Let me just get something out of the way first: Swansea is a long way away and the M4 is atrocious! A drive that should’ve taken a little over four hours on Friday took me just over six! Anyway now that that little rant is over…
Really fun show last weekend in Wales. The first trip for Cage Warriors to Swansea was a resounding success. A fair few hiccups in the run up to event day but overall the whole thing turned out excellently.
After a number of pullouts we ended up with a slightly reduced number of fights on the pro-card but thankfully all six of the main card fights were great.
There was also the issue of bantamweight champion Brett Johns missing the weight limit for the title fight (remember there’s no one pound allowance for title fights) and was forced to vacate the belt on weigh-in day! This left the unique scenario of him being unable to win the strap even if victorious but challenger James Brum still being able to become the champion should he win. Crazy set of circumstances!
Plenty of action in the early bouts. Very impressed with Agnieszka Niedzwiedz, now undefeated at 6-0 who won comprehensively with a brutal arm-bar.
Also a standout performance from Shaj Haque who showed some fantastic footwork and striking to pick apart Martin McDonough over three rounds….without even looking tired!
I love calling crazy grappling scenarios and Jamie Pritchard from Gym01 gave me one of those with a 3.5 minute leg tangle on Phil Raeburn complete with some heel hooks that’d make you cringe with pain.
Some felt the main event was perhaps controversial but honestly I thought it was fairly clear cut. Brett Johns showed he had the answer for every type of take-down defense that James Brum could muster as he ground out a unanimous decision win taking every round. The catch is that he threw very few strikes and once in on an entry never separated for a second (in most cases the rest of the round!). It was impressive that he could repeatedly put Brum on the ground, such is the caliber of the man from Portsmouth, but a lot of people felt it was a performance that played to the rules and avoided a true ‘fight’. I openly said on commentary that if you can’t stop TD’s that’s your problem. It’s simply the grappling equivalent of throwing a jab that scores over and over and circling away to avoid the clinch.
Checkout the review video below:
As usual a super slow-mo rewind by Dem Marquez is on the way shortly!
Post-fight interview with Sean ‘Sexy Curls’ Carter (Photo by Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors):