Saturday, 15 September 2007

Cage Rage on Sky Sports - TV Review

This is the first time I’ve paid any attention to Cage Rage, regarded by many as Britain’s leading mixed martial arts promotion. With regular broadcasts on Sky Sports, the thing that has always put me off is the fact that they only show highlights in their sixty minute slot. But seeing as I’m really getting into MMA at the moment, I thought I might as well give them a look-see.

We begin the broadcast with Hiroykui Abe against Brad “One Punch” Pickett, Heavily clipped highlights of all three rounds here, which saw Pickett dominate his Japanese foe, winning the bout via unanimous decision in what looked like an impressive showing.

Something of a grudge match next, with Jason “Bad Ass” Barrett taking on Jeremy “Bad Boy” Bailey. Before the fight, Barrett cuts a promo that is basically a rip-off of an old Muhammad Ali promo. The bout started off well for both men, but Barrett earns the ire of the ref by pulling Bailey’s dreadlocked hair, and when he did it a second time, the ref had no choice but to disqualify him.

On to the next bout, Daisuke Nakamura taking on Michael Johnson. The fight began with Johnson knocking Nakamura down early on, but it wasn’t long before Nakamura came back with a kimura to get the win by submission. A nice quick bout here, and the first one that wasn’t heavily clipped.

The third fight sees Dave Strasser taking on Paul “Semtex” Dailey. Another heavily clipped fight here, in which Strasser looked far from impressive, and it was surprising that he made it to the third round, where it was pretty much the same story with Dailey continuing to dominate, so it was no surprise that Dailey won by unanimous decision.

The fourth fight sees Edson Drago against British heavyweight champion Tengiz Tedoradze. It’s a one-punch fight here with Drago connecting with a right and knocking Tengiz out in just five seconds. Impressive stuff from Drago here.

The final bout sees Amar Suloev against “Gentleman” James E-Nicolle. Again, heavily clipped, Suloev dominated the fight, catching Nicolle with a hard right as the first round came to an end. It was enough to make Nicolle quit on his stool.

In conclusion - while the matches looked good, and the production quality was tremendous, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. The heavily clipped matches not only made it difficult to follow the action at times, it also detracted from the fighters, and while these little taster programmes are probably designed to boost DVD sales, then that’s fine. But in my opinion the promotion would be better off trying to secure a better and longer time slot on Sky Sports, which could, in turn, lead to future shows being broadcast on pay-per-view via Sky Box Office. Well, it’s a thought.

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