Cage Warriors Fight Night 1 Review
Last Thursday night saw the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship make their Middle East debut. As the exclusive event centre inside Le Royal Hotel in Amman, Jordan played host to Cage Warriors Fight Night 1. This exhilarating VIP style event was streamed live around the world via CageWarriors.com and was broadcast on Television via Premier Sports TV (UK), Setanta Sports 1 (Ireland), Setanta Africa (Africa), The Fight Network (Canada), and Fight Now TV (USA).
Headlining the event at the sold out venue was a Heavyweight battle between Andreas “Big Daddy” Kraniotakes and Jay “Mean Streak” Mortimore . With both fighters sharing 11 (T)KO’s in their career, fans were expecting a fast start from these powerful heavyweights. However once the bell rang both men opted for a more methodical opening period as they sized each other up, but when they engaged the experienced German was eventually able to capitalise on a mistake by Morimore in the clinch. This led to the Englishman being taken down and after a brief struggle was mounted and stopped via ground and pound. With another TKO victory in the books, Kraniotakes extended his MMA record to 10-4 and on that showing could well take some stopping in the future.
Whilst in the night’s co-main; the American Jake “Hitman” Hecht extended his record to 10-2 after racking-up his second win inside three weeks as he defeated the vastly experienced Italian Michele Verginelli over 3 rounds. Hecht controlled the action from the start he used his superior wrestling to pin the striker on the mat for the majority of the bout. Although he was troubled in the third as the Italian looked for submissions off his back, Hecht was able to ride it out and claim a dominant points win.
In Lightweight action the Frenchman Jean N’Doye lived-up to his nickname, as “The Show” put on a fantastic striking display as he systematically picked apart the Glasgow based Englishman Dan Hope over three rounds. N’Doye showed pin-point accuracy through the contest landing a range of strikes through the contest and hurting Hope with some stinging uppercuts which broke through his defences. Whilst the Team ABS fighter also showed some impressive takedown defence when Hope switched levels and looked to take the fight to the mat. With this relentless pressure, N’Doye was able to break through and end the contest late in round 3.
In a battle of contrasting Heavyweights the 6’ 10’’ Englishman Dave “The Iron Giant” Keeley defeated the 5’11’’ American Joel Wyatt via KO halfway through the first round. Keeley did well early on to fend off some takedown attempts by the more experienced grappler, but the Yorkshireman soon settled and was able to use his huge reach and height advantage to bring the contest to a shuddering halt after 2:50 of round 1, when he landed a barrage of standing elbow strikes to KO his opponent.
In what was probably the biggest shock of the night, the Irishman John Michael Sheil defeated the talented Swedish grappler and ‘The Zone’ Middleweight Champion Victor Cheng in round 3 of their match-up. Cheng started brightly and controlled the Irishman on the mat for almost the entire opening stanza and continued to have the upper hand during round 2. However the turning point came at the end of the second round when Cheng was slow to let go of the Irishman as the round ended. This fired-up the unbeaten SBG fighter who came out strongly for round 3 and ended the bout with a series of uppercuts which dropped the Swedish fighter and forced the stoppage after 47 seconds of the final round.
Whilst the live televised card started with a Lightweight showdown which saw Leon Del Gaudio extend his unbeaten record to three fights, as he scored a comfortable points victory over the CWFC regular Pat Vickers. Despite a bright start Vickers was worn down by the Nottingham based fighter who was visibly more active throughout the bout and used top position to grind out a decision win in a very technical affair.
Overall this was a very successful debut in the Middle East for the long standing UK based promotion, as they produced another excellent MMA event that saw high production values on display at both the venue and on TV. Whilst the main fightcard also saw several promising performances from some top up-and-coming European based talent.
Cage Warriors returns next on July 9th to the HMV Forum in London, England which will see twelve professional MMA bouts, which will be streamed live around the world and also shown on Television.
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Photo Credit - Dolly Clew / Cage Warriors
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