Last night saw the excellent comeback event from Cage Warriors after a seventeen-month lay off. With free television coverage plus the added bonus of being on UFC Fight Pass it was impressively accessible. The slick nature of the production meant there was not an overload of filler content and the nature of the card was a good mix of blast away stand up and technical ground game. It had something for everyone to guarantee a success.
My only minor grumble would be that of the American influence in presenting. Yes, Pulver added credibility being a very highly regarded fighter from the UFC but we have lots of budding British / European talent who could call the fight alongside the impressive Josh Palmer.
So, to the stars of the show –
‘ARD’ Alfie Davis
Let us put the cards on the table: this fight was set up to showcase Davis’ four limbed arsenal and flair. His opponent lacked reach, never threatened the take down and was only effective in pot shots. If we are to nitpick, Davis left his chin up to dry with his upright striking technique and that led to him absorbing more punishment than he really should have taken.
Saying this, his crisp quick strikes combined with his self assured demeanour should earn him countless new fans. In his next outing he needs to be matched against a wrestler to nullify his embarrassing stand up advantage in order to truly gauge his potential.
Jack ‘the joker’ Hermansson
We were not left wanting more in this back and forth title fight. Hermansson survived a second round scare to assert his dominance in the third and gain the finish. Throughout he showcased some nice footwork with good stand up speed in a pressuring style. He seems to be a good all-round fighter with KO power, and certainly the most polished on this card.
With all this in mind, Hermansson looks all set to progress his career and try once again to crack one of the bigger organisations. His previous exposure to Bellator was a flop with back-to-back losses and a subsequent cut. However, that was three years ago and he has gone on a seven-fight win streak since. Perhaps now he is ready having matured into a fine European champion.
Paddy ‘the baddy’ Pimblett
This was a test. Against a physically bigger, more experienced foe that had been training with American Top Team it was a truly fantastic win. You could understand if he just scraped the victory with a split decision, but he dominated each round of the fight. Sure, his stand up was jumpy and far from complete but this kid really does not care if he is taken to the mat if an extravagant foray fails. His scramble was a joy to behold and his unconventional submission attempts led to a near perfect top control. When you add in his personality to the mix he easily stole the show and will have many eyes casting fine attention to his career path.
With such a performance there has been much chat about him joining the elite organisation of the MMA world at the tender age of 21. He currently fights in the featherweight division but once he fills out his stringy frame he may well progress to lightweight. Unfortunately for him, both divisions are utterly stacked in the UFC. Thus, he would do well keeping his head down to clean up the European scene and gain a Cage Warriors belt before heading for the glitz of Vegas. But make no mistake; he will have a successful transition with such a sound ground foundation to build upon whenever he chooses to move.
Notable Mentions –
Chris Fishgold and Darren Stewart both finished their fights early with a submission and TKO victory respectively. Sadly, neither was overly tested so it remains difficult to assess full potential. Fishgold looked strong and technically sound whilst Stewart looked a vicious finisher with a penchant for truly damaging elbows.