LIAM HARRISON is 'over the moon' with his successful return to the ring following his lengthy hiatus.
The Hitman returned to action last weekend for the first time in 18 months in the main event of the latest Muay Thai Grand Prix event at the Indigo at the O2.
But the former UK No.1 showed no signs of ring rust as he turned in a vintage performance against Frenchman Brayan Matias – whom he dropped with a beautiful spinning elbow – on his way to earning a unanimous decision victory.
The 36-year-old said: “I was over the moon being able to fight again after so long out, the MTGP show was amazing and the crowd and atmosphere were incredible.
"I was happy with my performance and that’s the ring rust blasted off so I’m looking forward to getting back to business as usual.”
Harrison furthered reflected on his victory on Instagram, writing: "Feels great to be back.
"Thank you to everyone for their support all my team for their help and to @muaythaigrandprix for putting me on a sick card."
And the fan favourite also sent a message to ONE Championship chief Chatri Sityodtong, who was in attendance at the Indigo.
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He added: "@onechampionship who’s next I’m waiting."
MTGP world champ Iman Barlow, 28, was also in action, registering a unanimous decision victory over Italy's Sveva Melillo.
The Pretty Killer, 28, said of her latest win: “Very happy with my win and to demonstrate my heart as well as my skill.
"It was amazing to be part of such a massive show at an iconic venue and in front of a home crowd.”
Elsewhere on the card, there were wins for Team Tieu standouts Liam Patel and Amro Ghanem, who registered unanimous decision victories over Matty Holleran and Tom Field respectively.
Victory over Holleran saw Patel claim MTGP's 61kg British Title.
An elated Patel reflected on the momentous achievement on Instagram, writing: "Come a long way from calling in sick at work to go and train.
"For years watching my coaches fight and win titles telling myself that that will be me one day.
"Still got a long way to go but first milestone is secured – MTGP British Champ.
"This one goes out to all the people who at some point have or are working towards a goal in life that nobody could see themselves achieving but them.
"I still have a long way to go but there’s no doubt I’m on track."
Italian Ghanem said of his latest victory: "WHAT A NIGHT THAT WAS! Winning by unanimous decision again taking me to still being undefeated @muaythaigrandprix.
"I have goosebumps rewatching all the videos I can’t believe how much support I got from the English fans.
"The UK it’s my second home and I love you guys from the bottoms of my heart I really do.
"To all my students my friends my girlfriend and everyone who came and scream their head off you guys are the reason why the shows are [fire emoji].
"Thank you to @muaythaigrandprix for giving me the opportunity to fight in this amazing show and what a card that was road to @onechampionship was lit."
The latest London instalment of the MTGP was yet another successful showing of the fastest-growing Muay Thai promotion in Europe.
MTGP co-owner Simon Jays said: "The show for myself and Phil Tieu was great, we are very lucky to have such a strong team at MTGP.
"Something like this, it can be beefed up. Massive thanks to all the fighters and gyms for their continued support.
"Can't wait for are next show at the Indigo O2 in April 22 – watch this space!!"
MMA TV broadcast the latest show in over 100 countries, much to the delight of founder Siju Roseje.
He said: "What an event Simon and Phil put on. The atmosphere was phenomenal, the fights were amazing and the production was second to none.
"We were live in 100+ countries and the feedback from fans watching around the world has been fantastic.
"Having our new television partners on board for our first live event on Samsung TV Plus made it all the more special for the MTGP team and our broadcast and production team here at MMA TV. We look forward to a jam-packed 2022."
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