It was a quick return to action for Britain’s Cage Warriors this past weekend, and after their recent trip to the Lebanon they returned to the HMV Forum in London for Cage Warriors 45, shown this past Wednesday night on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The show began in the middleweight division as Brett Bassett went up against Brett Sizeland.
This proved to be a very good fight. After a feeling out period at the beginning of the first round the fight went to the ground with some nice back and forth action. Bassett went on to lock in a standing guillotine which Sizeland slammed his way out of.
Later in the round, while Bassett was looking for a takedown near the cage Sizeland connected with a series of short elbows that opened up a nasty cut in Bassett’s hairline. The doctor quickly checked Bassett out and allowed him to continue, although the amount of blood left on the ground at the end of the round left some of the fans gasping for a few seconds.
The good ground work continued into the second, but as the blood began to pour from Bassett’s cut the referee stopped the action, and upon seeing his back covered in claret he called an immediate halt to the proceedings, giving Sizeland the stoppage win.
It was up to the heavyweight division for the next fight as Eddy Bengtsson faced Dave Keeley.
This was another fight that featured some nice ground work. After testing the waters with a couple of blows Bengtsson scored with the takedown, putting in some good work as he went for a neck crank and later a kimura.
But Keeley was able to survive these attempts and get back to his feet, and when Bengtsson went for another takedown against the cage Keeley connected with a couple of elbows. The Swede fell to the ground, and after a brief check from the referee the fight was stopped as Keeley took the TKO win.
Then it was down to the featherweight division as Conor McGregor took on Steve O’Keeffe.
No feeling out period in this one. McGregor came forward straight away, connecting with a series of blows and knees that rocked his man.
O’Keeffe soon countered with a takedown attempt, later moving on to a standing arm triangle until McGregor managed to escape.
It was all over seconds later. As O’Keeffe went for another takedown McGregor connected with a succession of elbows, and like in the previous fight O’Keeffe slumped to the ground. The referee, seeing that he was out of it, stopped the fight to give McGregor the TKO win.
Then it was on to the quarter-finals of the Middleweight title tournament as Chris Fields faced Jack Mason.
This was a quick one. After a feeling out period Fields connected with a high left kick to Mason’s head. Mason slumped to the ground, with the referee stepping in after a brief moment of ground and pound to give Fields the TKO win after just 50 seconds.
Lightweight action followed as James Reese faced Brad Wheeler.
The pattern for this one was the same throughout. Wheeler would go for a punch or kick and Reese countered with an immediate takedown. It proved to be an effective tactic for the American, who put in some good work while dealing with Wheeler’s attack from his back, although there were numerous stand-ups from the referee because of a lack of action.
Wheeler’s only effective moment came when he went for a kimura on the ground. It wasn’t long before Reese escaped and re-established control.
So with the fight going the distance it went down to the judges. No real surprise here as the judges gave everything to Reese.
The main event featured heavyweight action as Rogent Lioret went up against Bobby Brents.
Lioret began his night’s work with a hard leg kick, but soon found himself on the receiving end of Brent’s big takedown. It wasn’t long before they were back to their feet exchanging blows, with Brents getting the better of the exchanges.
But when Brents scored with an overhand right Lioret fell to the mat. Brents followed him down, locking in an arm triangle choke. The Spaniard tried to fight it but it wasn’t long before he was tapping out, giving the American the impressive submission win.
In conclusion - while I enjoyed last week’s Fight Night show in Beirut I have to admit that I enjoyed this show even more.
None of the fights here disappointed as we got to see the full range of skills, with the main event battle between Lioret and Brents the fight of the night for me.
So once again I’m going to give a Cage Warriors show the thumbs up, and once again I find myself looking forward to their next television appearance, which is less than a week away.