The temperature in Cardiff on Saturday night fell somewhere between uncomfortable and oppressive, but it was nothing compared to the heat brought by the stars of Cage Warriors 156 as the promotion returned to the ‘City of Castles’.
It was a night that truly had it all; stunning knockouts, gut-churning submissions and wild brawls that brought the capacity crowd to their feet on more than one occasion.
So without further ado, join CW play-by-play man Brad Wharton as he takes a look back at some of the biggest moments from Cage Warriors 156!
Stephanie Evans: Tap or Nap
We so often talk about highlight-reel knockouts that it makes a refreshing change to have a highlight reel-worthy submission to pore over.
It’s rare to see a submission that genuinely leaves you lost for words, but I think I speak for both my broadcast colleague Dan Strauss and I when I say we were very nearly stunned to silence by the shocking finish to Stephanie Evans vs Małgorzata Tkocz.
As Evans sank in the rear naked choke, her undefeated opponent attempted to tough it out as the clock ticked down. The result? See for yourself…
Jack Eglin vs Rory Evans: Value for Money
You didn’t need to be Nostradamus to predict that Jack Eglin vs Rory Evans was going to be tonnes of fun and a virtual shoe-in for ‘Fight of the Night’ before the first bell had been rung.
There’s always a danger that bouts which look this good on paper end up fizzling out, or at least not quite living up to the hype.
Thankfully this wasn’t one of those situations: Evans and Eglin engaged in a bloody, back and forth war that felt like it could have swung either way for the duration.
Eglin came on strong in the second though, and the results speak for themselves.
Andy Clamp: Exactly What it Says on the Tin
Look, you can’t go around with a name like Clamp, calling yourself ‘The Vice’ and not have a big squeeze in your toolshed when the situation calls for it.
Anyone that has followed Andrew Clamp’s 13+ years in MMA and grappling knew that the squeeze was always there, but seeing the Wigan man get his first win in the famous yellow gloves on Saturday night was genuine food for the soul.
Setting the finish up with a picture perfect level change before finding his way to Ghassan Abdenabi’s back to close the show, Clamp ended the bout with a smile a mile wide.
Jimmy Quinn: Inspired
Ahead of his CW 156 bout, Jimmy Quinn had often spoken about his background in dance and the fact that a chance viewing of a Conor McGregor motivational video flipped a switch in his head and sent him down a new path.
What better way for Quinn to kick off his professional career then, with a debut in promotion that launched McGregor’s career into the stratosphere?
And if that wasn’t enough, what about scoring one of the fastest KOs in CW history with a sliding left hand eerily similar to the one ‘The Notorious’ used to put down Ivan Buchinger back in 2012?
Stewart vs Bonner: A Good, Old Fashioned Punch Up
With a night full of highlight reel moments already in the books, the stage was set for one of the most intriguing Cage Warriors main events in recent years, as mainstays Matt Bonner and Darren Stewart met for the very first time.
Both men got their licks in across the fifteen minute duration of the bout, with ‘The Dentist’s output and ability to disrupt Bonner’s flow with takedowns eventually earning him the nod on the judges scorecards in what was an incredibly competetive affair.
‘The Beast’ remains unfinished as a professional, but Saturday night belonged to Darren Stewart.
You can rewatch all the action from CW 156: Cardiff in full on UFC Fight Pass! Cage Warriors returns in less than three weeks time to kick off the biggest weekend of MMA in the UK with CW 157: London!