BIRMINGHAM, England -- Cage Rage 26: Extreme played out to a new audience as part of the promotion's 2008 jaunt around the country, and the crowd was not disappointed. The main card of the evening provided the highlights we were all looking for and was supported by an undercard full of fighters laying everything on the line in order to impress.
Crowd attendance fell somewhere into the region or 5,000 people. They appeared to really enjoy themselves, including
Total domination; that is the only way to describe the performance of
Cahoon was always going to be a danger-man with his strikes, but he never managed to hook his timing up and, therefore, none of the strikes he landed played much of a role in the fight. When the third round rolled into view it was apparent that only a knockout was going to reverse the decision, but experience and smarts kept the challenger out of the danger zone.
"I am 41 years of age, and I am in the best shape of my life," commented the newly crowned British light heavyweight champion. "I am not going anywhere. Retirement is not an option. This is my belt and I will defend it".
A disappointing end to a cracking fight between these two warriors by way of a cut sustained to the eye of
No matter, for the second outing, it was clear that
Despite the unfortunate end, Mills is declared the champion and finds himself fending off challengers in a division stack full of talent.
It was a mature and measured display from the Serbian fighter, en route to an early third round submission win over Dutch import
Zikic looked completely comfortable trading on the feet and managed to connect with some solid shots, but his work in the clinch, applying knees, and solid pressure on the ground, served to sap the energy from his opponent.
The adversaries were both looking tentative having answered the bell for the third round, but Zikic was the one to capitalize having positioned himself to strike with a knee on the stomach before dropping back for the armbar. Exhausted and unable to escape, Faverus had no option but to tap and drop to five loses in as many outings. Zikic by contrast marks himself out as the next challenger to the crown for Ian Freeman.
Ross Pointon has all the hallmarks of a fighter who is peaking. The reduction in weight, his focus on training, and confidence level have all aligned, and for first time in his career, he looks genuinely complete. With many in attendance expecting this fight to be a war on their feet, Pointon used smarts (and possibly a tape of the
An early exchange gave hints to the stand-up war we were expecting, but as soon as Pointon closed for a double leg takedown, you knew he had something else in mind. A brief flirtation with an armbar was unsuccessful and brought both fighters to their feet again, but Pointon would not be denied. He pursued the takedown again before settling on the heel hook. Mason had the option of tapping or suffering considerable knee damage.
"I had a game plan, and my game plan was to show everyone that I can work on the ground. At one point, when we were stood back up, I kind of went back to my old Pointon ways, and thought, 'What are you thinking?' The idea was to protect my cut, as I didn't know if it would hold up," commented the Stoke fighter before adding, as a statement of intent, "I want that belt. I will be fighting again in September, hopefully in Liverpool if the show goes ahead, and I want it to be for the belt."
A lot of people criticize
Surprisingly, it was Epstein who opened his account with a solid takedown before working his own ground and pound offense. He landed well and was pressuring his opponent early on, but Ewin eventually started to reverse the tides and even tried to go for an armbar at one point
The reigning British middleweight champion's style is hard to train for and although Epstein acquitted himself well, he was unable to reverse the flow and lost out on the decision. With no time for celebrations, Ewin found himself in the middle of the cage receiving his trophy, and then has both
"I just wanted to fight, get in his face," stated a frustrated
Given that Goddard spent the majority of the rounds chasing his Brazilian counterpart around the cage and deflecting takedowns, it was surprising to learn that the fight was, in fact, ruled a draw.
I could only assume that this is due to the effective aggression rule, as Nogueira racked up points by grounding the fight, and Goddard the same by sprawling and connecting with the better standing shots.
Both fighters make a welcome addition to Cage Rage and add further add depth to the already buoyant light heavyweight division.
"After about 15 seconds of having landed the knee, he turned round to me and said, 'Good shot, acknowledging that I had caught him good and proper,'" commented the Team Titan fighter. He added for good measure, "I seem to make a war with everyone. If I fight a sub guy, I take them down. If I fight a striker, I stand and trade. I don't know what it is, but I seem to fight people at their game regularly."
So what next for Pickett? He needs to iron out a few things at the moment, but is adamant that we will see him somewhere soon on a good show, although his motivation is the belt, and he wants to continue down that road until he gets his chance again.
"He caught me with a big hook that landed flush," said the Gorilla Academy fighter after the event. "I can still feel it now, and although we went down, I thought I could handle him. But next thing I know, I see a black T-shirt stepping in and I realize that the ref stopped it."
Indeed, having taken the brunt of his opponent's offense on the chin, Simms scrambled to engage, but found himself planted on his back with his opponent throwing heavy leather.
Ian Freeman def. Paul Cahoon via Decision