WITH no previous professional fight experience under his belt, Cork’s Patrick “The Leech” Lehane (2-0) sent shockwaves through the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) world by defeating two seasoned veterans of the sport, with a combined two dozen professional bouts, in one night to win the first-ever Combate Global four-man European tournament recently.
The 21-year-old Lehane’s gritty, miraculous victory earned Ireland its first entry ever into the annual “COPA COMBATE,” one-night, eight-man, $100,000 grand prize tournament in December.
The tournament will take place in a weight class to be determined soon.
“I am very proud of being the first Irish man to fight for Combate Global, and I’m thankful for the crazy amount of support that I got from back home in Ireland,” said Lehane, following the tournament victory.
A native resident of Cork, Lehane, who came into the tournament event with 19 amateur bouts under his belt, took on Spain’s Sebastian Santana Guedes (8-4-1) in the tournament’s first stage, comprised of one, five-minute round.
Lehane quickly took the fight to Santana Guedes, nearly finishing the Spaniard with a rear-naked choke before the final bell sounded for the round and Lehane was awarded a unanimous decision win.
In the championship stage of the tournament scheduled for three, five-minute rounds, Lehane faced off with France’s Maxime Giancola (6-6-1), another highly-experienced competitor. Once again, Lehane came out of the gates swinging, scoring a thunderous TKO victory in the first round (4:34) of battle.
Lehane recently signed an exclusive, multi-fight promotional agreement with the U.S.-based Combate Global. He is expected to return to action in the fall.
Despite going into the tournament as a professional debutant, Lehane’s extensive amatuer career gave him confidence that he was the man of the hour.
“Patrick has fought all over the world, representing Ireland at the IMMAF Championship on multiple occasions. He has had one of the toughest apprenticeships of any Irish MMA athlete, fighting in multiple weight classes and against many different styles and nationalities,” said Lehane’s coach - Liam-Og Griffin.
“He’s fought Russian wrestlers, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts and Muay Thai champions. With each bout, especially on the losses, you could see him learn and improve and it culminated in Patrick becoming the Cage Legacy Irish Featherweight Champion and Xtreme Kombat Super Lightweight Champion in 2019.
"We knew he was ready for the professional game when he strung a series of high profile wins together towards the end of the amatuer career.
"His spectacular uppercut KO on Cage Warriors in Cork’s Neptune Stadium became a viral video hit. Professional promotions were reaching out to have Patrick be on their show."
Combate Global, previously “Combate Americas,” is the premier Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise, rapidly becoming the number two sport after soccer for Spanish speaking fans worldwide.
“The Eir Sports TV deal is amazing for Irish fight fans and for Patrick too”, added Griffin.
“Combate Global actually scheduled the event at a time to broadcast Patrick’s bout at 8pm Irish time. As any MMA fight fan would tell you, we usually have to stay up until 4 or 5am to catch a US based MMA event but Combate Global recognise that Ireland is a serious fighting nation and deserve to watch prime time events, featuring Irish athletes, in real time."
Patrick Lehane will next fight on September 10th in Mexico against a hometown veteran (to be announced next week).