Saturday, 24 April 2010

Night of the Gladiators 3: A Retrospective

An event review for Night of the Gladiators 3 which took place on February 6th 2010.

Night of the Gladiators 3

Ross Pointon’s promotion returned to the Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent for its third event in less than twelve months. It’s clear that the organisation is picking up momentum on the UK scene as the crowds were bigger and the brand new cage in the middle of the venue was a testament to the growth that the promotion, and indeed the sport, is enjoying at the moment.

Semi Pro Bout 77 kg
Luke Berni vs. Gareth Driver

Local favourite Gareth Driver was greeted with a huge round of applause from the home town fans as he made his way to the cage. The fight began with a nervous feeling out process before some frantic clinch work and somewhat wild striking. Driver continually pursued the takedown but as he managed to get a hold of his foe he left his neck in a vulnerable position and Berni jumped guard and applied a tight guillotine choke for a nice win in his mma debut.

Semi Pro Bout 77kg
Harry Izevbigie vs. Stuart Wildman

Fans didn’t have to wait long for the action in this contest as Izevbigie flew at his opponent opening up with some crisp straight punches and some dangerous looking knees from the clinch. Wildman was visibly shaken from this onslaught but managed to compose himself and get back into the fight as he pressed Izevbigie up against the cage. Wildman made the same mistake that Driver made in the previous fight and Izevbigie was quick to grab a tight looking standing guillotine. UFC referee Mark Goddard was in a great position to see Wildman submit from the submission and it marked a good end to a very entertaining bout.

Semi Pro Bout 84kg
Chris Kelly vs. Glenn Martin

Team Spartan’s Chris Kelly and Glenn Martin put on an action filled bout as they both showed that they were not afraid of trading shots. It was the heavy hands of Kelly that gave him an edge in the first round as he continually rattled Martin with overhand rights and some sharp looking left hooks. This pattern continued but Martin refused to back down and came back strong in the final round with some good strikes and a takedown of his own. Both fighters were visibly marked from this encounter but it was the early dominance of Kelly that had gave him a unanimous decision victory.

Pro Bout 60kg
Jamie Barrat vs. Carl Lofthouse

In one of the quicker fights of the night the much larger looking Jamie Barrat made short work of Carl Lofthouse. Barrat was able to slam his opponent to the floor with comparative ease and apply a guillotine choke from the mount position. Lofthouse was clearly hurt from the impact of the takedown but was forced to tap by the choke after just 25 seconds of the first round.

Semi Pro Bout 70kg
Adam Bairstow vs. Pete Tyers

Once again the roof seemed to be lifted off the Victoria Hall as the crowd went crazy for Team Gladiator favourite Adam Bairstow. This was the third time that Bairstow was stepping into the cage on a card put on by his mentor Ross Pointon and it was one of his most dominating performances. Pete Tyers came forward undaunted by the reputation of his opponent but ran headfirst into a guillotine choke. Bairstow quickly jumped guard and sunk in the submission which gave his opponent no choice but to tap out after just 13 seconds.

Pro Bout 60kg
Karl Harrison vs. Ian Morgan

Both fighters in this bout came in with submission wrestling credentials and this was made apparent early on by the level of grappling exchanges. It was Morgan who had the initial success as he quickly took his opponents back and looked to sink in the rear naked choke. Harrison showed a great deal of composure and defended well as he looked to reverse the situation. Both fighters worked diligently for position but it was Harrison who managed to gain the advantage and took the back of his opponent with a nice transition. Karl sunk in a good looking body triangle to control his foe while he fished for the choke. His persistence paid off in the end as he locked in the fight ending rear naked choke submission with less than a minute remaining in the first round.

Pro Bout 77kg
Tom Thorneycroft vs. Reid Northwood

The crowd had picked their favourite before this bout even started and Team Gladiator’s Tom Thorneycroft received a hero’s welcome as he entered the cage. Thorneycroft looked to push the pace against Northwood and completed a nice takedown early on. Northwood seemed to struggle from the bottom and Thorneycroft did well to move to mount and proceeded to launch an onslaught of ground and pound. Reid was unable to hip escape out of this predicament for the rest of the first round and had to absorb everything but the kitchen sink as Thorneycroft dominated the proceedings. This clearly took a toll on Northwood who was unable to continue into the second round complaining of an injured rib which sealed an impressive win for his opponent.

Semi Pro Bout 77kg
Lee Stevens vs. Lee Armstrong

Team Spartan’s Lee Stevens came out with fire in his eyes for this bout looking to make it two wins from two fights for both himself and for his team. It was clear Stevens had the edge in the stand up and straight away he was able to utilize his reach to keep his opponent at bay. Armstrong was a very game opponent however and pushed the pace throughout the opening of the bout. On the few occasions that Stevens was taken to the ground he was able to scramble nicely to his feet. Armstrong continued to come forward and Stevens, sensing this, turned up the power with his striking. It seemed a matter of time before Stevens found his range and he did so in devastating fashion with a left jab followed by a blistering overhand right that sent Armstrong spiralling to the canvas. Mark Goddard quickly called a halt to the proceedings as the crowd erupted in support of Stevens who impressed everyone with his knockout power and precision.

Pro Bout 70kg
Paul Ramos vs. Craig Allen

Craig Allen wasted no time in his bout with Paul Ramos as he backed his man up straight away with some well timed strikes. Ramos seemed a little shell shocked by the proceedings and covered up repeatedly as Allen resumed the attack. It took a well timed takedown from Ramos to halt the charge and once the fight hit the floor it was clear who had the advantage. Paul Ramos moved well from half guard to mount and when his opponent turned over to avoid the strikes the writing seemed to be on the wall. It seemed like it was only a matter of time for Allen and this proved to be true as he was caught in a well executed rear naked choke. It marked a very competent display from Ramos who was able to weather the storm and finish the fight when given the opportunity.

Semi Pro Bout 70kg
Conrad Hayes vs. Ben Rose

It was the last of the Team Gladiator fighters that received the biggest reception of all as he walked down to the cage. Conrad Hayes has come on tremendously under the tutelage of Ross Pointon but he faced his most difficult test so far in Ben Rose. Hayes continues to draw comparisons to Wanderlei Silva in both his intensity and demeanour inside the cage and he did much to further these comparisons in this encounter. Rose was clearly undaunted by the prospect of fighting Hayes as he took the centre of the cage and looked to set up strikes. The crowd were clearly awaiting fireworks and Hayes didn’t make them wait long as he launched into three and four punch combinations and a number of huge head kicks. Hayes sent his foe reeling with one of these kicks and followed it up with a leaping superman punch. Although Rose was able to land a few good takedowns he was never able to do a lot with them and too often the fight was stood back up due to inactivity. As the fight drew into the later rounds it was clear that Hayes was landing the more decisive strikes and what was more impressive was the way he put his strikes together. Rose had no answer to the combinations which mixed up punches, kicks and knees at a variety of levels. It was an impressive contest which the crowd appreciated and as Conrad Hayes took the unanimous judge’s decision it was clear that his star is rising in the sport, and at just 17 years of age the sky seems to be the limit.

Pro Bout 65kg
Ant Phillips vs. Luke Hurst

The main event saw a return to the Gladiator Promotions cage for Ant Phillips but this time he had dropped down to 65kg and looked to make the most of his transition. Both fighters began the fight briskly and looked to exchange leg kicks but it was Hurst who felt the power of his foe as Phillips countered a leg kick with a good right straight. Phillips used some good head movement to evade the incoming strikes and was able to neutralize his opponent’s momentum with a well timed takedown. Hurst looked to escape from mount but struggled to create the space and was soon under fire once more as Phillips began to turn up the heat. Mark Goddard was keeping a very close eye on the proceedings and once it became clear that Hurst had no answers to the ground and pound he stepped in to award Ant Phillips the victory.

Night of the Gladiators 3 had delivered all that anyone who comes to see an mma card could hope to see. The fans walked away from the venue very happy and were animated in discussion about the wars that they had seen unfold in the cage that night. It was another phenomenal night of fights from Gladiator Promotions. Ross Pointon has announced a further card on May 29th which will feature title fights and as the buzz of the crowd and the improved turnout demonstrated, there’s still a lot of fight in the Gladiator yet.


jason peplow said...

Great review of show man spot on.

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