Seb Eubank followed in his famous father's fighting footsteps by winning his MMA debut at the UAE Warriors 10 in Abu Dhabi.
The Dubai-based Englishman, the son of former super middleweight boxing champion Chris Eubank, was not even sure he would be in action after his original opponent, Mohamed El Mokadem, pulled out at the last minute.
Organisers drafted in Emad Hanibal and the catchweight 80-kilogram contest was re-arranged as an exhibition with three-minute three rounds. Eubank emerged the victor via a first-round knockout at the Mubadala Arena on Friday nght.
“My opponent pulled out last minute and it happened to me before,” Eubank said afterwards.
“I was thinking ‘man this can’t happen again’ so they contacted a few guys from around the UAE and this great man stepped in for the fight. So I was just pleased to get this behind me tonight.”
Seb has some big shoes to fill if he is to carry on the family's fighting legacy. His father held both the WBO world middleweight and super middleweight boxing titles and his younger brother, Chris, is former IBF world super middleweight world champion and is still active.
“When I stepped into the arena I wanted to do combat by mixing both MMA and boxing, and compete in different weight divisions, so let’s see where I go next,” Eubank said.
“I have been in the UAE for four-five years now. I stepped into MMA thinking I need to train properly. I can’t just go win.
“I threw a few kicks in there. I was practicing those with coach Victor, who is a Muay Thai champion, and my other coach Andrea is a wrestler and a strength conditioning coach.
“These guys have been preparing me to get stronger, faster and more technical all-round.”
The main heavyweight also saw a change of lineup after Lebanese fighter Roman Wehbe was forced to withdraw because of injury, leaving his Polish opponent Maciej Sosnowski to face Egyptian Ibrahim El Sawi.
The contest didn't last long with Sosnowski finishing his opponent with a rear naked choke on his opponent.
The co-main events produced two hard-fought counters. Algeria's Elias Boudegzdame outclassed former UFC fighter Austin Arnett of the United States to take a unanimous decision while Finland's Juho Valamaa impressed the judges to do likewise in his welterweight bout with Lebanon’s Ahmed Labban.
“I have won and I feel very good,” Boudegzdame said after three hard-fought rounds that left him with a bloodied nose and his opponent with a cut above his left eye.
“I didn’t do a good fight tonight but to win against an opponent who has stepped out of the UFC was a good result for me. I wish to come back to the Warriors arena again for my next opponent.”