It was a time of celebration for the crew at Cage Warriors as they returned to their spiritual home at the HMV Forum in London for their tenth anniversary show, Cage Warriors 48, shown this past week on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The broadcast began in the flyweight division as Bryan Hyslop took on Kris Edwards.
This was a great way to open the show. There were a few striking exchanges early on, but the best exchanges happened when the action was taken to the ground.
While Hyslop did a great job with his takedowns Edwards was even better with his defensive work. It was an outstanding performance as the Welshman caused a great deal of damage from his back, going for a couple of submissions and opening Hyslop up with some well-placed elbows.
It was the same in the second round. Hyslop took the top position after a takedown but he soon found himself on the receiving end again, and it wasn’t long before Edwards synched in an armbar for the impressive submission win.
Then it was up to lightweight as Ido Pariente faced Dale Hardiman.
This was the proverbial game of two halves. Although Hardiman went for a guillotine early on the first round belonged to Pariente as the Israeli fighter controlled the action on the ground, going for an Achilles lock at one point.
When the second round began Hardiman looked almost afraid to engage, but when he connected with a big left Pariente went down quickly. Hardiman followed him for a spot of ground and pound before the referee stepped in to give Hardiman the TKO win.
Welterweight action followed as Danny Roberts went up against Jack Mason.
This was really good. Mason scored with the takedown early on and put in some good work on the ground, but when Roberts began to put his defensive skills to work he managed to rock Stone with a big up kick.
It took Mason a few moments to regain his composure before he was soon back on the offensive. However, when the second round began Roberts took control, and when the fight went back down to the ground Roberts took his man’s back before transitioning into position for an armbar attempt. Mason tried to fight it for as long as he could but eventually Roberts straightened out the arm and took the submission win.
It was up to middleweight for the next fight as Denniston Sutherland took on Brett Sizeland.
Sizeland scored with the big takedown early on in this one, and for the most part he did a good job in controlling Sutherland, making it almost impossible for him to get in any reasonable offence.
Eventually Sutherland managed to reverse the positions, and when he took Sizeland’s back and unleashed with the ground and pound it wasn’t long before the referee stepped in to give Sutherland the TKO win.
It was back down to welterweight for the next fight as Leigh Cohoon faced Aaron Wilkinson.
We had a brief feeling out period at the beginning of this one before Wilkinson attempted a takedown. Cohoon did a good job defending until Wilkinson lifted him on his shoulders and walked over to his own corner before taking him down to the ground.
Although Cohoon managed to draw blood with a couple of back elbows it wasn’t long before Wilkinson took Cohoon’s back, synching in a rear naked choke for the submission win.
The main event featured catch weight action, made at 192 pounds, as Chris Fields faced John Phillips.
Phillips began his night’s work by swinging for the fences. Fields quickly countered with a clinch before the fight eventually went down to the mat.
Once there Fields did a good job of controlling the action, but it wasn’t long before Phillips began swinging again, with Fields countering with some clinches.
Round two began with Fields using his size and reach advantage to good effect as he tried to gauge the distance before he took the fight to the ground. It looked as if this round was going to be a carbon copy of the first until Phillips managed to lock in an arm-in guillotine for the submission win.
In conclusion - having been disappointed with the last MMA show I saw I was hoping for some top notch action with this one, and Cage Warriors certainly didn’t disappoint in that respect.
This was a great show. All the fights shown were packed with great action, and it was a real pleasure to watch these guys fighting their hearts out, with the Hyslop/Edwards encounter getting my fight of the night honours.
So with all of that business out of the way let’s wrap up this review by giving Cage Warriors 48 the big thumbs up.