Friday, 9 September 2011

Cage Warriors Fight Night 2 on Premier Sports - TV Review

It’s time to step into the world of British mixed martial arts again, but this time with a slight difference as Cage Warriors presented their latest show, Fight Night 2, in Amman, Jordan, shown live on Premier Sports this past Thursday evening here in Britain.

The broadcast began in the lightweight division as Conor McGregor faced Aron Jahnsen.

With McGregor’s last two fights lasting a combined total of 20 seconds everyone was expect a quick win. The Irishman looked like he was going for a quickie when he connected as soon as the bell rang, but after a feeling out period the fighters engaged in a clinch against the cage, which saw Jahnsen going for a guillotine which McGregor easily escaped from.

Moments later the fight went to the ground, and it wasn’t long before McGregor unloaded with the heavy ground and pound stuff, and with Jahnsen unable to defend himself the referee stepped in to give McGregor the TKO win.

More lightweight action followed as the debuting Zack Stratton taking on James Saville.

This one lasted less than a minute. Saville went for a couple of high kicks, with Stratton countering with a take down. The only problem was that Saville quickly went for the leg triangle. Stratton tried to fight it for but soon succumbed to the inevitable, tapping out to give Saville the submission win.

Then it was up to the welterweight division as Cathal Pendred faced Danny Mitchell.

The first fight of the show to go the distance proved to be an entertaining back and forth contest. Pendred managed to control the action early on, reading Mitchell’s strikes extremely well, and even slamming him off one of them in the first round.

From round two onwards we son quite a few wars of attrition with clinches against the cage. Mitchell managed to take the fight to the ground and tried to synch in a heel hook in the second, but time was against him.

The most dramatic moment came in the third as Mitchell took Pendred down with a pile driver, a move illegal in MMA. However, he was lucky enough to get away a warning rather than a points deduction.

So after three rounds of great action the judges came into play. One judge gave the fight to Mitchell while the other two scored it even, making this a majority draw, which means we’ll probably see these two against each other again soon.

History was made next with the first ever woman’s MMA fight in Jordan, made at a catch weight of 132, between Aisling Daly and Angela Hayes.

The blink and you’ll miss it affair saw Daly coming forward straight away with a series of blows. Hayes countered with a take down but quickly found herself tapping out to Daly’s arm bar in just 20 seconds. Nice stuff.

Then it was up to the middleweight division as Mike Ling went up against Jack Hermansson.

As soon as the fight began Ling caught Hermansson with a blow to the face that bloodied his nose. From there the Norwegian scored with a quick take down, and although he showed some good work on the ground it wasn’t long before they got back to their feet.

It was then that they engaged in a slug fest, both men swinging for the fences with some wild brawling before Hermansson staggered Ling. He soon followed him to the mat for some ground and pound, knocking him out after a barrage of fists and elbows for the great looking KO win.

The main event saw Arni Isaksson facing Gael Grimaud for the vacant CWFC Welterweight title.

This was the fight of the night for me. Grimaud began strongly with some nice blows before Isaksson countered with a clinch.

After this we saw some nice back and forth action on the ground, especially from Grimaud in the second round as he tired Isaksson up in knots, wearing him out with a body lock, looking for a rear naked choke before eventually going for the ground and pound towards the end of the round, and with the Ice Viking offering nothing in reply the referee wisely stepped in to give Grimaud the highly impressive TKO title win.

With a little time to kill an earlier fight was shown, the lightweight fight between Merv Mulholland and Amir Gerandokov.

Fast paced back and forth action was the order of the day in this one. Gerandokov came forward early with some combinations, and when the fight went to the ground we saw plenty of transitions and submission attempts. It made for thrilling viewing, but it wasn’t long before Mulholland gained control as he took Gerandokov’s back and synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win.

In conclusion - this is the first time I’ve seen some of the current Cage Warriors stuff, and I have to admit I was pretty impressed.

The fighters gave the Jordanian fans a quality show with great fights and performances throughout, topped off nicely by Gael Grimaud’s highly impressive title winning performance.

As for the production values, they’ve certainly come a long way since those early shows, and it ranks right up there with their UCMMA and BAMMA counterparts, Kudos must also go to commentators John Gooden and Josh Palmer for their quality performances behind the microphone. They could possibly be the best team in the country at the moment.

So in all Cage Warriors Fight Night 2 gets the thumbs up for a very good show, and a thumbs up to the Premier Sports channel as well for giving this event away for free. Let’s hope they do the same when Cage Warriors present their next show on October 1st. We can but hope.