A ‘LAID BACK’ IT engineer who usually prefers to avoid confrontation has won his first ever cage fight, all in aid of charity.

Dominic Buckley, who is a senior systems engineer at Wrexham-based Rawson IT Services, shocked colleagues when he announced he was embarking on a gruelling eight-week training programme to get him ready for his first ever bout to raise money for charity.

The 26-year-old, who is a big fan of Ultimate Championship Fighting (UFC) and has always wanted to have a go at the popular combat sport, competed in the Charity Cage Wars event at Brymbo Sports and Social Complex in Wrexham.

Dominic, who lives in Coedpoeth, Wrexham, defeated his opponent after the referee awarded the fight in his favour following three energy-sapping, two-minute rounds.

As a former world class PC gamer, he chose to support SpecialEffect – a UK-based charity which uses video games and technology to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities – and he has so far raised more than £400.

Dominic, who was cheered on by family, friends and colleagues, said: “The whole experience lived up to my expectations, it was brilliant. There is no feeling like it.

“I wasn’t actually nervous. I like to play up to a crowd so went in there with confidence. It was a really tough fight but I got the win by decision which was a bonus.

“I was tired going into the third round but you’ve got someone in front of you and you have to keep going. You’ve got no opportunity to think.

“The techniques I learned in training really paid off. I grabbed onto him, wrestled him to the ground and kept punching from the top – that’s how the rounds pretty much went.

“I was on top for most of it but when you’re in the moment you don’t really think like that. You’re just working so hard to end the fight, you don’t think about anything else.

“I’ve watched the fight back now and I did pretty well, it was a clear win. It’s a nice feeling. My dad is working away in Hamburg at the moment but he flew back to watch it so to win was a bonus.”

Dominic, who joined Rawson IT Services – a new division of Wrexham Industrial Estate-based copy firm Rawson Digital – back in March, admits it came as a big surprise to his colleagues when they discovered he was entering the tough world of cage fighting.

He said: “I think they were shocked because it was something out of the ordinary for me.

“And I’m not sure it was the result everyone expected. I’m very laid back and relaxed. I’m not a fighter or someone who looks for confrontation.

“But this is a sport and it brings the competitive side out of you. People have a perception of cage fighting but when you’re making punches and strikes you’re trying to score points to win just like someone does in snooker when they’re potting balls.”

Several of his colleagues from Rawson IT Services were there to see his success. The firm is based next door to its sister company, Rawson Digital, which was set up by managing director Vaughn Rawson from his back bedroom at home. Six years later, it has a turnover approaching £2.5m and has close to 1,400 machines out on site to its wide variety of clients.

A second Rawson Digital office was opened in Felinheli, near Bangor, two years ago and in January, the firm unveiled a £50,000 refurbishment at its headquarters in The Bridge Business Centre on Wrexham Industrial Estate. Rawson IT Services is the firm’s latest development and is being run by Managing Director Craig Davies.

Craig said of his colleague’s victory: “We are all so proud of Dom. It was hard to imagine him as a cage fighter because he’s such a laid back character.

“But once the fight started we could see how much the training and preparation had paid off and he did brilliantly.

“He always gives his all in everything he does, so that was never in question, but to go on and win so well and then raise hundreds of pounds for such a great cause – it’s amazing.”

Dominic, who is originally from Buckley, trained at Inspire Performance Centre (IPC) in Gwersyllt, Wrexham, run by professional MMA fighter Aaron Aby, and said he will continue with his cage fighting journey.

He explained: “I’d like to keep going with it. There really is nothing like it. It excites me and I want to experience more.

“We’ll just see how it goes. I tend to go with the rhythm. If I can get better let’s just see what level I can get to.

“It’s definitely given me a taste for more. I was so focused on the fight everything else was a blur. You don’t hear the crowd or anything, you’re just in the moment.”

Dominic was keen to support the charity SpecialEffect, given he was once a PC gamer who competed in world tournaments and knows just how much joy computer games can bring.

He said: “It ticked all the boxes because it was doing something for charity and also testing myself.

“PC gaming is one of my hobbies and I’d heard about this charity – Special Effect – that helps kids with disabilities to play so I wanted to support that.

“I know how games can take you away and help you forget about things so I think this is a great charity.”

To sponsor Dominic, go to https://justgiving.com/fundraising/dbccw