Tonight, for the first time in 8 years, Cage Warriors brought their world-class MMA showcase to Birmingham. And what a return it was.
It’s a city steeped in martial arts history, built by a hardy people known for their fighting spirit… and it might just be a new home for Europe’s leading MMA promotion. CW98 at Birmingham’s Genting Arena gave fight fans just about everything they could have asked for, with one of the strongest Cage Warriors cards of 2018 that lived up to the hype.
In the main event, Ross Houston and Stefano Paterno gave us a true contender for the best Cage Warriors Welterweight fight of all time, ending with a razor-close split decision for the NEW champion, Ross ‘The Hitman’ Houston. It was the fight that had it all: insanely dramatic striking exchanges and battles for dominance on the ground for the full five rounds. Houston overcame a huge right hand from Paterno that almost ended the fight in the fourth round to overcome the odds and clinch the victory – the mark of a true champion.
Before that, Cage Warriors staged a World Title Tournament which saw four of Europe’s elite Featherweight contenders fight for a shot at the belt at CW100 on December 8th. In the first bout, Dean Truman advanced to the finals with a hard-fought decision win over Lewis Monarch. The gritty, non-stop fight style which fans have come to know and love from Trueman was on display once again, further strengthening his status as one of the most exciting featherweights on the continent.
In the second bout, Birmingham’s own Aiden Lee took less than a round to submit Paull McBain and secure his place at the biggest event in Cage Warriors history. It’s official: Dean Truman vs Aiden Lee for the World Featherweight Title, December 8th.
The fans love an underdog victory, and Perry Goodwin supplied just that to open up the Main Card. Although his opponent Alexander Jacobsen – who lost out on the lightweight title to Chris Fishgold last year – was the betting favourite heading into the fight, Goodwin brought home the knockout in the second round of a dominant and furious performance that had the Genting Arena on its feet.
All eyes were on two new Cage Warriors Welterweight signings tonight – Alex Lohoré and Adam Proctor – who both picked up wins. Lohore stormed into the Welterweight ranks with a second-round TKO over Sam Boult, and sent a ruthless message to the rest of the division in his post-fight speech: “Number 1 is dead, 4 more to go.” Proctor, taking care not to rush in on the devastating power of his opponent Angelo Rubino, won with a convincing unanimous decision.
Other highlights from the pro prelims included impressive first-round submission wins for Michael Younis and George McManus, and a TKO for Scott Malone in the biggest fight of his career to date.
After helping to build thriving MMA scenes in Liverpool, London, Cardiff and across Europe, Cage Warriors President Graham Boylan eyed Birmingham as a new hotspot for rising talent, and tonight proved that the city’s fight scene is thriving. This could be the start of something big.
Next up on the Cage Warriors calendar is CW99 at the Colchester Charter Hall on November 17th, before the promotion head to Cardiff for the historic CW100 headlined by a bantamweight title fight between Jack Shore and Mike Ekundayo on December 8th.
CW98 Full Results
Ross Houston defeated Stefano Paternò via spilt decision
Aiden Lee defeated Paull McBain via submission (rear naked choke)
Dean Trueman defeated Lewis Monarch via unanimous decision
Adam Proctor defeated Angelo Rubino via unanimous decision
Perry Goodwin defeated Alexander Jacobsen via KO (punches)
Alex Lohoré defeated Sam Boult via TKO (punches)
Scott Malone defeated Adam Amarasinghe via TKO (punches)
Kingsley Crawford defeated Antanas Jazbutis via unanimous decision
George McManus defeated Josh Plant via submission (reverse triangle choke)
Michael Younis defeated Marcin Prostko via technical submission (guillotine choke)