British MMA with an international flavour is on the agenda once again as we take another look at the Cage Warriors promotion and their return to Jordan for Fight Night 5, shown this past Wednesday night on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The broadcast began with action from the light division as Piotr Hallmann faced Kevin Donnelly.
I’m guessing that nothing much happened in the first two rounds as we went straight to the third round. Donnelly went for a takedown early on, only for Hallmann to counter with some sound grappling. The Pole eventually took his back and delivered some blows before Hallmann managed to wall walk his way back to his feet.
He didn’t stay there long though as Hallmann quickly took him down, going to work with the ground and pound before taking Donnelly’s back again, this time synching in a rear naked choke for the submission win.
A catchweight fight made at 188 pounds followed as Eric Cebarec took on Mike Ling.
Ling came into this one with a huge height and reach advantage, but it didn’t do him much good early on when Cebarec scored with the early takedown.
From there Cebarec delivered some nice ground and pound, and although Ling looked to escape at one point Cebarec look quite busy, which made the referee’s stand up all the more vexing.
Once they were back on their feet Ling began to use his natural gifts with some nice kicks, and when the second round began the tide turned completely when he took the Frenchman down.
Ling soon went to work with the ground and pound, and although Cebarec resisted at first it wasn’t long before he wasn’t responding to Ling’s attack, making the referee’s stoppage and Ling’s TKO win inevitable.
It was down to featherweight for the next fight as Jean N’Doye went up against Liam James.
This three rounder proved to be an enthralling back and forth affair. As soon as the bell sounded at the beginning of the fight James came forward, immediately looking for the takedown. N’Doye managed to counter though, initiating a clinch against the cage as both men mixed in a little Thai boxing as well.
James looked like he was going to get the stoppage in the second when he sent N’Doye down with a big right hand. James followed him down for some ground and pound, taking his man’s back at one point, but the Frenchman managed to recover enough to escape.
It also looked as if N’Doye was going to have to give up because of injury at a couple of times because of a shoulder injury, committing what many would say was the ultimate sin by making it obvious that he was injured.
That didn’t stop him from throwing big rights though, and for the rest of the fight these two engaged in some no nonsense striking, rocking the other with big blows but unable to put the other away.
So with the fight going the distance it went down to the judges with James taking the split decision.
Then it was on to the semi-finals of the Middleweight Title tournament, beginning with Faycal Hucin against Victor Cheng.
This was an intriguing three round affair. There was quite an extensive feeling out period at the beginning, and things didn’t really begin to happen until Cheng took control on the ground. Hucin put in some good work but earned himself a point deduction by grabbing the fence a couple of times.
Cheng really upped his game in the second and third with some nice takedowns and ground and pound, but there where quite a few times when the referee stood the fighters up because of inactivity, even though the action looked perfectly acceptable.
Hucin made a comeback of sorts in the third, putting Cheng on the back foot, although the Frenchman soon did the chicken dance when the Swede rocked him with a big left.
With the fight going the distance the judges were called into action once again as Cheng earned the decision and the first slot in the tournament final.
The second semi-final saw Pavel Kusch taking on John Phillips.
No feeling out period in this one. Both guys came forward early, and it wasn’t long before the fight went to the ground. Kusch immediately went for a heel hook, and although Phillips tried to escape it wasn’t long before he tapped. Total fight time just 25 seconds.
The main event featured heavyweight action as D.J. Linderman went up against Bobby Brents.
This mainly striking battle began with Brents throwing a hard leg kick, but apart from a couple of guillotine attempts from Brents it was Linderman who put in the best work, peppering Brents throughout the fight with a series of jabs, keeping Brents at bay.
The most eventful round was the second. Linderman connected with a knee that was slightly south of the border, and a few moments later Brents connected with a kick that was slightly further south than Linderman’s.
But as the fight entered the third round Linderman kept up his sound tactics, and with the fight going the distance it came as no surprise when Linderman took the unanimous decision.
In conclusion - this was another fine show from the Cage Warriors crew. Although it was disappointing that the opener was clipped my enjoyment of the other fights more than made up for that disappointment, with the N’Doye/James encounter getting my fight of the night props.
So in Fight Night 5 gets the thumbs up from me as another great example of the Cage Warriors product.