Nitro 14 recap: Shannon Ross overcomes Luke Morris to capture Flyweight title

Shannon “The Turkish Delight” Ross successfully captured the Nitro flyweight title in a comeback victory over Luke Morris as the promotion made it’s return after a two year hiatus last night.

Nitro 14 was held at the Logan Entertainment in Logan City, Queensland.

Having been out of the cage for over 18-months, “The Wasp” Morris didn’t skip a beat in the opening round as he looked calm and composed, picking his shots well in the early moments. Morris transitioned well to secure takedowns from the exchanges and a series of strong knees to the mid-section forced Ross (formerly McClellan) to take a knee but the onslaught continued as Ross stood back up.

Ross survived that onslaught and looked a different fighter in the second round with his combos finding their mark, however he was forced to defend a rear-naked choke and work off his back after Morris secured a takedown from a failed jumping knee. Morris came back into the fight, landing heavy strikes and securing big takedowns of his own that allowed him moments of control on the ground.

With arguably a round each leading into the last round, Ross succeeded with an early takedown that saw him momentarily transition to mount. Ross controlled the bout, staying heavy on top and giving Morris little room to escape. When Morris did escape, Ross quickly capitalised taking the fight to the ground.

Two judges scored the bout 29-27, with a third 29-28, all to the new champion Shannon Ross who takes his record to 10-4.

In the semi-main event, veteran Sydney based fighter Jeff King stepped up on late notice and put up a strong effort before being picked away by Ben Kelleher.

King started aggressive, pressing forward throwing wild hooks and briefly put Kelleher on the ground only for his opponent to work his way up. Kelleher came into the fight a fortnight after winning a professional boxing bout in Singapore and he utilised those skills to start picking King off from the outside. He landed a good body shot that hurt King but as he looked went on the attack, King returned fire and landed a nice uppercut and right hook to slow the onslaught.

Training out of Corporate Box, Kelleher picked up the pace in the second as he started to wind up his shots and utilise jab into right hand combo. Kelleher landed a paid of takedowns that were followed by heavy ground-and-pound. In the final seconds of the round, Kelleher dropped back for a failed guillotine with King missing with a big overhand that gave up his back. Kelleher immediately capitalised, locking up the rear-naked choke to secure the tap, with a second remaining in the round.

Kelleher has a 1-1 MMA record for the year after losing to Steven Kennedy back in January after taking the fight on less than 24-hours notice.

Gokhan Turkyilmaz put on one of the best performances of his long career as he stopped William Namoa with strikes in the third round.

From the onset, it felt like one of those fights where if either Turkyilmaz or Namoa landed it would be goodnight for the other fighter though Turkyilmaz had the advantage once it hit the ground, landing some big shots from the top. It wouldn’t be until the third round where a right kick hurt Namoa. Turkyilmaz took advantage, raining down punches to get the stoppage, 44-seconds into the third round.

Turkyilmaz stepped up in weight for the contest to accommodate Namoa who commendably stepped up on late notice. The win for Turkyilmaz halted a two-fight losing.

Tristan Murphy’s move to middleweight was an unsuccessful one as Anthony Johns rebounded from a loss earlier in the year, stopping Murphy with punches from the top.

Earlier in the night, Matt Eland secured an impressive first-round stoppage over Gerhard Voigt, Sam Jo Toetu won an entertaining decision versus Kemara Osborne while youngster Tyrell Hogan knocked Craig Lankester out in spectacular fashion.

Fight Card (Pro):

  • Shannon Ross def. Luke Morris (c) via Decision (Unanimous) – Nitro flyweight title
  • Ben Kelleher def. Jeff King via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Rd 2, 4:59
  • Gokhan Turkyilmaz def. William Namoa via TKO (Punches), Rd 3, 0:44
  • Anthony Johns def. Tristan Murphy via TKO (Punches), Rd 2, 2:04
  • Matt Eland def. Gerhard Voigt via TKO (Punches), Rd 1, 4:39
  • Sam Jo Toetu def. Kemara Osborne via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Tyrell Hogan def. Craig Lankester via KO, Rd 1, 3:15

Fight Card (Amateur):

  • William Tiaaleaiga def. Jack Tuave via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Corbin Robertson def. Thomas Conroy via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Joe Harley def. Perry Ioane via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Joe Cloake def. Aaron Mpumba via TKO (Punches), Rd 1, 2:48

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Started Martial Arts training after watching Mr Miyagi and Daniel-son in Karate Kid back in 1987. By the time MMA arrived many years later, I was hooked. Coverage of local MMA was via scarce posts on forums like the Underground and Sherdog. I embarked on covering the sport in 2002 and since then have written thousands of articles for both print and online media, before branching out and starting Fight News Australia in 2010. Outside the site, I dream of riding in an F1 car.