Cage Warriors 82 Recap
Echo Arena, Liverpool (1st April 2017) — Cage Warriors returns to Liverpool, England once again as hometown champion Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett headlines against Nad Narimani in the Echo Arena, the same venue he won the featherweight championship belt in 2016. FightBookMMA was on scene covering the event as correspondent Dale Robson has the full report below.
The arena filled early with a raucous crowd spurred on by earlier sporting events in the city where Liverpool and fellow merseyside rivals Everton in a hotly contested football derby across the city and many sports fans heading straight onto Cage Warriors to continue the excitement. Mixed martial arts has built up a strong local support with the Next Generation gym producing a number of successful fighters such as Paddy Pimblett and Chris Fishgold who was originally slated to co-headline the event but withdrew through injury sustained in training which was a blow to the home crowd in the weeks leading up to the event. Nevertheless, the card put together is deep and the Cage Warriors event is their biggest ever.
Paddy Pimblett vs Nad Narimani (145lbs Featherweight title)
Paddy Pimblett coming into the bout with the belt and the adoration of the city as he looks to make the Echo Arena his home again. Narimani hasn’t come to make up the numbers and what is intriguing is that Narimani appears to have the edge in striking power and in particular a nice right hand. This is in addition to his strong ground game where he has gained a number of submissions. Pimblett is the bookies favourite and looks confident as he enters the ring to face his opponent.
The first round starts and Narimani definitely seems to have some more juice behind his punches and Paddy Pimblett needs to use his reach advantage to manage the distance better than he is currently able to. Narimani gets into a dominant position on the ground and attempts to soften ‘The Baddy’ up with some punches on the ground. Pimblett does well to nullify his opponent and reduce the ground and pound to a few occasional flurries. Round 1 was for Narimani for me.
The second round starts and the first notable strikes are a couple of separate Pimblett kicks to the thigh. It is a more cagey opener and Paddy’s timing appears a bit sharper and he is using the oblique kick to manage the range better than the first. Irrespective, Nad gets his opportunity to pin Pimblett to the fence and controls the action for a while without doing too much. At the end of the round Pimblett throws Narimani down but has no time to do anything from the mount before the bell. Close but Paddy might have sneaked this one.
The third round was difficult to call, Narimani continues to have cleaner striking and it is becoming concerning that ‘The Baddy’ doesn’t have enough sting in his shots to hurt his man. Paddy tries a takedown which Narimani does well to defend and come out on top. Narimani again struggles to get his punches off from the ground and Pimblett gets a little control nears the end with an occasional dig getting through to Nad.
Within seconds of the restart for the 4th round, Narimani hits a right hand straight down the pipe and jolts Paddy’s head back. Narimani body language is now quite dominant and he is using the feints successfully. As the fight goes to ground in a familiar pattern, Narimani attempts to gain the back of Pimblett and a reversal as Pimblett ends up on top without inflicting any hurt. Had to go with Narimani on some superior striking and position but wafer thin margin.
Final round and the crowd are starting to recognise that their man is in trouble, he may need a TKO to win. Narimani with a terrific counter left, a single right hand and a nice lead left periodically through the first minute. Nad is on Paddy’s back looking for rear naked choke but defence is good from the hometown fighter. Still Paddy cannot establish anything and the round comes and goes with little significance. We go to the Judges: 48/47, 49/46 and 50/45 all in favour of the new Cagewarriors featherweight world champion, Nad Narimani!
Vaughan Lee vs Nathaniel Wood (135lbs Bantamweight)
Classic veteran vs prospect in this match up. Lee looks elusive in the opening stages and his ring craft is showing as he counters of the back foot. They trade inside leg kicks to the thigh before a more a spinning head kick from Lee adds a bit of showmanship to the round. In between Wood looks heavy-handed and it is questionable if Lee can avoid contact with one of them all night. Lee applies a rear naked choke near the end of the round which probably gives him the edge in the first round on the cards.
In the second round, Woods applies the gas early and goes on the offensive. Woods floors Lee seconds into the round. Lee survives and they exchange without either fighter getting on top for a minute or so with some ebb and flow between the fighters. Woods gets a nice right head kick into his opponent and a left hook to the body. Woods then finds the opening for the power shots and the finish was clinical and gets Lee out of there as a the ref jumps in. Probably perfect match making for ‘The Prospect’ as a genuine test which he duly overcomes and enhances his reputation in the process.
Lee Chadwick vs Tommy Quinn (185lbs Middleweight)
Lee Chadwick had put together a 8 win streak before more mixed results recently having lost 3 of his last 5 since. Last outing was a TKO loss at ACB 47 in October 2016. Still the hometown crowd giving him a heroes welcome into the ring. Strong left-right combo showed his intent to hurt Quinn. He follows this up with a powerful winging right hand which has Quinn on shaky legs, the referee has a look but he momentarily regains his composure but Chadwick is relentless and gets a guillotine choke on his man and slowly applies the pressure until Quinn taps out. Quick and comprehensive win puts Chadwick back on the upward curve and looked the business with the submission win.
Dean Trueman vs Frantz Slioa (145lbs Featherweight)
Frantz Slioa of Stockholm, Sweden fighting out of the blue corner is taller of the two as they come together, Trueman gets a great armbar, Slioa escapes it amazingly, twice when it looked a nailed on win for Trueman. Wow, total reversal, Slioa has Dean Trueman in deep water with a rear naked choke which Trueman persists at pulling at his opponents hands to get some respite and gets free from for a second or two only for Slioa to apply the same hold and obtaining the submission as Trueman taps out. Great win!
Molly McCann vs Lacey Schuckman (125lbs Flyweight)
Molly McCann hailing from Liverpool and another fighter out of the Next Generation stable. Having seen her football team, Everton take a beating earlier today to local rival Liverpool, it’s time to see if she can fare any better in this Flyweight contest. Lacey Schuckman coming from Denver, Colorado with a record of 11 wins and 9 losses will be hoping to get back on track having lost 2 of her last 3 fights, most recently at Invicta FC15 in a submission loss to Mizuki Inoue.
The fight gets going and Molly McCann looks physically stronger and looks to impose herself and comes forward producing some nice 3 punch combinations. Lacey Schuckman is quicker and is avoiding many of the strikes with some nice footwork and head movement, despite this she is still taking the majority of the spiteful shots. Near the end of the first round McCann nails Schuckman with a quality straight right which floors her opponent and she jumps on her to press the advantage but the end of the round stops the assault. Quite even round which could go either way.
First minute of round 2 is even with Schuckman counter striking against McCann’s pressure fighting. Will McCann have the stamina to maintain this pace? As the round progresses, it appears not, Schuckman gets McCann over her hip for a powerful take down and dominates the mount position which probably wins her the round and takes some further steam out of McCann without looking close to a TKO. Schuckman takes the round for the control in the 2nd half.
Round 3 and Schuckman gets McCann to the floor and builds a good lead but then McCann gets a second wind and wobbles her opponent with 3 unanswered shots along the cagewall. Beckoned on by the crowd, she finishes stronger and gets a unanimous decision which in reality was probably secured by the hometown support and shading the last moments of the fight.
Leroy Barnes vs Johan Romming (185lbs Middleweight)
Barnes comes out swinging from the bell, Romming stems the attack by pinning Barnes against the cage and unleashes some right hooks to the body which do not really have too much menace. The ref resets the fighters and Barnes again pushes forward but gets hit with a unbelievable overhand left which instantly stops the fight, Romming winning by knockout. Romming’s last fight was November 2014 and you have to wonder what he has been doing for such a long layoff, he showed no ring rust as the timing of the winning punch was excellent.
Ellis Hampson vs Perry Goodwin (Catchweight 160 lbs)
Coming into the ring with a predator mask on is always a risky statement, Ellis Hampson but if you are nicknamed ‘The Predator’ then you have to act the part. First round, he lived up to the name and had Perry Goodwin out on his feet to the dismay of the home crowd. Goodwin did well to survive and got the crowd to their feet by weathering the storm and getting a take-down of his own. Hampson takes the round
Second round showcased Hampson’s greater ring generalship and power as he racked up the damage and controlled the centre of the octagon and avoiding any attempt to go to ground. Goodwin has occasional single right hand punches but he is taking serious blows and is coming off second best in each exchange. Another Hampson round.
The final round starts with Goodwin needing a stoppage to win and he immediately tries a takedown without succeeding. The action then resumes mirroring the previous rounds, Hampson gets a crushing right kick to the body in and follows up to stop his man by TKO.
Ross Houston vs Dylan McLoughlin (Welterweight 170 lbs)
Over in a flash, Ross Houston with a tight guillotine submission win in 31 seconds. Absolutely clinical.
Paul McBain vs Lloyd Manning (Featherweight 145 lbs)
Lloyd Manning looked dangerous when landing a few short cluster of punches during the early phase of the first round but the latter half of the round was shaded by Paul McBain who took his man to ground and controlled the action without really getting Manning in trouble at any time. Even round overall.
McBain appeared to be exerting superior reach and conditioning for long period of the 2nd round with a long straight right spearing Manning. Manning returned with fire and had McBain desperately hurt with some chopping combinations before McBain rallied and managed to hustle his man to the ground and recover to make it to the bell. Definitely a Manning round based on the effect his flurry had changing the fight.
All up for grabs in the final round and McBain again uses his reach to control the action. Manning looked like he was running on empty as the fight came to a close. He looks doubtfully towards the referee and as McBain’s hand is raised by the referee by split decision, he will be wondering how he didn’t finish his opponent. Paul McBain will be pleased to escape with the win.
Cian Erraught vs Shaun Kenny (Heavyweight 265 lbs)
The tone of round 1 was a confident Shaun Kenny stalking his man and winning the exchanges. The uppercut being the weapon of choice. Cian Erraught looked slightly overwhelmed at times and not putting his opponent in trouble at all.
Early in the second, a short stop for a accidental eye poke halted Kenny’s march to victory for a short moment before he knocked out Erraught with a flurry against the cage which finished the fight by KO.
Kommon Deh vs Elliot Jenkins (Lightweight 155 lbs)
The first meaningful action of round 1 was a solid left right combination from Deh which was then soon countered by a short stinging right leg kick to the calf of Deh. Despite this momentary change in momentum, Deh continues to land the more hurtful punches. Jenkins eventually get Deh into a clinch which allows him to lift and slam Deh to take top mount. Despite this, Deh quickly gets out and resumes striking a prone Elliot Jenkins which carries the round.
The second round starts as the last finished with Deh on the front foot. Jenkins attempts to rush Deh and leaps in, only to be countered by a heavy right cross. This marks the end of Jenkins who falls to the mat and Deh mercilessly presses home the advantage with some savage head strikes whilst on top of his man until the referee stops the fight.
Highlight of the amateur fights was Liam Gittins vs Connor Wilson in the flyweight division. From the outset it appeared the more clinical strikes were coming from Wilson whose straight rights and rotating heel kicks were pushing Gittens back however when the fighters came together near the cage, Gittens was able to bring his man to the ground and trap both arms underneath him and the cage. A sustained ground and pound took some of the sting out of his opponent and then in the following exchange, Gittens got a standing rear naked choke established and finished Wilson rendering him unconscious. In truth, Wilson looked the more accomplished technician whilst the fight was in the middle of the ring and he will be looking at himself as to how he let the fight slip from his grasp.
By: Dale Robson
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