Sunday, 26 September 2010

Cage Control 2 - Revolution

Cage Control 2 represented a huge step forward for the team from Spartan MMA. Doug Wildman and Andy Molyneux had pulled out all the stops to ensure that this show was bigger and better than the last and the gleaming white Dreamesque cage was surely testament to this.

As the crowds started to slowly filter in and I took my seat at cageside, it quickly became apparent that there was an energy in the air that was hard to explain.

Mixed Martial Arts is not a team sport, but the achievements of great individuals are fashioned by their coaches and sparring partners. They are the real heroes of events like this and every fighter, whether in victory or defeat, should be quick to thank their respective teams for the help and support that bring them to battle.

It was clear that war was about to be declared and as soon as MC Ricky Wright began his sonic assault, there wasn't a dull moment all night.

Ben Almond vs. Steven Molyneux
63kg Amateur Bout

The first of the Spartans entered the arena to rapturous applause as Ste Molyneux made his debut against Ben Almond. It soon became apparent that the two fighters were very well matched as both exchanged evenly on the floor and on the feet.
There was, however, a frantic nature about the fight and after just two minutes of the first round it was Almond who wound up in a tight guillotine choke and struggled to get out. Molyneux, sensing he had the victory, applied the crank and elicited the tap.

Callum Griffiths vs. Phil Barnard
65kg Semi Pro Bout

Once again the crowd roared as Callum Griffiths, another debuting Spartan, took to the cage but his opponent was clearly ready to take the fight to him. In the first round it was Griffiths who looked to have the better of the striking as he landed a hard right uppercut that wobbled his foe. Barnard showed a good chin and came back well in the first round with some good wrestling.
The rest of the bout continued to follow this pace as Barnard seemed to have the better grappling but slowed down considerably in the last round. Griffiths landed some nice strikes and locked in a tight triangle choke in the last seconds of the final round to undoubtedly leave an impression on the judges. It was a close fight but Griffiths took the bout, winning two out of three rounds on all the scorecards.

Jay Reynolds vs. Richie Jones
77kg Semi Pro Bout

Once again the warriors from Sukata MMA made the trip to fight at Cage Control as Jay Reynolds took on Falcon's Richie Jones. It was clear that Reynolds had the reach advantage but a beautiful shoot from Jones took his man down and, although swept, he quickly recovered and seemed to have the measure of his foe on the floor.
It was a very game effort from Reynolds but, in the end, it was the grappling pedigree of Jones that was the difference as he locked up a tight arm bar with just seconds left in the first round.

Will Harcourt vs. Chris Musgrove
77kg Semi Pro Bout

Spartan's Chris Musgrove came out with a point to prove and looked ferocious early on but Harcourt sublimely took his man to the floor and quickly looked to work. Once the fight hit the deck it was clear that Harcourt had the edge and he showed great positional grappling before locking up a tight armbar with seconds left. It's a testament to the heart of Musgrove that he chose not to tap out but the referee did the right thing by stepping in before his arm was broken.
It's clear that Musgrove showed a lot of courage in fighting through the armbar but it was perfectly applied by Harcourt and stubbornness is surely not conducive to a long career in mma.

Alister Hawke vs. Ross Houston
77kg Semi Pro Bout

In one of the quickest bouts of the evening it was Spartan's Alister Hawke who came out guns blazing against Ross Houston, only to find himself locked in a vice like anaconda choke. The fight was over as quickly as it began and after just thirty six seconds Hawke was fast asleep on the canvas, much to the dismay of the local crowd.

Triffan vs. James Woodruffe
93kg + Semi Pro Bout

The biggest reception of the evening was received by local fighter Triffan as the Siberian Express took a little less than two minutes to dispose of an outmatched James Woodruffe. Triffan landed hard punches from all angles and in the end forced his foe to verbally tap out following a series of devastating strikes which sent shockwaves around the whole cage.

Ben Brand vs. Adam Turner
84kg Semi Pro Bout

It was a tough act to follow, but Force MMA's Adam Turner looked like a man possessed as he made short work of Ben Brand in a little under a minute. It was a series of perfect transitions on the ground that would prove to make the difference as Turner targeted an arm and dispatched his foe with textbook armbar.

Carlos Francis vs. Lee Garrett
84kg Semi Pro Bout

Carlos Francis came into the cage with fire in his eyes but he ran into a tsunami in Sukata MMA's Lee Garrett. In the best display of striking that I have ever seen at this level, Lee Garrett showed some phenomenal combinations that left Francis wondering what had hit him.
He wasn't wondering long, however, as Garrett duly deposited him on the canvas with a piledriver of a left hand which forced a very justified referees stoppage. The Sukata chants had begun in force as the crowd were quick acknowledge a fantastic performance.

Jordan Broadbent vs. Mike Feely
70kg Semi Pro Bout

The final Sukata fighter of the evening, Jordan Broadbent, came out to a good reception but Mike Feely seemed as relaxed as anyone I've ever seen in this situation. It was clear that both men were evenly matched but Broadbent looked the busier of the two and his determination soon paid off as he toppled his foe with a looping shot.
Jordan showed great finishing instincts as he swarmed his man and took a textbook armbar submission after a little under two minutes in the first round

Lee Stevens vs. Xander Davies
77kg Semi Pro Bout

It was the return of the local favourite Lee Stevens after his disappointing bout at Night of the Gladiators and the look in his eyes showed that his intentions were crystal clear. Davies proved to be no slouch and threw a variety of strikes at Stevens but it was not to be, as Lee stalked his man from one side of the cage to the other and threw some really nice combinations.
Stevens also threatened a submission victory at the end of the first but, in the second, it was more of the same as the striking dominance became too much for Xander to deal with. Stevens had worked hard for this victory and the referee stopped the bout after a little over two minutes of the first round when it was clear that Davis was not able to defend himself.

It was a great main event and another good card from Cage Control who were able to provide the fans with just what they needed. The bouts were action packed, the music was loud and I enjoyed one of the easiest night's judging of my professional career.

Cage Control was an amazing event and served to be the highlight of a huge day of MMA for me that had started with Dream early in the morning and, after BAMMA, concluded with a live UFC 119 play by play chat on MMAHQ that finished at around 6am.

Thanks for taking the time to read
It's been emotional but then, it always is.

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