Saturday, 5 September 2009

Cage Fight Series D-Day - Retro Review

Over the past couple of years I’ve had quite a bit of contact with a guy called Tom Tailford. Tom is a mixed martial arts fighter, based in sunny Lowestoft, who also works for the Fight Factory promotion and website. He also spends a lot of time travelling the country filming various MMA shows.

Recently Tom was kind enough to send me a batch of DVDs to review, but instead of reviewing one of them, I’m going to take a look back at the promotion Tom was involved with a couple of years ago, the short-lived Cage Fight Series. They held their debut show in May 2007, at Trinity Park in Ipswich. Most of the fights were uploaded to their website, so yours truly downloaded them and burned them onto DVD, and it’s these matches that I’m going to take a look at now.

First up was a welterweight contest, featuring Jared Ferre against Daniel Thomas. This was a very enjoyable opener in a way, although I’d hardly describe the action as top notch, as it was somewhat messy at times, although both fighters did show a lot of raw talent. Thomas came out on top in this one, with Ferre submitting to a guillotine choke in round three.

The second fight veered away from MMA, and saw young ladies Shalina Roberts and Alexis Rufus taking part in a cage boxing bout. I always though that cage boxing was an interesting concept, one that, sadly, the Cage Fight Series guys couldn’t get off the ground, mainly because they had to cancel their first show because for logistical reasons. This certainly was a good contest, fought over three rounds, in which both women put on a good showing, with Rufus winning by majority decision. My only criticism of this is that it could have done with a few more rounds.

Then it was back to MMA action, with Lee Doski facing Kevin Reed in welterweight action. This was a great little fight, with good stand-up action, and ever better action on the ground. Doski looked very impressive here, getting the win in round two, unleashing with the ground and pound on Reed, with the referee stepping in and calling a halt to the action.

Lightweight action followed, with Vaclav Pribyl taking on Lautaro Arborelo. I had been really impressed with the Spanish contingent during my recent Ultimate Combat DVD reviews, so I was looking forward to seeing Arborelo in action. His performance was both good and bad. He totally dominated Pribyl at times, but even though he was overwhelming his opponent for the most part he just couldn’t find that extra push to put the guy away. Pribyl was clearly getting frustrated though, and was warned by the referee for elbowing Arborelo in the back of the head. The fight went the three round distance, with Arborelo getting the unanimous decision.

Tim McCory against Florian Muller at light heavyweight was the proverbial blink and you’ll miss it affair here. Muller avoided McCory’s take down attempt, took his back, and synched in a rear naked choke for the 44 second victory. Impressive stuff from Muller here.

The next fight saw another Spanish fighter, Oriol Gaset, taking on Che Mills at welterweight. Gaset didn’t do as well as his countryman. This one began quickly, and soon went to the ground, with Mills getting the win with a rear naked choke. A good display from Mills here.

Then it was on to Phil Harris against Michal Hamrsmid at featherweight. This one had a rather unfortunate ending. When Hamrsmid slammed Harris down to the mat close to the fence, some of the protective padding came loose, and Harris sustained a cut to the back of his head. The referee stopped the fight immediately, ruling it a no contest.

The final fight saw Jake Blyth face Paul Jenkins at middleweight. This was a great way to end the show. Blyth took the fight to the ground early, and worked well with the elbows and the ground and pound, opening up a nasty cut above Jenkins’ left eye. Jenkins survived the round, but was pulled out by the doctor shortly afterwards, giving Blyth the win.

In conclusion - this was a very enjoyable show. There were some good fights here, although things did seem a little rough around the edges at times. Production wise it was okay, although there were no pre-fight introductions from announcer Ian Freeman, which made things a little confusing at times.

Now while this event is not commercially available on DVD, some of the fights are available on my Youtube page at

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