Double Irish Open World Cup Champions for Evolution Martial Arts

The Irish Open International Kickboxing World Cup is one of the most prestigious Kickboxing events of the year. This year the World Cup was held on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of March with over 2000 entries. 2018 was Evolution Martial Arts’ most successful Irish Open to date finishing the event with 2x Gold won by Nesta Baxter and Jake Peppercorn, 3x Silver won by Nesta Baxter and Jake Peppercorn(x2) and 5x Bronze won by Chelsea Leggatt(x2), Nesta Baxter(x2) and Jake Peppercorn. This put Evolution Martial Arts in 24th position out of 201 clubs competing, Evolution finishing above teams from Canada, Italy and Germany. This is especially impressive considering that Evolution Martial Arts had only 4 competitors yet they managed to come in front of much larger teams on the leaderboard.

Evolution Martial Arts at the Irish Open 2018. Left to right Jake Peppercorn, Nesta Baxter, Coach Linda Baxter, Coach Nigel Baxter, Paige Stedman and Chelsea Leggatt.

The Saturday 3rd of March was the day of Junior and Senior Point Fighting and Senior Light Continuous categories. Fighting on the Saturday was Jake Peppercorn, Nesta Baxter and Chelsea Leggatt at the City West Conference Centre in Dublin, Ireland.

First to step onto the mats and take the Irish Open Champion Title and two Silver Medals at this prestigious event was Jake Peppercorn.

Jake won the renowned title in the Junior Male +94kg Point Fighting Division. In the Final Jake fought against William Salvetti from Italy, after an impressive performance from Jake he took the Irish Open win.

In the Junior Male -94kg Point Fighting Division, after making his way to the Final Jake came up against a strong Irish Fighter from Celbridge Kickboxing Academy. The Final was very close and in the final seconds of the final round Jake’s opponent won the winning point with Jake taking the Silver medal.

Jake then fought in the Junior Male -89kg where he won another Silver Medal after a close fight in the Final against a fellow Great Britain fighter from Manchester.

Jake then fought with fellow Great Britain athletes in the Junior Point Fighting Team where the GB Squad finished with a Bronze missing out on a place in the final to the eventual winners, USA.

Jake Peppercorn on the Irish Open Podium.

Nesta Baxter, 17, won her Irish Open World Cup Champion in the Senior Female Light Continuous -60kg Division after fighting against some of the World’s top Senior Female Light Continuous Fighters. Nesta beat competitors from Italy, Norway and Great Britain before reaching the final of the section. In the final Nesta came up against a very strong Italian Senior Female Fighter from Rome, Flavia Verona. After a very exciting fight, Nesta took the win by a unanimous decision against the Italian Fighter. This was one of Nesta’s highest goals to win the Irish Open Senior Light Continuous of which she has now achieved, this sets Nesta up very well for her final year as a Junior and for her transition to the senior divisions.

Nesta Baxter taking Gold as the Irish Open Champion 2018.

Nesta also won a very well deserved Silver Medal in the Junior Female Point Fighting Division. Nesta won against Irish, Canadian and British athletes before meeting one of the best Female fighters from Canada in the Final, Elizabeth Roulliard. Nesta fought well in the Final against such a strong competitor however it was the Canadian who took the Gold and Nesta finishing off with a Silver.

Nesta Baxter taking Silver in the Junior Point Fighting Division.

Chelsea Leggatt, 18, won Bronze in the Junior Female +70kg Point Fighting after missing out on a spot in the Final of the category to Saibh Kelly from Hurricane Martial Arts in Ireland after a very good performance from Chelsea.

Chelsea then went on to win a second Bronze Medal in the Senior Female +70kg Light Continuous Section where she came up against much taller and stronger senior competitors. In the Preliminary Round, Chelsea fought against a very strong fighter from Norway Sara Slyngstab where after a tough fight Chelsea proceeded to the next round by split decision before taking the win in the Quarter Finals. In the Semi Finals Chelsea fought against a Denmark Competitor, Chelsea gave it her all however it was her opponent who took a spot in the Final.

Chelsea Leggatt taking Bronze Podium Position in her Point Fighting Division.

After the First Day of the Irish Open, Evolution Martial Arts finished just outside of the top 10 in 11th Position (3rd for Great Britain Clubs). This is something the coaches and competitors are very proud of for three athletes from the Boston not for profit club.

Sunday 4th of March was the day for Cadet Point Fighting, Senior Team Event and Grand Champion Divisions. On this day Paige Stedman, 12, joined Chelsea, Nesta and Jake in Ireland to fight for Evolution Martial Arts.

Evolution Martial Arts on Day 2 of the Irish Open 2018. Left to right Jake Peppercorn, Chelsea Leggatt, Paige Stedman and Nesta Baxter.

Paige Stedman, 12, competed in her Point Fighting Divisions and although Paige had some outstanding performances, she bowed out of the competition in the Quarter Finals to an Irish athlete.

Paige Stedman fighting at the Irish Open 2018

Nesta Baxter competed in the Junior Female Grand Champion Point Fighting Division where she earned herself a Bronze Medal after winning her draw sheet beating athletes from Norway and Canada. In the Semi Final, Nesta Baxter came up against a fellow GB Team Member, the fight was close but it was Nesta’s opponent who proceeded to the final of the Grand Champion. Nesta then took part in the Senior Female Team Event as part of Team Great Britain, the GB team made it to the Semi Final where they fought against the Canadian Team who took the win by only 5 points with the GB Team taking the Bronze Medal.

Nesta Baxter in Bronze Medal Position in the Open Weight Division

Jake Peppercorn and Chelsea Leggatt both also competed in their Junior Grand Champion Events. Although they did not get to the Podium, they had some fantastic fights with Jake beating a Canadian and Chelsea winning against an Italian and Canadian before loosing out to an Irish athlete in the Quarter Finals.

Chelsea Leggatt Fighting at the Irish Open 2018.

This was a brilliant weekend for Evolution Martial Arts at this World Class Event one of the most prestigious in the Kickboxing Calendar, the Irish Open. A big well done to Nesta Baxter, Jake Peppercorn, Chelsea Leggatt and Paige Stedman for your performances and results. And finally thank you to the Coaches Linda Baxter and Nigel Baxter at this event.