Ventre vs Tuke: A Liverpudlian Folktale Contest
By James Lee
It cannot be contended that some of the most satisfying licensed affairs in British history have taken place in Merseyside.
From John Conteh’s defeat of Len Hutchins at Anfield in 1977 to Tony Bellew’s world championship win at Goodison Park in 2016, the city has forever embraced combat. Both in a sporting and political sense.
More recently, mixed martial arts has been indicative of the region’s sporting success, from Darren Till bringing the most prominent promotion to the docks and Next Generation MMA fighters Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann enjoying championship nights in front of thousands under the Cage Warriors banner.
As all those moments deservedly acquired mainstream acknowledgement, a contest between Liverpool’s Adam Ventre and Ireland’s Dylan Tuke will forever have a place amongst the folktale of combat history in the city instead.
As Shinobi FC was working to cement themselves as the area’s most notable promotion, it was this fight that took it to the next level.
As the whole combat community was preparing for the Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz rematch weeks later, Ventre and Tuke produced a memorable fight and more specifically, a first-round that most will never match.
Coming into the contest, Tuke was tipped as another distinguished prospect from the Straight Blast Gym circuit in Ireland. Next Generation’s Ventre had a professional record of 4-2, and although seen as the significant underdog, he pushed his Irish counterpart to the verge of defeat.
As the referee called both men on, what ensued was five minutes of what can only be deemed as non-stop activity.
As Tuke implemented a hands-down approach, Ventre caught him continuously, dropping him twice and leaving his counterpart wavering throughout. As the commentator called it the best round of action he has ever called, the pair confirmed that with permanent forward pressure.
A specific period with less than thirty seconds to go saw both men stand in the centre and exchange. To the surprise of most, Tuke stayed put; barely. As the pair recuperated to all they could in just 60 seconds, they were sent out to repeat the first five minutes.
Ventre continued his success, landing hard and often before the Irishman got the fight to the ground and secured a submission finish. Although the outcome was not what the home crowd desired, the result has not gone down in history, the fight has.
A fight so excitingly rare that both left with nothing but respect from everybody who witnessed the contest. It deservedly earned plaudits from the community as well, and will undoubtedly remain in the minds of those in attendance perpetually.
The full fight can be seen on Shinobi’s YouTube Page.