British MMA with an international flavour is on the agenda once again as we take a look back at Cage Warriors’ recent trip to Jordan for Fight Night 7, shown this past Wednesday night on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The show began with bantamweight action as James Saville went up against James Brum.
This proved to be a very good show opener. Both fighters put in some good work here. Brum did a good job early on as he tried to grind Saville down with a clinch against the cage, as well as scoring with a couple of takedowns while Saville came back with some good striking, rocking Brum with a left hook to the chin.
Saville looked like he was going to take the win in the second. When the action went back down to the ground he managed to take Brum’s back, but he couldn’t quite pull off the rear naked choke he was looking for, so he decided to transition to the top position.
Brum’s best work came in the third. After Saville had put in another good stint on the ground Brum took control with some nice looking ground and pound, opening up a cut on Saville’s forehead with some well-placed elbows.
With no finish in sight the decision went to the judges as all three scored in favour of Brum. It was close though.
The bantamweight action continued as Oliver Pastor took on Liam James.
This fight gave us another example of how things can change in an instant.
James dominated the early part of the fight, taking the action to the ground and putting in some solid work as he kept his man on his back. The referee took a point off Pastor though when the Frenchman kept hooking James’ gloves.
It was the same story at the start of the second. Jones dominated once again, but a moment of inactivity brought a stand up from the referee.
James scored with the immediate takedown, but as soon as Pastor hit the mat he locked in a guillotine. And that was it, with James having no choice but to tap to give Pastor the submission win.
Then it was up to the lightweight division as Mark Holst faced Leo Santos.
In what was billed as a striker versus grappler battle Holst opened his account with a couple of kicks, one of which went a little too close for comfort for Santos before the Brazilian took the fight to the ground with an impressive takedown.
From there he quickly worked into a position where he could apply an arm triangle, and although Holst tried to fight it it wasn’t long before he was unconscious, giving Santos the submission win after just 75 seconds.
Welterweight action followed as Piotr Ptasinksi went up against Mohsen Bahari.
This certainly proved to be an interesting encounter. The first round was fought at a frantic pace as both men began to swing for the fences. Bahari was the most successful in that respect, putting Ptasinksi on the back foot on more than one occasion.
At one point it looked like Bahari was going to take the win, but Ptasinksi’s granite-like chin helped him survive Bahari’s numerous onslaughts. It was a shame he kept leaving it out for target practice.
The final two rounds were fought at a much slower pace and featured quite a bit of ground work. Both guys looked as good as the other in this department. The controversial moment came when Bahari connected with a couple of knees to Ptasinksi’s head while he was grounded. The referee gave him a warning but surprisingly didn’t take a point away.
With neither man able to get the finish, and that wasn’t surprising considering the amount of energy they used early on, the call went to the judges as Bahari took the unanimous decision.
Then it was down to featherweight as Jim Alers faced Marcio Cesar.
This was good. Alers had Cesar in trouble early on after a couple of well-placed blows, but the Brazilian managed to counter by instigating a clinch against the cage. However, it wasn’t long before Alers was on the offensive again with some nice head clinch work, adding to this with an impressive judo throw.
Alers began the second round in the same vein, putting Cesar on the ground with a well-placed kick, but this time around Cesar went looking for a leg submission, grabbing hold of Cesar’s limb and holding onto it like a dog with a bone. Alers managed to escape from Cesar’s clutches, and it wasn’t long before he locked in a d’arce choke for the submission win.
The main event saw Pavel Kusch taking on Chris Fields in the final of the Middleweight title tournament.
This was another of those very interesting battles. Fields came forward as soon as the bell sounded, connecting with some good kicks, but it wasn’t long before Kusch took the fight to the ground. He put in a dominating performance, and Fields looked in some trouble when the man from the Ukraine went for a couple of leg submissions.
But as Fields escaped from those holds it was obvious for all to see how much they’d taken out of Kusch. The guy looked exhausted at the end of the round, and when the second round began Fields began to assert his authority both in the striking department and on the ground, although Kusch did have some success went he went for a few more leg submissions.
Everyone seemed surprised when Kusch came out for the third round. By then it looked like he wasn’t even running on fumes. As Fields began to tee off Kusch just stood there at one point before attempting a takedown, an attempt which Fields defended against with ease.
At one point Kusch stood in front of fields with his hands on his knees, and when it became more than obvious that Kusch couldn’t continue the referee stepped in to stop the fight, giving Fields the title winning TKO win, although I couldn’t help but think that this was something that should have happened a lot earlier.
In conclusion - this was another impressive outing from the Cage Warriors crew.
I really enjoyed every fight on this card. Every fight delivered, and it was another example of the deep talent pool that lies outside the bigger MMA promotions.
As for my fight of the night that goes to the Alers/Cesar encounter, although there were a couple of others that came close to getting this prestigious no-prize.
So with that being said let’s rap this thing up by giving Cage Warriors Fight Night 7 the big thumbs up.
You can find out more about Cage Warriors at www.cagewarriors.com.