July was a huge month for Cage Warriors, as Europe’s Leading MMA Organisation kicked off the summer of fun with no less than three events in three different countries.
The action came thick and fast, starting with a triumphant return to Wales, before hopping back to London’s indigo at the O2 to get the biggest weekend of MMA in the UK underway, as part of an epic double header with the UFC.
Join CW’s resident Play-by-Play man Brad Wharton as he takes a look back over some of July’s most memorable moments, with Part 1 of the CW Rewind!
One of the golden rules of MMA is that whenever a card seems to be flying somewhat under the radar, it’s all but guaranteed to deliver when it comes to bell-time.
Such was the case with Cage Warriors’ return to Cardiff, which churned out highlight-reel finish after highlight-reel finish at an absolutely blistering pace.
They started early, with just the second fight of the evening providing this (literally) eye-popping buzzer-beating rear naked choke from Stephanie Evans.
The pace didn’t let up, with Scott Pedersen and Milad Ahady picking up key wins before all eyes turned to the main card opener, and the professional debut of one Jimmy Quinn.
You’re always wary of talking up a big prospect lest – through no fault of their own – you end up setting lofty expectations that they’re unable to meet.
Not the case for Quinn though, who turned in a performance that ensured ‘hype’ would be a word synonymous with his name for years to come.
Not that we saw a whole lot of him; Quinn came straight out at the bell guns-a-blazing, setting the record for Cage Warriors’ fastest KO with a left hook that stopped Dan Kneil in just ten seconds.
From a debuting professional to a veteran campaigner, Andrew ‘The Vice’ Clamp picked up a trademark win against kickboxing specialist Ghassan Abdenabi.
It was his first as a professional in the famous yellow gloves; the culmination of a journey that began at Liverpool’s Echo Arena a decade prior, when he put paid to dangerous brawler Luke ‘The Animal’ Taylor as an amateur.
Turning in a textbook performance, the Blackledge MMA man needed less than four minutes to seal-off the rear-naked choke and perhaps stake his claim to a shot at the vacant light-heavyweight title.
In the evenings’ co-main and featured bouts, Reece McEwan and Darren Stewart also took solid steps towards title contention with victories over Leonardo de Oliveira and Matt Bonner respectively, before the spotlight turned to London…
Cage Warriors once again kicked off the biggest weekend of MMA in the UK in serious style, with another classic ‘Fun Fight Friday’ bill.
With fifteen contests on deck it didn’t take long for the viral finishes to come pouring in, the most violent of which was arguably this sure-fire ‘KO of the Year’ contender from Team Renegade’s Omiel Brown.
After blocking a high kick attempt from the Finn, Brown unleashed this absolute corker of an uppercut, sending Urholin’s head crashing down into his own knee to add insult to injury.
Something about headshots, was it?
From a ‘KO of the Year’ contender to a bout that will no doubt be in the running for ‘Fight of the Year’ honours, a pair of former Cage Warriors Academy amateur champions squared-off in an instant classic.
Angus Hewett didn’t get out of first gear in his pro debut against Paddy McCorry in Dublin, but he got the opportunity to show not only his devastating power, but incredible durability against the highly touted Connor Hayes.
With both men getting their licks in, it was one of those contests where nobody walked out without something to be proud of, and you can treat yourself to a replay of the whole thing over on our YouTube channel.
Elsewhere on the card, Will Currie overcame some mid-fight controversy to register an overwhelming TKO victory over Brazilian sparkplug Jorge Bueno, and Madars Fleminas added perhaps a career best win to his record against the notoriously tough Daniel Skibinski.
On the main card, Jordan Vucenic continued his march back to the CW featherweight title, taking on dangerous French veteran Brice Picaud.
A multi-discipline blackbelt on a career-best run of form, Picaud posed some serious questions for ‘The Epidemic’, but the Corby man answered in kind.
In scenes reminiscent of his last outing at the indigo, Vucenic locked up a second-round rear naked choke to the delight of a partisan crowd.
Speaking of delightful rear-naked chokes, you’ll find few slicker than the one pulled off by Harry Hardwick at CW 157.
A late addition to the main card, its safe to say that tensions were simmering for this one after almost boiling over at Thursday’s weigh-ins.
You can’t just go around calling someone a ‘divvy’ without backing it up, and that’s exactly what Hardwick did against the debuting Vitor ‘Soldado’ Estevam.
Coming out of his corner in the second round like he was running late for the last bus home, ‘Houdini’ was on his man’s back so quickly it looked like slight of hand.
It was a phenomenal start to the evening’s main card; with hot prospects, a wild middleweight title bout and the last dance of The Last Pirate to come, check back for Part 2 of the July Rewind for more action from CW 157 and our return to Rome for CW 158!