Rhys McKee after his victory. Cage Warriors.
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McKee claims Cage Warriors welterweight title after knockout victory

The Ballymena native defeated Justin Burlinson at the SSE Arena in Belfast.

RHYS MCKEE CAPTURED the Cage Warriors welterweight title last night after earning a third-round knockout against Justin Burlinson at the SSE Arena in Belfast.

The pair were fighting for a title that was vacated by Ian Garry last year following the undefeated Dubliner’s departure for the UFC.

Burlinson made the better start over the opening two rounds while the 26-year-old McKee suffered a major cut on his forehead which required treatment during the bout.

Burlinson also needed a medical check after sustaining some swelling on his eye, as McKee began to take control in the third round. The Ballymena native then made his move with a brutal combination as the referee swooped in to call a halt to proceedings.

It was also a night to remember for another home favourite in Caolan Loughran, with the Tyrone man defeating Festus Ahorlu via TKO in the second round to keep his undefeated record intact.

Elsewhere on the main card, Dublin’s James Sheehan stopped Martin Causse, Harry Hardwick and Federico Pasquali shared the spoils, and Dubliner Ryan Shelley was awarded a tight decision at the expense of Belfast’s Matthew Elliott.

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