Considered Analysis Cage Warriors 47
Cage Warriors 47 from Dublin may, in years to come, be remembered as a landmark moment in Mixed Martial Arts on this Island, it featured a great card and showcased Ireland’s first world MMA Champion.
By Fergus Ryan
Photo Credits: Dolly Clew
Cage Warrior Fighting Championship Preliminary Review
Cage Warriors Fighting Championships returned to Ireland after almost a year away to deliver some of the best MMA performances the island has ever seen. Speaking to CWFC’s main man Graham Boylan after the show he confirmed due to the overwhelming success of the Dublin event they won’t leave it as long to return and they will make their visits more often.
The preliminary’s featured a mix of local amateurs and some grizzled professionals. Here’s a run-down of how the earlier fights unfolded.
Stephen Owens (Ireland) v Cormac Copeland (Ireland)
The first round went back and forth with Copeland shading the striking, though Owens never looked out of the competition. Copeland seemed to fade between rounds and lacked any pep in his strikes in the second. Owens secured a takedown, transitioned to mount and finished the fight with ground and pound.
Kieran O’Brien (Ireland) v Martin Downey (Ireland)
The first round saw O’Brien get dominance in the clinch, secure the takedown and take Downey’s back with a body triangle. Downey was more competitive in the second, sinking in a guillotine from the clinch. He wound up on the bottom with O’Brien in his guard, which is how the round played out. The third round saw Downey again come out second best in the clinch ending up underneath O’Brien for much of the round. Downey was a gamer and never gave up. He can be proud of how he accounted for himself in his second MMA fight. O’Brien seemed to have Downey’s number and was one step ahead all the time. A split decision victory for O’Brien was probably fair, but it was a closer affair than the 30-27 given by two judges.
Sean Tobin (Ireland) v Tony Keane (Ireland)
Tony Keane must have been double parked as he seemed to be in a rush to get things done. As soon as the bell sounded Keane sprinted across the ring to touch gloves and got straight down to winging haymakers at Tobin. Sixty seconds later the doctor is checking a cut on Tobin’s left temple. The action resumed with more of the same, Keane wins by ground and pound in less than two minutes allowing plenty of time to move his car if he was double parked.
Denis Perry (Northern Ireland) v Konrad Iwanoski (Poland)
The first round was close with Konrad taking the opening period and Perry taking control from the top when the fight hit the floor towards the end of the round. The fight ebbed and flowed again in the second. When the fight hit the mat Konrad worked hard to finish, firstly with ground and pound, then an armbar and after a brief period defending off his back, he sunk in the fight finishing triangle. Speaking to Konrad afterwards he was delighted with the victory but disappointed with his performance. “I have much better stand-up than I showed so that’s a little frustrating but a win is a win and I’ll work on my hands in training next week” said the Dublin-based Polish fighter.
The main event saw DJ Linderman fight Mike Hayes
Brett Sizeland (England) v Victor Piexoto (Portugal)
All credit is due to Piexoto for stepping in on short notice to face the always tough Brett Sizeland. Not much to say about this one. In the first clinch Sizeland picked up Piexoto and easily, slams him hard to the mat. After negotiating his way out of a guillotine attempt Sizeland moved from side control to mount. No sooner than the ground and pound had begun than the fight is done.TKO victory for Sizeland.
Yuri Malko (Latvia) v Paul Redmond (Ireland)
The penultimate prelimary fight provided one of the performances of the night. Paul Redmond lives and trains a short bus ride from the venue and his supporters clearly came out in numbers as he received the loudest cheer of the night to that point when he got his hand raised. Malko started with strong leg kicks, but once Redmond had set his range he began to land heavy strikes with his hands. Though Malko secured more of the takedowns Redmond was the busier fighter striking from the bottom and actively seeking submissions at every available opportunity. When Redmond got on top his failed jump-knee bar attempt turned into ground and pound to close out the round. Normal service resumed in the second. Malko again secured takedowns but Redmond was the more active fighter. After reversing and getting back to his feet, Redmond finished the fight with ground and pound midway through the second. We will see him at Cage Warriors again.
Jack Mason (England) v Tommy Quinn (Northern Ireland)
The final prelim fight served up a hard fought encounter .Mason looked a little gun shy preferring to press Quinn up against the cage or shoot for takedowns rather than trade fists. For the most part Quinn managed to stuff Mason’stakedown attempts or at least bounce back to his feet shortly hitting the floor. Mason attempted some guillotines in the second to no avail. Quinn definitely scored better in the striking and seemed to rock Mason on occasion without following up. Judges scored it in favour of Mason, but Quinn can be pleased with his return after nearly three years in the MMA wilderness.
Ais "The Bash" Daly fought in one of the best women's bouts Cage Warriors has seen.
Cage Warrior Fighting Championship 47 Main Card Review
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship has broken onto the global MMA circuit in the last number of years hosting events in seven countries across Europe and the Middle East. To satisfy its demanding schedule the promotion will now need to source some competitive fighters across these regions. After Saturday night’s event the promotion can feel content as they have a talented pool of Irish fighters to dip into who are more than happy to ply their trade under the Cage Warriors banner.
Mark Platts (England) v Neil Seery (Ireland)
The main card opened with a flyweight bout that could have been the main event on any other night. Neil Seery cut the most relaxed figure of the night, singing along to Coldplay’s ‘Charlie Brown’ during his walk-in. He stayed loose during the round and was out-striking and out grappling Platts for the duration. His superior footwork and head movement allowed him time to pick his shots on the feet. By the 2nd round Seery must have felt he had Platts number as he carried his lands low and used head movement alone to avoid being hit. The accumulation of hard shots finally took its toll on Platts, allowing Seery to lock in a rear naked choke to finish the fight. Humble in victory, Seery thanked the Cage Warriors brass for having him back after a previous defeat and pledged allegiance to the promotion as long as they’d have him.
David Bielkheden(Sweden) v CathalPendred (Ireland)
BJJ black belt, Pride and UFC veteran David Bielkheden provided a stern test for CathalPendred, who in pre-fight interviews had talked about getting to the ‘big show’. Pendred looked the better striker, rocking Bielkheden in each of the opening two rounds. He also looked to have an excellent anti-jiu Jitsu grappling game when the fight hit the mat. However, much of this we knew before the fight. The real test for Pendred would be how he dealt with adversity. The test came when Bielkheden swept Pendred and locked in a kimura with a minute to go in the first. With the seconds counting down and the kimura being twisted deeper, Pendred remained calm, but must have treated the bell to end the first as a minor victory. In the third Pendred was again up against it when dropped by a Bielkheden strike. The roof came off The Helix as Pendred rallied back to finish on top, raining down shots on the Swede. Pendred took a well deserved unanimous decision win.
McGregor showing his athleticism against England's Dave Hill
Aisling Daly (Ireland) v Rosi Sexton (England)
Aisling Daly seemed to have momentum going into her bout with Rosi Sexton. Daly had size, youth (10 years younger), success (NAAFS world title) and activity (Daly has fought 4 times since Sexton’s last bout) over Sexton. Sexton is a seasoned veteran and never looked in trouble despite all Daly threw at her. In an incredibly close fight both ladies landed hard shots, attempted numerous submissions as they grinded each other in muscle sapping grappling for the full three rounds. After her split decision victory over Daly, Sexton confirmed she is still teak-tough and relevant in the weight class. While the loss will hurt, Daly should have impressed enough to fight whoever is crowned 125lbs champion in a few months.
DJ Linderman (USA) v Mike Hayes (USA) Heavyweight title fight
This was the main event of the evening, but we’ll deal with it now because the fight before it sucked the energy out of the room. Unfortunately for the heavyweights, their fight was lost on an Irish crowd still celebrating the previous historic bout. Looking to avenge his 2009, loss Hayes came up short against a more creative Linderman. Both men gave creditable accounts through the five rounds, but Linderman was victorious by unanimous decision.
ConorMcGregor (Ireland) v David Hill (England) Featherweight title fight
To say Conor McGregor was up for his title fight with David Hill would be a gross understatement. From the weigh-ins to the walk-in McGregor was a ball of energy in constant motion. He remained very calm and controlled in the fight. McGregor dropped Hill twice with high-kicks but showed poise not to charge in blind in search of a quick finish. It was as if he wanted the fight to last a few rounds to savour the prestige of fighting for a world title. Having softened up Hill with strikes the opportunity to finish with a rear naked choke was taken midway through the 2nd. What happened in the aftermath proved how much the victory meant to McGregor and to the Irish MMA fans. Vaulting the fence and landing on top of the commentary table, McGregor launched himself into the bosom of the adoring Irish fans ála Jose Aldo. McGregor became Ireland’s first male MMA world title holder and you could tell how much it meant to everybody in the room.
All in all, Cage Warriors 47 was a fantastic night of action that might only have been improved by swapping the order of last two bouts. Cage Warriors have a great MMA product and Ireland has a world champion to be proud of.
A sucessful night for the SBGi team with their new world champion Conor McGregor