA community to assist with the running of the events, the vast majority of the work is done by the pair themselves who are so driven in ensuring the very best of experiences for their patrons and competitors that they refuse to rest until every last detail has been seen to. Declan states that he is particularly proud of how far many of Cage Legacy’s competitors have progressed in their career with big names such as former Cage Legacy Lightweight champion Pedro Carvalho MMA who was due to fight for the Bellator MMA Featherweight World Title before the current Covid-19 pandemic caused the event to be postponed. Although Declan has been incredibly impressed by all of the fights displayed on the Cage Legacy events he claims one of the most remarkable finishes he has witnessed was the powerful flying knee KO demonstrated by Decky McAleenan MMA at CL5 in Newry in December 2017.In May of 2019 Cage Legacy partnered with international fight promotion Celtic Gladiator CL12/CG23 at Neptune Stadium Cork which featured the promotions first female MMA main event of Katie Saull vs Aleksandra Toncheva.Unfortunately the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic have caused the most recent scheduled Cage Legacy event to be postponed but Declan is keen to provide fans of Irish MMA with a stacked fight card for CL13 once the social distancing regulations have been lifted and is looking forward to running Cage Legacy MMA 13, 14 and 15 as soon as possible. Speaking of his aspirations for Cage Legacy Fighting championships in the future Declan states that he plans to continue to consistently provide mixed martial arts shows within Ireland and is looking forward to reaching 20 successful Cage Legacy MMA events within the coming years and in the long term he is hoping to take the events to the next level by providing shows in a multitude of countries across Europe.The Irish Mixed Martial Arts association are extremely thankful to Declan and Darren for their contributions to Irish MMA and are very grateful that Cage Legacy MMA provides Irish mixed martial artists with a safe and secure platform to demonstrate their abilities as fighters. We are looking forward to working alongside the promotion for many years to come and wish Cage Legacy Fighting Championship nothing but the very best of success in the future.

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