The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: #CWFCJordan Edition


Cage Warriors Fight Night 10: Azaitar vs. Marshman

March 28, 2014
King Hussein Youth City Boxing Arena
Amman, Jordan

The Good

I’ve always liked the way Cage Warriors cards keep a good pace up, with minimal gaps between matches but with four first round finishes on the main card, it was all done in less than one hour and forty minutes – less time than it takes a standard football match to play out.

Thats loads of exciting finishes and having a big chunk of evening left to play with. What’s not to love?

All those finishes made it an explosive night as well, with the concussive victories of Carl Booth and Abu Azaitar sure to live long in the memory, while the slick subs of Marcin Lasota, Dave Hill and Marat Pekov a joy for any fans of the gentle art.

Competitive, aggressive action with top notch production and excellent commentary. As usual. Keep up the good work folks, you’re on a hell of a run.

The Bad

From a purely nationally biased point of view, the losses for John Cullen and Allan Love soured the evening a bit for us (and most Scottish MMA fans, I’d imagine) but both acquitted themselves well against high level opposition, with Love surely only needing another round to change the result over Paraisy.

The Ugly

It’s never nice to see a fighter concede a contest and after surviving some brutal submission attempts from Malik Merad, Mohamed Ali verbally submitted seconds into the third round. This is ‘ugly’ because it invariably indicates an injury and we hope ‘Felix’ is better soon.

Similarly, we hope Jack Marshman and Jarrah Al-Silawi recover quickly from their concussive knockouts.

Bonuses (if we had the chequebook)

Fight of the Night

Dave Hill vs. Miguel Haro was a fast paced technical fight which lit me up. With some stunning grappling on display and a real back and forth battle, I couldn’t give the award to anyone else.

Performance of the Night 1

Yazan Janeb dominated his fight with Hicham Laghzali and was a constant threat with submissions through the first two rounds. As Laghzali proved to have exceptional heart and a tendency to survive and escape subs, Janeb changed it up in the third to achieve a dominant position and earn the TKO win via ground & pound.

Tremendous skills and maturity for a pro debut.

Performance of the Night 2

Marcin Lasota may be undefeated and a submission specialist but the way he disposed of the excellent Paul Marin was impressive beyond words.

Finish of the Night

Carl Booth’s knockout of Jarrah Al-Silawi was so sudden, so brutal that I still have a sore jaw more than a day after watching the fight. In the words of Ron Simmons… DAMN!

Cage Warriors return on April 12th where James Brum will challenge Brett Johns for the Bantamweight belt in Swansea, Wales.

Main Card

Abu Azaitar def. Jack Marshman via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:34
Marat Pekov def. John Cullen via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:45
Malik Merad def. Mohamed Ali via submission (eye injury) – Round 3, 0:09
Norman Paraisy def. Allan Love via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3, 5:00
Marcin Lasota def. Paul Marin via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:02
Carl Booth def. Jarrah Al-Silawi via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:31

Preliminary Card
Dave Hill def. Miguel Haro via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:11
Yazan Janeb def. Hicham Laghzali via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:57


KUMITE European MMA Rankings, March 2014


It’s been a huge month for European MMA, from UFC Fight Night London and a busy Cage Warriors schedule to the debut of Europa MMA. The rankings have certainly been shaken in several divisions, so let’s take a look.


1- Alistair Overeem (Holland) 37-13 UFC
2- Vitaly Minakov (Russia) 13-0, Bellator
3- Andrei Arlovski (Belarus) 21-10, WSOF
4- Stefan Struve (Netherlands) 25-6 UFC
5- Cheick Kongo (France) 20-8-2 Bellator
6- Damian Grabowski (Poland) 19-1 KSW
7- Alexander Volkov (Russia) 19-4 Bellator
8- Sergei Kharitonov (Russia) 21-6 IND
9- Alexey Oleinik (Ukraine) 53-9-1 IND
10- Magomed Malikov (Russia) 7-2 M-1

Not a big month for the ranked fighters, but April will be huge with Minakov vs. Kongo on 4/4 and big bouts for Alexander Volkov and a host of potential contenders including Konstantin Erokhin, Blagoi Ivanov, Phil DeFries and Daniel Omielanczuk.

Light Heavyweight

1- Alexander Gustafsson (Sweden) 15-2, UFC defeated Jimi Manuwa 8/3
2- Jimi Manuwa (England) 14-1, UFC lost to Alexander Gustafsson 8/3
3- Attila Vegh (Slovakia) 29-5-2, Bellator lost to Emanuel Newton 21/3
4- Mikhail Zayats (Russia) 22-8, Bellator lost to Muhammed Lawal 28/2
5- Ilir Latifi (Sweden) 7-3 UFC defeared Cyrille Diabate 8/3 UP
6- Jan Blachowicz (Poland) 17-3, KSW
7- Linton Vassell (England) 12-3, Bellator UP1
8- Stephan Puetz (Germany) 9-1 M-1 defeated Viktor Nemkov on 14/3 NR
9- Maxim Grishin (Russia) 17-6 NR
10- Viktor Nemkov (Russia) 19-5 M-1 lost to DOWN3

Ilir Latifi was the big winner this month with his dominant win over the now retired Cyrille Diabate. Diabate’s loss and retirement allowed Maxim Grishin into the top ten, while Stephan Puetz enters at 8 thanks to his win over Viktor Nemkov who drops to tenth.

Next month sees big fights for Linton Vassell, Volkan Oezdemir and veteran Vladimir Matyshenko who could all improve their standing or enter the top ten.


1- Michael Bisping (England) 24-5, UFC
2- Alexander Shlemenko (Russia) 50-7 Bellator UP1 defeated Brennan Ward 28/3
3- Mamed Khalidov (Poland) 28-4-2, KSW DOWN 1
4- Gegard Mousasi (Armenia) 34-4-2 UFC
5- Frances Carmont (France) 22-8, UFC
6– Luke Barnatt (England) 7-0 UFC
7- Michal Materla (Poland) 20-4 KSW UP1 def. Jay Silva 22/3
8– Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (Russia) 23-2 M-1 DOWN1
9- Tom Watson (England) 16-6 UFC
10- Ramazan Emeev (Azerbaijan) 11-2 M-1

Wins for Shlemenko and Materla boost their stock a bit, while wins for Abu Azaitar and Norman Paraisy at Cage Warriors push them closer to the top ten.

Big fights for Michael Bisping, Mikkel Parlo and Max Nunes to come in April.


1- Tarec Saffiedine (Belgium) 15-3, UFC
2- Gunnar Nelson (Iceland) 11-0-1, UFC
3- Cathal Pendred (Ireland) 13-2-1, Cage Warriors
4- Nicholas Musoke (Sweden) 12-2 UFC
5- Adlan Amagov (Russia) 13-2-1, UFC
6- Gael Grimaud (France) 19-6, Cage Warriors
7- Nicolas Dalby (Denmark) 12-0 Cage Warriors def. Sergeo Churilov 22/3
8– Paul Daley (England) 34-12-2 BAMMA
9– Andrey Koreshokov (Russia) 15-1 Bellator
10- Jim Wallhead (England) 25-8 Cage Warriors

Aslambek Saidov drop out to accommodate Andrey Koreshkov after a big win, but otherwise a quiet month for the top of the division.

With Koreshokov, Saidov and Ali Arish all in action next month, there could well be more movement.


1- Khabib Nurmagomedov (Russia) 21-0, UFC
2- Rustam Khabilov (Russia) 17-1, UFC
3- Alexander Sarnavskiy (Russia) 26-2 IND
4- Ross Pearson (England) 15-6, UFC
5- Musa Khamanaev (Russia) 13-3, M-1
6- Norman Parke (Northern Ireland) 19-2-1 UFC Majority Draw with Leo Santos 23/3
7- Ivan Buchinger (Slovakia) 25-4 Cage Warriors
8- Piotr Hallmann (Poland) 14-2 UFC
9- Mansour Barnaoui (France) 11-2 BAMMA
10- Marcin Held (Poland) 17-3 Bellator NR

Ramazan Esenbaev drops out to accommodate the rejuvenated Marcin Held but has a fight on 5th April to possibly sneak back in. Khabib Nurmagomediv has a big match on 19th April and Held has another Bellator tournament bout on the 18th. Elsewhere, Ivan Buchinger, David Khachatryan and Colin Fletcher are all in action throughout the month.


1- Dennis Siver (Germany) 22-9, UFC
2- Conor McGregor (Ireland) 14-2, 10-1 UFC
3- Tom Niinimaki (Finland) 21-5-1 UFC
4- Magomedrasul Khasbulaev (Russia) 21-5, Bellator
5- Shabulat Shamhalaev (Russia) 12-2-1, Bellator
6- Daniel Weichel (Germany) 33-8, Bellator NR defeated Matt Bessette 28/3
7- Joni Salovaara (Finland) 14-7 IND DOWN 1
8- Sergei Greicho (Lithuania) 15-5-1 OC
9- Niklas Backstrom (Sweden) 7-0 IND NR defeated Max Coga 22/3
10- Robert Whiteford (Scotland) 11-2 UFC NR defeated Daniel Pineda 15/3

Chris Fishgold, Akira Corassani and Marat Gafurov drop out due to big wins for Weichel, Whiteford and Backstrom while victories for Alexey Butorin, Martin Svensson and teddy Vilet push them into contention.

May sees big fights for Magmomedrasul Khasbulaev, Corassani, Gafurov and Tom Duquesnoy


1- Vaughan Lee (England) 14-9-1 UFC NR def. Nam Phan 1/3
2- Brett Johns (Wales) 8-0, Cage Warriors ©
3- James Brum (England) 14-2, Cage Warriors
4- Ronnie Mann (England) 23-6-1 Cage Warriors
5- Cory Tait (England) 8-2 Cage Warriors
6- Timo-Juhan Hirvikangas (Finland) 8-2 Cage FC
7- Martin McDonough (Wales) 11-4, Cage Warriors
8- Sirwan Kakai (sweden) 9-2, IND
9- David Haggstrom (Sweden) 7-2-1 IND
10- Toni Tauru (Finland) 9-1-1 NR Cage Warriors

Brad Pickett’s drop to Flyweight opens a whole at the top which is swiftly filled by Vaughan Lee after a stunning win over Nam Phan. Toni Tauru enters the rankings after his dominant performance on Cage Warriors.

April promises movement at the top with Brett Johns vs. James Brum and a fight for Timo Hirvikangas.


1- Ali Bagautinov (Russia) 13-2 UFC
2- Brad Pickett (England) 24-8 UFC NR defeated Neil Seery 8/3
3- Pietro Menga (England) 11-0 FCC © UP 1 defeated Sotir Kichukov 22/3
4- Marcin Lasota (Poland) 8-0 NR Cage Warriors defeated Paul Marin 28/3
5- Neil Seery (Ireland) 13-10 UFC DOWN 3 lost to Brad Pickett 8/3
6- Mikael Silander (Finaland) 8-3 IND DOWN 1
7- Shaj Haque (England) 4-1 Cage Warriors
8- Phil Harris (England) 22-12 UFC DOWN 5 lost to Louis Gaudinot 8/3
9- Paul Marin (Romania) 7-4, Cage Warriors DOWN 2 lost to Marcin Lasota 28/3
10- Paul McVeigh (Northern Ireland) 19-8 Cage Warriors DOWN 2

Very intense month for the division, with Brad Pickett and Marcin Lasota earning big wins and with Silander, Saadeh, Haque and Martin McDonough all in action

Women’s P4P

(Due to the less developed state of Women’s MMA we’re ranking our top ten female fighters from across the weight classes – we hope to expand this section in future.)

1- Joanne Calderwood (Scotland) 8-0 Invicta FC
2 – Marloes Coenen (Netherlands) 21-6 Invicta FC
3 – Katja Kankaanpaa (Finland) 8-1-1 Invicta FC
4- Rosi Sexton (England) 13-4 IND
5- Aisling Daly (Ireland) 12-5 Cage Warriors
6- Milana Dudieva (Russia) 8-3 ProFC
7- Maria Hoegaard Djursa (Denmark) 5-4 IND
8- Shiela Gaff (Germany) 10-6-1 UFC
9- Pannie Kianzad (Sweden) 4-0 IND
10- Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Poland) 4-0 IND

It’s been a quiet month for the girls, with Lena Tkhorevska and Kamila Porczyk earning wins but not yet being enough to crack the rankings. Expect things to speed up once Invicta comes back into action.

European National Rankings
(Each ranked fighter scores points for their nation, with a no.1 ranking earning 10 points, down to a 10 ranking earning 1 point. This is just for fun.)

1- England – 113pts UP 1
2- Russia – 110pts DOWN 1
3- Poland – 34pts UP 3
4- Sweden – 32pts UP 3
5- Finland – 31pts DOWN 2
6- Ireland – 29pts DOWN 3
7- Netherlands – 26pts DOWN 2
8- France – 23pts –
9- Germany – 21pts –
10- Wales – 13pts DOWN 1




Over the past week, since Pietro ‘Pitbull’ Menga extended his unbeaten record to 11-0 with a win over Sotir Kichukov at FCC9, I’ve seen the hashtag #Menga4UFC pop up a lot on my Twitter feed.

Before we go any further, check out the match…

Ranked 31st in the world and 3rd in Europe on Fightmatrix, few can argue against Menga’s worthiness for a crack at the brightest lights, but aside from continuing to decimate all comers in the North West of England, what can Menga do to expedite his progression to the world stage.

Without intending any disrespect to Full Contact Contender who are a fantastic promotion, if a UFC call isn’t immediately forthcoming I believe Menga should sign for Cage Warriors.

‘Pitbull’ would immediately be amongst the top contenders for the Flyweight title vacated by Neil Seery and successful outings against the likes of Paul Marin, Mikael Silander or Shaj Haque on the well respected and internationally broadcast show, especially when combined with his record and dedicated fan base in the north west could raise his stock enough to get a UFC call sooner rather than later.

To be honest, if I was in Sean Shelby’s shoes I’d have signed Menga up already, the UFC’s Flyweight division is shallow as it is and Menga is already at least as good as half the guys they have under contract in the weight class and would give the rest a damn good fight.

He’d be a really good fit for the upcoming Dublin card in July, but if that doesn’t materialise then a winning run in Cage Warriors should make him a lock for the early 2015 London card.

Metamoris 3: Bravo vs. Gracie Preview


Saturday sees the return of Metamoris, which is quickly becoming the banner promotion for putting submission grappling into the mainstream consciousness.

Following a lacklustre sophomore card where the decision to add judges (which made the event more like a traditional jiujitsu event), some disappointing matches and Brendan Schaub took away from the vitality of the show the promotion returns to the solely submission format and a card stacked with top notch grapplers.

Headlining the card we have a rematch ten years in the making between 10th Planet Jiujitsu founder Eddie Bravo and one of the banner bearers for jiujitsu’s first family, Royler Gracie.

Their first match, at the ADCC in 2003 was a watershed moment for jiujitsu as the unheralded brown belt Bravo submitted the heavy favourite Gracie with a triangle choke. Ever since, Bravo has been on a crusade to spread his gospel of creative noGi grappling via his ever-growing network of academies, while Gracie has similarly concentrated on teaching through his family’s far more conventional schools.

Neither have competed regularly in the interim giving the rematch a freshness and x-factor that when combined with the significance of their first bout makes this a truly ‘must-see’ matchup.

On a supporting card that includes Dean Lister, the Mendes Brothers, ‘Babalu’ Sobral and Clark Gracie, the other matchup which jumps out to me pits Keenan Cornelius against Vinny Magalhaes.

Both black belts, under Andre Galvao and Eddie Bravo respectively, the pairs list of accolades could fill a small book but suffice to say they share 11 elite level world championships from the Mundials & ADCC.

Don’t miss it.

I’ve found a few cool articles that will help bring you up to speed on Metamoris from MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow, so you might want to check them out before you watch the event on pay-perv-view live stream only at



Cage Warriors Fight Night 10: Azaitar vs. Marshman Preview


March 28, 2014
King Hussein Youth City Boxing Arena
Amman, Jordan

A week removed from their card-of-the-year-so-far in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Cage Warriors roadshow pops up in Jordan for their tenth ‘fight night’ card in the Middle East.

Stacked with interesting and championship-relevant bouts despite a relative lack of ‘big’ names, this card promises plenty of action and perhaps a few opportunities for some real stars and belt contenders to emerge.

Headlining the card, recent signing Jack Marshman (14-4) faces Germany’s Abu Azaitar (8-2) with the winner likely to be right in the mix for the currently vacant Middleweight belt last held by World Series of Fighting’s Jesse Taylor.

A former British army boxing champion, Marshman has earned ten of his fourteen victories by knockout, although he has also shown impressive grappling and submission skills.

Azaitar is also a finisher with six of his eight wins coming inside the distance and most of them coming through strikes as well.

Basically, this is unlikely to be a lengthy or sedate affair and these two are likely to throw leather until one of them hits the canvas.

Both men come in on win streaks and interestingly already have matches booked in May, so must both be confident of a quick knockout win. It will definitely be interesting to find out.

The pick of the rest of the fights features Scotland’s Allan Love (11-4) – who was nice enough to give us an interview earlier in the week – against France’s Norman Paraisy (13-3-2) in another bout which may produce a contender for the 185lb belt.

Love is riding a four fight streak of stoppage victories while Paraisy is on a four fight unbeaten streak characterised by dogged performances against Chris Fields (set to appear on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter) and Leeroy Barnes, getting a draw and a win respectively despite being on the back foot against more aggressive fighters.

Paraisy’s losses all came on trips to fight for Bellator in the US, while Love’s four defeats are bunched into a five fight run where he fought some of Europe’s best on their own patch.

Will the stoppage seeking Scotsman or the canny Frenchman come out on top on neutral ground?

Also on the card, the Most Exciting Fighter In Scotland, John Cullen (17-7-2) faces Marat Pekov (10-5) who impressed in his recent CWFC losses to James Brum and Ronnie Mann alongside Marcin Lasota (7-0) and Paul Marin (7-3) who will both have an eye on Neil Seery’s vacated Flyweight crown.

We’ve also got former Featherweight title contender Dave Hill (11-3) against late replacement Miguel Haro (7-4), an appearance by the ever entertaining local favourite Mohamed Ali and a bundle of fighters who’s names I don’t recognise, which just causes me to wonder what gems Ian Dean has unearthed this time!

Cage Warriors never disappoint and their Fight Night cards have often been far more than the apparent sum of their parts and considering the already awesome parts, you should definitely catch the show live on FRIDAY, starting at 5:10pm on Facebook and Premier Sports at 6pm for the main card.

Full Card

Abu Azaitar vs. Jack Marshman
John Cullen vs. Marat Pekov
Mohamed Ali vs. Malik Merad
Allan Love vs. Norman Paraisy
Marcin Lasota vs. Paul Marin
Miguel Haro vs. Dave Hill
Jarrah Al-Silawi vs. Carl Booth
Elodie Puget vs. Vanessa Rico
Hicham Laghzali vs. Yazan Janeb

Allan Love Interview


In which we talk about boy bands, gluttony, socialism, hardcore punk  and title aspirations with Scotland’s top Middleweight.

With fellow Griphouse fighters Robert Whiteford and Joanne Calderwood getting called up to the UFC as well as Steven Ray and Graham Turner fighting for the Cage Warriors world title, teammate Allan ‘No’ Love looks to grab some spotlight for himself as he faces France’s Norman Paraisy on this weekend’s CWFC Fight Night 10 card in Jordan.

Love (11-4) comes into this fight on a 4-0 streak with the victories earned across Europe and with all his victories coming via stoppage and his losses coming to some of the continent’s best, he is undoubtedly an exciting high quality fighter.

Paraisy (13-3-2) is arguably the biggest name Love has faced to date and currently sits on a four fight unbeaten streak where he has notably ground out contentious results against more aggressive fighters like Chris Fields and Leeroy Barnes.

With the winner of the fight surely in the hunt for the vacant Cage Warriors title, we caught up with Allan for some pre-fight anecdotes.

– This weekend you return to Cage Warriors after two years with a 4-0 streak behind you. Are you gunning for the title?

Well a win here certainly puts me in contention, I think having most of those wins on other promotions probably hurts my claims for a title shot but you never know. They’ve signed a few 2 good Middleweights in the last few weeks so you’ve got to think that the winner of Marshman and Azaitar will be looking for a shot as will Faycal Hucin and Jack Hermasson so there’s plenty of people after that title.

– You’ve fought in five countries in your last six fights. Please share a story from your fight travels.

Last fight I had in Belarus, we got to Minsk Airport and got through customs etc. and were sitting waiting in the lobby to get picked up. Nothing happened for quite some time and we made friends with a Belgian guy and his corner man who was fighting on the show as well. Sitting about for about an hour at this point and Garry Christie who’s cornering me notices that a large group of girls in their early 20’s have assembled and are holding a sign with the word “BLUE” on it. He remarked it’d be funny if it was for the forgotten early 00’s boy band Blue. Then we saw the weird portrait of a man kissing a baby that they had which Gaz reliably informed me was of Lee from Blue and they also had a Union flag there as well.
We thought it was worth a picture as no one would believe a throng of women are there for the arrival of a piss poor decade old British boy band in Minsk. Subtlety was never our strong point and we got rumbled taking the picture. Luckily this struck up conversation with the girls who were a friendly bunch for a group excited about the visit of Blue and gave us all a chocolate bar, I was waiting to make weight so it wasn’t ideal but the thought was appreciated. Anyway, our lift didn’t turn up for another hour and when he did he spoke no English so one of the girls acted as a translator.
Then the driver took us to his car, only English he spoke was to say “Russian Mafia” and pointed to some tattoos on his knuckles then put us in the car, stuck a porno on in an in car DVD player then left for another half hour.
Those things don’t happen on Cage Warriors shows, which is a good thing really. But when things run smoothly and on time there tends to be less funny stories.

– Before your current win streak you went through a 1-4 slump in 2010-11. What made the difference in your fortunes?

Rub of the green, I’m a better fighter now than I was then but I think the difference has just been a bit of luck in certain fights. When I wasn’t getting it I went 1-4 and now I’m getting I’m 4-0. Just little things like opponents not capitalising on your mistakes or you not landing quit as cleanly. Those sort of things

– Your opponent on Saturday is France’s Norman Paraisy, who has recently made a habit of stealing decisions from more openly aggressive fighters. How do you see yourself sealing the victory?

I wouldn’t say he stole any decisions, they were all good calls from the judges but I take your point he has done what he has to win and not looked spectacular in doing so. In football they say that’s the sign of a championship winning side, but this isn’t football. I’ve got 11 wins all by stoppage and my plan to seal the victory is to take it out of the judges hands.

– Recent months have been great for the Dinky Ninjas, what do you attribute the team’s success to?

It’s a cheesy answer but hard work and good coaching is key to everything we do. There’s no egos, everyone gets on with it and does the work, everyone is there to help each other out and with a big talent pool like we have it’s hard not to get results in that environment.

– With the UFC pencilled in to hold their first Scottish show next year, could you see yourself appearing on the card?

The UFC have been talking about a Scottish show for years and it’s not happened so I’m not holding my breath. As for appearing on it, if I keep winning then I don’t see why not. If I don’t then I won’t. Just need to keep on performing and finishing fights and everything else should take care of itself.

– What’s the last song you listened to?

Checked my phone and apparently it was First Blood covering Just Look Around by Sick Of It All. I’m happy with that.

– If you could get away with anything for 24 hours, what would you do?

Well since I’m now deep in to a weight cut it would certainly to eat several greasy and dirty meals and have about 8 pints of wanky poser beers, that or undertake a massive re-distribution of wealth throughout world society to create a socialist utopia, ending poverty, hunger and war. One of those options.

– Convince our readers to check out your match in only three words.

Nothing better on.

– Last of all, a shout out to you team, sponsors, friends…

Shout out to the DNFT for being the best team you could ask for and to Intenseti Fighter Management and Cage Warriors for hooking this fight up.

We’d like to thank Allan for taking the time to speak to us and we wish him all the best in his fight this weekend.

Please check for details on how to view  Cage Warriors Fight Night 10 wherever you are.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: #CWFC66 66 Edition


March 22, 2014
Ballerup Super Arena
Copenhagen, Denmark

This is the first time I’ve done this for a non-UFC show, but CWFC provided my Saturday night card this weekend and it ended up being my event of the year so far, so here goes.

The Good:

Everything. The fights were of a high standard and entertaining, the production was top notch, the commentary from Josh Palmer, Brad Wharton and Rosi Sexton was insightful, informative and added to the broadcast, the standard of refereeing and judging was beyond criticism and there was a real sense of this being an event, not just another MMA card.

The main event was a fun, technical brawl (not a contradiction in terms for once) between two very game and proficient fighters , with Churilov definitely proving he wasn’t here just to make up the numbers.

Let’s be honest, you can’t end an event in better fashion than the hometown hero knocking his opponent out with a head kick to win a world title. Beautiful.

Seven of the nine televised bouts ended in finishes and the two decisions were hard fought and entertaining bouts and of the main card bouts, four resulted in underdog victories – you can’t beat that for drama and excitement.

While much of the praise and column inches will rightly go to Dalby, Bahari, Hazdovic and Tauru for their standout victories, I feel that I have to give credit where it’s due to Martin Svensson for a cracking performance against the in-form Robbie Olivier.

Svensson is a fighter I’ve criticised before and who’s personality and usual fight style really don’t make me a fan but he put on a hell of a fight and scored a career changing victory, so credit to him.

The Bad:

The finish to the last preliminary bout between Jussi Halonen and Frodi Hansen came via DQ when Hansen threw an illegal kick, right on the buzzer which knocked Halonen down and, eventually out.

It’s never nice to see an illegal move, especially when it results in a stoppage but these things happen in combat sports and the really bad thing was the online reaction where a vocal bunch of fans disputed the decision to rule it a DQ, criticising the rules regarding a downed fighter, often while completely misquoting or misunderstanding those rules.

A lack of concern for fighter safety and the rules of the sport in favour of a ‘just bleed’ mindset is one of the biggest obstacles to the furtherance of MMA as an established sport and it’s sad to see fans of a credible promotion cleaving to such beliefs.

The Ugly:

The blood gushing from the back of Robbie Olivier’s head wasn’t exactly attractive…


Fight of the Night:

I’m totally torn here, so I’m splitting this between the Nicolas Dalby and Sergei Churilov for their cracking main event and the super close and competitive tussle between Martin Svensson and Robbie Olivier.

Performance of the Night #1:

Has to go to Nicolas Dalby for a breakout performance against a more experienced and undoubtedly dangerous fighter. In the most high pressure bout of his career so far, the Dane didn’t just get the job done, he did it in entertaining style, showing sportsmanship towards his opponent, with a smile on his face and then turned it on even higher in the championship rounds. Truly a joy to behold.

In his own words ‘fucking awesome!’

Performance of the Night #2:

I’m keen to spread the credit around so I’m giving Toni Tauru the first performance award for his absolute domination and submission over Martin Akhtar.

Finish of the Night:

Plenty to choose from, with Hakon Foss and Toni Tauru’s submissions being particularly sweet and Nicolas Dalby’s head kick and follow up in the main event being a thing of beauty, but… Damir Hazdovic‘s combination to become the first man to TKO John Maguire was extra special and a career defining moment for the Bosnian/Danish fighter.

Full Results:

Nicolas Dalby def. Sergei Churilov for vacant welterweight title
TKO (kick, punches) – Round 4, 2:19
Mohsen Bahari def. Bruno “B.C.” Carvalho
unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3
Damir Hadzovic def. John Maguire
TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:58
Toni Tauru def. Martin Akhtar
submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:14
Jack Hermansson def. Enoc Solves Torres
submission (strikes) – Round 3, 4:36
Martin Svensson def. Robbie Olivier
split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Round 3
Jussi Halonen def. Frodi Hansen
disqualification (illegal strike) – Round 1, 4:59
Hakon Foss def. Per Franklin
technical submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:26
Lina Akhtar Lansberg def. Emma Delaney
TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:26
Rioo Ibrahim def. Alexander Jacobsen
submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:49
Shamal Tashkilot def. Binh Son Le
unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3
Matthias Lodahl def. Haci Firat Dogan
submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:26