THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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It’s a busy period for those of us working in the retail industry, especially if, like me, you’ve just started work on a short-term contract for one of the largest retail chains in Britain. So, with my excuses now made, I bring you a somewhat belated look at Cage Rage 24: Feel The Pain, held in the world famous Wembley Arena in London on December 2nd, and broadcast live on Sky Sports.
The broadcast begins with action in the welterweight division, with Marios Zaramskis against Ross Pointon. This was a great match, but ultimately it was disappointing. Pointon did extremely well, especially in the second round, but an exchange saw a deep cut open up over his left eye, and he seemed in complete control as he took Marios down. But with the blood pouring from the open wound, the referee had no choice but to call the doctor in, who stopped the fight because of the cut, awarding the fight to Marios. This would have surely gone Pointon’s way had it not been for the cut.
More welterweight action follows, this time featuring Drew Fickett against Mark Weir. Weir needed a good performance to get things going after his previous defeat to Paul Daley, and at the beginning of the bout it looked like he would get that performance, clearly the aggressive, catching him with some great looking shots. But Fickett came back well, showed some great grappling skills, attempted an armbar, then took control of Weir’s back before synching in a rear naked choke, with Weir tapping seconds later. A deserved win for the American here, a worthy addition to the Cage Rage roster.
Next up, a bout that took place earlier in the evening between Lee Hasdell and Ivan Serati in the light heavyweight division. Serati looked great in this one, and having lost his last fight, he was looking on making a good impression here. And he did, controlling the majority of the fight in both rounds, before getting the tap out victory with a rear naked choke. A very good performance from Serati.
Main event time #1 follows, with more action from the light heavyweights as Elvis Sinosic battles Paul Cahoon. This was a quickie. Lasting just twenty-one seconds, Cahoon connected with a crushing right hand as Elvis fell to the mat light the proverbial sack of spuds. Cahoon was about to go in for the kill as the referee quickly stepped in, as Sinosic was out of it. Awesome display from the British champion here.
With more filler material needed due to the previous fast fight, Tom Watson goes up against Mark Epstein in the middleweight division in another match from earlier in the show. Sadly, we only get to see the third round here, because if the first two rounds were as good as the third, it must have been a belter. Tons of great grappling and submission attempts, with Epstein getting the split decision.
Main event time #2 next, again in the middleweight division, as “Professor X” Xavier Foupa Pokam tackles Murilo “Ninja” Rua. While the first round belonged to Xavier, as he dominated the round with several well placed kicks, Rua executed his game plan in the second, taking Xavier down, and after a couple of submission attempts, he synched in a rear naked choke to get the tap out victory in the second round. Definitely worthy of it’s main event status.
In conclusion – I’ve watched Cage Rage events for a while now, and there’s only been a few fights on those cards that I’ve enjoyed. There’s never been an entire show that I’ve enjoyed. This wasn’t the case with Cage Rage 24. Apart from the opener between Ross Pointon and Marios Zaramskis, which was stopped early due to a cut, every fight was enjoyable, with the Rua/Xavier bout the fight of the night. With Dave and Andy finally forgoing the “freak show” element of the main events involving the likes of Butterbean and the promise and later aborted appearance of Bob Sapp, Cage Rage are certainly moving in the right direction. Now that they’ve made a good job of their two hour slot on Sky Sports, I hope that they can get a longer, perhaps three hour slot in the new year, because it’s certainly something that Britain’s best mixed martial arts promotion deserves.
For more information on Cage Rage and their upcoming shows, visit www.cagerage.tv.