THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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My final review before Christmas sees us delving into the world of British mixed martial arts again with Cage Wars’ most recent show, Validation, shown this past Tuesday on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The broadcast began in the welterweight division as Victoras Kontrimas faced Chris MacDonald.
Quick stuff here. A brief feeling out period was followed by an overhand right from MacDonald that sent Kontrimas crashing. A quick intervention from the referee and MacDonald had the knockout win after just 20 seconds.
Then it was on to Paul Reed against Simon Neale in the featherweight division.
After the quick knockout it was on to some good ground work as Reed took Neale down early. Both men briefly returned to their feet before Reed pulled guard and took the submission win with a guillotine.
Marvin Aboeli against Tim Ruberg in the middleweight division followed, although the on screen graphic listed Ruberg as weighing in at 200 pounds.
Yet more great groundwork came when Ruberg got the early take down. Aboeli did his best to escape but Ruberg quickly re-established control.
The Dutchman’s only moment of offence came with an up kick when Ruberg postured up, but it wasn’t long before Ruberg took Aboeli’s back and synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win.
It was back down to the featherweight division for the next fight as Danny Van Bergen took on Mick Sinclair.
A very interesting back and forth affair saw Sinclair put in some good work on the ground, and when Van Bergen made it obvious he was going for an arm bar Sinclair looked like he had things covered.
That was until Van Bergen locked in a triangle. Sinclair tried to fight it but the inevitable tap out soon came.
It was back to welterweight for the next fight as Simeon Thoresen faced Vaidus Valancius.
More great work in this one. Thoresen took control after an early take down and put on a great display, going for an arm bar before synching in a rear naked choke for the submission win in the final few seconds of the first round.
It was down to lightweight for the next encounter as Tim Estes went up against Hugh Brady.
Estes came into this one with something of a reputation, and although he took control early Brady turned the tables with some nice dirty boxing, getting the knockout win with a big left.
Chris Stringer against Zyad Abada in the lightweight division followed.
This was an excellent display of striking by Stringer. As soon as the fight began Stringer imposed his will, and after several blows Abada’s face began to look a bloody mess.
It was the same story in the second round, and it was only a matter of time before Stringer sent Abada crashing down to the ground, finishing the Frenchman off, with the referee stepping in, giving Stringer the impressive TKO win.
Yet more lightweight action followed as Rich Clementi faced Felipe Enomoto.
The gulf in class and experience was apparent for all to see as soon as this fight began.
Clementi dominated the entire fight, especially on the ground. The Swiss fighter went for a couple of submissions but Clementi easily escaped from these.
The end came in the final stages of the final round. Having failed to put Enomoto away with an arm triangle Clementi locked in an arm bar which Enomoto soon tapped out to, ending what was a very impressive display from the American.
The final fight saw Jeremy Horn taking on Lee McKibbin in the middleweight division.
Another example of the gulf in experience, although that’s something Horn takes into every fight. Horn took the fight to the ground early and dominated. McKibbin managed to reverse the positions but left his head exposed so Horn could apply a guillotine choke for the submission win.
In conclusion – it’s been a while since I’ve seen any Cage Wars shows, and the performances here impressed the hell out of me, especially from the old dogs Horn and Clementi.
The make-up of the show also impressed me, especially the mix of home grown, European and American fighters.
So in all Cage Wars’ latest television appearance gets the big thumbs up from me, another nice slice of British MMA action to welcome in the festive period.