GTFP 19 is in the books, and what an event it was. With the first all-female domestic main event in recent memory combined with the unveiling of a deaf double Champion to Dana White’s Contenders Series and a fiery night of fights, there was plenty of action going on throughout Golden Ticket 19.
Join me in breaking down some of the highlights and lowpoints of GTFP 19, where we will see some of the thrill and the agony of the fighters involved in Wolverhampton.
Thomas Paull is Headed to Dana White’s Contenders Series
Deaf GTFP Double Champion Thomas Paull was initially slated to be appearing in a different capacity for GTFP 19. That quickly fell apart when there were rumblings heard here first that Paull could be headed to Contenders Series. It turns out the rumblings were spot on, and Golden Ticket will be sending their first fighter to Las Vegas to try and earn a spot with the UFC. Joining names like Lerone Murphy and Brendan Loughnane in taking the rare path to the UFC from the UK, coming through GTFP and the regional circuit as opposed to the main stream Cage Warriors approach. It paid off for The Juggernaut.
All Female Main Event Delivers – And Then Some!
All eyes were on the first all female domestic main event that we can remember, and the fight itself delivered. In a fight which showcased how talented and gritty the ladies this side of the pond can be, Melissa Dixon and Mafalda Carmona put on a war.
Mafalda Carmona gave Melissa Dixon everything she could handle, truly proving to be a quality opponent. Even though Carmona landed some good shots, Dixon controlled the majority of this one.
The former No Mess Mullins was long viewed as a fighter who lacked a gas tank. Many said she had too heavy a reliance on early finishes. Melissa proved the naysayers wrong and showed that regardless of where the fight takes place or how long it goes on for, she’s always as dangerous as when it’s first begun. Blending the power in her hands with a fantastic top game, Dixon utilized a gameplan that negated everything Carmona had to throw her way.
When the fight reached the scorecards, Melissa had her hand raised and was announced Bantamweight Champion of GTFP. Finally on the winning end of a decision, something that had long eluded her in her career thus far, Melissa Dixon shed tears and almost visibly on camera realized what she had done. This was a special moment, and was captured beautifully. And new, Melissa Dixon.
Welterweight Championship Fireworks: Radcliffe vs Tranter
In a fight where everyone expected a fast pace, Radcliffe and Tranter still outperformed expectations. Competing for the Amateur Welterweight Championship of Golden Ticket, these men were ready for war. Coming into this one, they’d combined for a total of seven wins. All seven of those wins came inside the distance, so it was fair to expect a finish one way or another.
From the get go, Radcliffe and Tranter were all action. Be it the exchanges on the feet or beautiful sweeps and transitions on the ground, Chris and Mikey didn’t share a dull moment. At the end of the fight, Tranter was announced the new Welterweight Champion, but both men saw their stock go through the roof. What a fight from two incredible young fighters.
Venet Banushi Now 3-For-3 With Golden Ticket
Banushi entered GTFP 19 with a record of 2-0 with both wins coming under the Golden Ticket banner. Ryan Lockyer seemed to be the best opponent Venet had ever faced, but Banushi proved that his fights are about him. Coming out like a bat out of hell, Banushi ran straight through Ryan Lockyer en-route to a finish. Banushi now stands 3-0 and could be just a couple fights away from title contention after that performance. Venet Banushi is a name you’ll want to know and remember after GTFP 19.
Coming into GTFP 19, Aron Franz had never seen his hand raised in the cage. Riley Daniels was also staring a losing streak dead in the face for the first time of his young career. Neither man wanted to face the devestation another loss would put them through. Neither man did.
Aron Franz willed out a three round decision to open action on the night and get his very first win. He followed his fight with a call out as well, and truly took full advantage of the opportunity given to him. Riley Daniels was determined to prove just how good he was as well. Riley went through Will Lister with little resistance and secured a submission victory of his own.
With both men coming in coming off unfortunate circumstances, both men found ways to dig deep and emerge victorious on the evening in Wolverhampton.
Returning From a 3 Year Layoff (What Layoff?)
Callum Turberfield entered Golden Ticket 19 with an amateur record of 1-0, but had seemingly more questions than answers in the open as he’d not competed since 2019. When speaking with Callum for the GTFP preview show, he assured me that he’d make a statement. That he did.
Coming out like a man on fire, Callum was all action all the time. First, sprinting to the center of the cage from the jump. Then, relentlessly pressing forward until his opponent would find himself slumped against the fence. Callum hit the trifecta with a picture perfect post fight interview, targeting a September return. Welcome back Callum Turberfield, but don’t call it a comeback.
Good Old Fashioned Brawls
On a night where there were zero boring fights, there were two that stole the fans hearts. Most had written off Daniel Myers in his fight with Gemal Gokhan, and most assumed Luke Whitehouse would go through Richard Nottingham as well. Most were wrong, as so often is the case in MMA.
Daniel Myers looked as if he may taste defeat early against Gokhan, but he refused to give up. Myers came back in the second round and closed the show by throwing everything he had into the most dominant round of the fight prior to being announced winner via split decision.
In the case of Whitehouse vs Nottingham, this one stole the show. What may have been the loudest ovation of the night came for the losing fighter of ths one. Richard Nottingham is what the broadcast called “Middle Aged Crazy” and he very nearly pulled off a miraculous upset. After struggling through the early portion of the fight, Nottingham in many eyes won rounds two and three. Although being he lost this fight, Nottingham walked away with a louder ovation than near anyone in Wolverhampton. Accompany this with fans who’ll undoubtedly be screaming for him next time out, that’s not a bad night for Richard.
What fight do you think stole the show in Wolverhampton?
Featured Image Credits to Golden Ticket Fight Promotions