Cage Warriors 68: Wallhead vs. Roberts Preview


Saturday 3rd May
Echo Area, Liverpool

Simply put, this is most likely going to be the best & biggest single UKMMA card of the year (discounting CWFC’s teased Super Saturday dual card…)

That’s not hyperbole, just look at the fights!

The headliner sees CWFC veteran ‘Judo’ Jim Wallhead (25-8) return after a spell alternating between Bellator and BAMMA and is indisputably one of England’s top welterweights not contracted to the UFC, while across the cage we have in-form hometown boy Danny ‘Hot Chocolate’ Roberts (10-1) who is riding a four fight win streak.

Both men are in clear contention for the Welterweight belt now held by Nicolas Dalby and should provide a heated and competitive climax to the evening’s fights.

Experience is clearly on Wallhead’s side, but Roberts has the greater momentum and such advantage as comes from fighting with the crowd in your corner.

With both fighters being finishers (72% for Wallhead, 80% for Roberts) capable of ending a fight on the feet and each in possession of some excellent grappling skills this is sure to be a great fight to watch.

Backing up that main event we have exciting and accomplished English fighters Ronnie Mann (23-6-1) and Matt Inman (13-5) facing international opposition in Marcelo Costa (8-2-1) and Mauro Chimento Jr (15-10) respectively.

Not enough? OK, how about a middleweight contest between ex-UFC fighter Che Mills (15-7) and the popular Leeroy Barnes (12-13, 1NC) both looking to break losing streaks?

The undercard also features Dinky Ninja’s John Cullen (17-8-2) and Dean Reilly*(6-5) so we’ve got more than a little local interest in the event as well.

*Sadly Dean’s match was cancelled due to his opponent pulling out due to injury. 😦

It’s a cracking card and we can’t wait for Saturday.

Viewing Details:

LIVE STREAMING | USA and Canada only | Ireland only
Viaplay | Scandinavia only | Rest of the world


Premier Sports | United Kingdom
Setanta Sports 1 | Ireland
TV 10 | Sweden
Fight Now TV | USA
The Fight Network | Canada, Portugal, Belgium, Turkey, Middle East
Fight Klub | Poland
Setanta Action | Africa
ESPN | Caribbean, Latin America, Pacific Rim

MAIN CARD | 9pm BST local time (4pm ET, 1pm PT)

Danny Roberts vs. Jimmy Wallhead
Marcelo Costa vs. Ronnie Mann
Mauro Chimento vs. Matt Inman
Steve Dinsdale vs. Matt Hallam
Leeroy Barnes vs. Che Mills
John Cullen vs. Dean Garnett

FACEBOOK PRELIMS | 7.50pm BST local time (2.50pm ET/11.50am PT)

Conrad Hayes vs. Paddy Pimblett
Dez Parker vs. Charlie Watts
Ant Phillips vs. Adam Ventre

UNAIRED PRELIM | 7.30pm BST local time

Ellis Hampson vs. Azi Thomas


The Good, The Bad & The Ugly – Cage Warriors 64 Edition


New format for news and event recaps, trying to make them snappier for you and if I’m honest, more fun to write. Here goes…

The Good

Matchmaking – A lot of these matches looked lopsided from a record and/or familiarity point of view, but the calibre of the contests, especially in the Balde-Bostwick, Roberts-Suarez and Inman-Weibel fights paid testament to Ian Dean’s canny matchmaking, looking past stats and popular perception to provide compelling, close matchups.

Commentary – Josh Palmer and Brad Wharton make a great partnership in the booth, with insightful, educational and pertinent commentary that doesn’t intrude on the action, or seek to overly sway your opinion of it.

The inclusion of Rosi Sexton for the WMMA bout between Laura Howarth and Amanda Kelly was an inspired move, as her knowledge and affinity for the fighters really shine through.

It seems whoever Cage Warriors put behind a microphone delivers as John Gooden and Frank Trigg have also done in the recent past – it might seem a little thing to some, but commentators who add to a broadcast, don’t play favourites and really help to explain the sport rather than doing the opposite makes a massive difference to the quality of the show.

The fights – The whole main card produced compelling action. From Matt Inman’s performance to Laura Howarth’s grit, Nad Narimani’s best showing in the promotion, the supreme display of grappling from Roberts & Suarez, the bloodbath between Bostwick and Balde and Cory Tait’s shockingly quick upset of James Pennington, I just can’t fault this card at all.

TBH, much better value for my time than the UFC card later in the night.

The Bad

None at all. 🙂

The Ugly

There Will Be Blood – Jake Bostwick vs. Boubacar Balde turned into a blood soaked war which resulted in a chunk of the ringside area, including the commentary position being splashed in gore. Definitely ugly, but in that curiously compelling way that only MMA fans will really understand.

All in all, a top event that really sets the tone for CWFC in 2014. I’m now looking forward

For what it’s worth, I’d give…

Fight of the Night

Bostwick vs. Balde. Such a war needs to be acknowledged.

Performance of the Night.

I’m splitting this between – Matt Inman for a typically dynamic performance. – Laura Howarth for her excellent display in neutralising the slightly scary striking of Amanda Kelly, and then withstanding a beating in the third round to get the decision. – Cory Tait for running through one of the largest and most skilled fighters in his division, to suddenly plant himself right in title contention.

Full Results (c/o MMA Junkie)

• Cory Tait def. James Pennington via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:35
• Jake Bostwick def. Boubacar Balde via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
• Danny Roberts def. Juan Manuel Suarez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
• Nad Narimani def. Benjamin Brander via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:53
• Laura Howarth def. Amanda Kelly via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Matt Inman def. Gregor Weibel via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

• Brad Wheeler def. David Howell via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:46
• Spencer Hewitt def. Cameron Else via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
• Charlie Watts def. Andy Kerr via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
• Andrei Manzolo def. Dan Edwards via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:36
• Daniel Crawford def. Huseyin Garabet via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:43
• Veera Nykanen def. Kirsty Davies via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)





Cage Warriors 57 Results & Reaction

Sat, 20 Jul 2013
Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Echo Arena

First of all, the Cage Warriors set up looked entirely at home in the larger expanse of the Echo Arena. A sign of things to come, I feel.

This was a simply stunning show, with a little bit of everything you could possibly want from an MMA show.

Glasgow’s Dean Reilly started off the pro fights with a bang, earning the Knockout of the Night bonus for laying out Mick Kay in only 22 seconds. Nice one Dean.

Fellow Dinky Ninja Mark Connor fell to Bryan Creighton’s D’Arce Choke, ending a career best three fight win streak.

The Facebook prelims saw an awesome back and forth fight between Steve Dinsdale and Dan Rushworth which rightly earned on of the two Fight of the Night bonuses awarded and ended with Steve Dinsdale getting the decision.

The other two Facebook fight saw Matt Inman and Saul Rogers pick up submission wins in a combined total of 2 minutes 41 seconds, leaving a chunk if time before the main card started, which is pretty rare on a Cage Warriors show.

Chris Fishgold continued his winning ways against Pole Marcin Wrzosek with a second round TKO and we came on to the first of our fights disrupted by late replacements.

Jack Mason was expected to win this and continue his stunning run of form en route to a welterweight title shot, but replacement Ali Arish had other ideas and matched ‘the Stone’ toe for toe, eventually taking a unanimous decision victory, two rounds to one.

There’s a new unit in the welterweight division…

Next up, middleweights Leeroy Barnes and Norman Paraisy engaged in a battle of striking and bottom submission skills against takedowns, ground and pound and experience with Paraisy’s wrestling and experience taking a wafer thin decision, despite Barnes rocking him several times, coming close to a guillotine on a few occasions and busting him open.

This is the most impressed I’ve ever been with Barnes, but Paraisy continues to act as a spoiler to the British talent. If he keeps this up, a match with Jesse Taylor could be very interesting indeed.

Ronnie Mann returned to UKMMA and lost no time in showing his class with a quite spectacular performance against the tough and experienced Jose Luis Zapater. Slipping punches, unleashing lightning quick combos, leg kicks and knees of great power and accuracy, Mann put the whole 135lb division on notice by putting Zapater away with plenty time left in the first frame.

In September, CWFC crown a new Bantamweight champion in Cardiff. The winner of that tournament vs. Ronnie Mann at the end of year show? Just thinking out loud…

In our co-main event we had adopted hometown hero and social media workhorse Danny Roberts looking to continue his perfect CWFC record against an opponent who was such a late replacement, he couldn’t even make the scheduled weigh ins on Friday.

Ireland’s Henry Fadipe has always been a game and entertaining fighter, but surely at such late notice he was just a speedbump for Roberts?


What ensued was a genuine contender for Fight of the Year as Fadipe’s power went up against Robert’s speed, with some hefty blows being landed by both men, both guys mixing it up with takedowns leading to submission attempts by both, and some awesome scrambles of both the beautiful and scrappy variety.

Fadipe opened up Roberts head in a big way, I think early in the second round (I didn’t take notes) turning great big chunks of the canvas bloody and the bout was very close to being stopped as the doctor was called in.

Bizarrely the injury seemed to light a fire under Roberts who was more aggressive afterwards and with Fadipe starting to fade a bit and reduced to some desperation attempts at leg locks, Roberts managed to take his back and sink in the rear naked choke for the win with about 90 seconds left.

Seriously, seek out a video of this fight. It was GREAT.

Danny Roberts advances to 4-0 in Cage Warriors and looks to me like the next best challenger for Cathal Pendred’s 170lb belt.

Henry Fadipe, is a straight up legend, despite the loss. We happily salute such a warrior, win or lose, especially on two days notice…

In the main event, Paul Daley returns to Britain and as expected made short work of never-previously-knocked-out Lukasz Chlewicki.

The Pole was by no means the can some were expecting, and certainly gave Semtex some blows to worry about, while courageously choosing to stand toe to toe with him.

In the end, Semtex found his range and some truly nasty knees and elbows started getting through, with one elbow in particular opening up a horrid gash on the Pole’s head, which resulted in the doctor calling off the fight between rounds.

This was a great card, with a little bit of everything and Cage Warriors again proved that their roster, matchmaking, production values and ambition make them the best promotion in Britain, probably the best in Europe and in my eyes at least, one of the top five MMA companies in the world.

Next up, is their groundbreaking event in Grozny, Chechenya at the end of August, with the announcement that James Brum and Ivan Buschinger will join the already announced Pavel Kusch vs. Chris Scott on that event.

We’ll bring you further announcements as they are made.


This card was our chosen Predictions Battlefield for the Week, so lets see how we did…

Remember, it’s five points for getting the victor, three for picking how and a bonus one if you choose the round a stoppage occurs in.

We predicted…


Daley via KO Rd. 2 (8)
Mann via Unam. Decision (5)
Roberts Sub. Rd. 1 (8)
Mason Sub Rd. 2 (0)
Paraisy KO Rd. 1 (5)


Daley KO Rd. 1 (9)
Mann SUB Rd. 3 (5)
Roberts UD (5)
Mason UD (0)
Barnes KO Rd. 1 (0)


Chlewicki UD (0)
Mann KO Rd. 2 (8)
Roberts KO Rd. 1 (5)
Mason KO Rd. 3 (0)
Paraisy KO Rd. 2 (5)

Which makes our little league table look like this after three events…

1- Iain – 50 pts + 19 pts = 69 pts
2- Ross – 34 pts + 26 pts = 60 pts
3- Chris – 28 pts + 18 pts = 46 pts

I really need to raise my game.

Check out the replay of CWFC57 on Monday evening, stay tuned for any news on the upcoming shows in Grozny and Cardiff and next week we’ll be predicting UFC on FOX 8.

MAIN (, Premier Sports, Joe.IE)
• Paul Daley def. Lukasz Chlewicki via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
• Danny Roberts def. Henry Fadipe via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 3:34
• Ronnie Mann def. Jose Luis Zapater via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:19
• Norman Paraisy def. Leeroy Barnes via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
• Ali Arish def. Jack Mason via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Chris Fishgold def. Marcin Wrzosek via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:31

• Matt Inman def. Mohsen Bahari via verbal submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 0:44
• Saul Rogers def. Jason Cooledge via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:23
• Steve Dinsdale def. Dan Rushworth via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

PRELIMINARY (Untelevised)
• Bryan Creighton def. Mark Connor via submission (D’arce choke) – Round 2, 3:20
• Mick Gerrard def. Leon Pierre via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:55
• Dean Reilly def. Mick Kay via knockout (strikes) – Round 1, 0:22

Cage Warriors 57 Preview

Sat, 20 Jul 2013
Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Echo Arena

LOADED – [loh-did]
1. bearing or having a load; full: a loaded bus.
2. containing ammunition or an explosive charge: a loaded rifle.
3. (of a word, statement, or argument) charged with emotional or associative significance that hinders rational or unprejudiced consideration of the terms involved in a discourse.
4. Slang. – having a great deal of money, rich.
5. (of dice) weighted so as to increase the chances of certain combinations to appear face up when the dice are thrown.

In almost every sense of the word, Cage Warriors 57 is loaded, simply one of the deepest UKMMA cards I’ve ever seen.

It could maybe use a title match and a women’s match but you can’t have everything, and the fights we do have promise fireworks from top to bottom.

In the main event, we have the star power and sheer potential for explosive knockouts in the shape of Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley (32-12-2) on loan from Bellator while his visa issues are addressed and riding a streak of three consecutive knockout victories.

One of the true ronin of the sport, Daley returns to CWFC for the first time since 2008 (this will be his fifth appearance in the promotion since 2003) looking to impress on a truly credible stage, having been denied a top platform since his win over Rudy Bears in his Bellator debut a year ago.

Daley’s troubles in the past have always come from fighters who could (and wanted) to stifle him with wrestling or threaten him with the submission game he’s always been susceptible to and it looks like his opponent doesn’t fit into those categories, but that doesn’t mean it’s a gimme for Daley.

Lukasz Chlewicki (10-2-1) is making his CWFC debut after amassing his experience in his native Poland and Eastern Europe and has half of his wins via TKO, with most of them coming in the first round.

Daley is not the first top tier fighter Lukasz has faced, as he dropped a first round submission to Demian Maia (nothing to be ashamed of there) back in 2005 before taking a five year hiatus from the sport.

He’s gone 5-0-1 since returning in 2010 and surely knows the opportunity that this bout presents, facing a fighter who wasn’t cut from the UFC on the grounds of ability…

It’s also worth noting that Chlewicki has never been knocked out as a professional, but in fairness he hasn’t faced a striker of Daley’s calibre. Make of that what you will, but this fight is gonna feature some big bombs…

Another veteran of the US scene comes back to UKMMA in the co-main event as submission wizard Ronnie Mann (21-6) makes his return after five years spent taking names in Sengoku, Strikeforce and Bellator.

He faces experienced Spaniard, Jose Luis Zapater (17-9) who was riding a nine fight win streak before being knocked out by top ranked Sirwan Kakai back in March.

Both men are best known for their ground games, but Zapater has shown a tendency to get knocked out, while competing at a generally lower level than Mann.

Still, if the last few weeks has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no such thing as a favourite in MMA.

It’s at this point that I had to throw out the rest of my preview as a stack of late changes were inflicted on the card.

Welterweight title hopefuls Danny ‘Hot Chocolate’ Roberts (8-1) and Jack ‘Stone’ Mason (24-11) had promising bouts against Mauro Chimento and Bruno Carvalho scrapped through injury and will now face Aldric Cassata (6-5) and Ali Arish (19-2) respectively while Mats Nilsson is still awaiting an opponent after Lee Chadwick also pulled out.

The main card is rounded off by a Middleweight contest Leeroy Barnes (12-10, 1NC) makes his CWFC debut against the well travelled Norman Paraisy (11-3-2, 1NC) which promises to be a very interesting contest between two of Europe’s most exciting 185lbers.

With the main card airing on subscription channel Premier Sports in the UK and online via MMA Junkie or everywhere else, the free-everywhere undercard should definitely help sway those who think CWFC isn’t worth a Premier Sports subscription as we have intriguing fights featuring unbeaten Chris Fishgold (8-0) and a potential match of the year between Norway’s Mohsen Bahari (5-0) and Matt Inman (10-5).

An extra shout goes to Dinky Ninja’s Mark Connor (8-8-1) and Dean Reilly (5-5) who are also in action on the undercard against Bryan Creighton (3-1) and Mick Kay (2-2). C’mon lads, bring the wins back to Glasgow…

• Lukasz Chlewicki vs. Paul Daley
• Ronnie Mann vs. Jose Luis Zapater
• Aldric Cassata vs. Danny Roberts
• Ali Arish vs. Jack Mason
• Leeroy Barnes vs. Norman Paraisy

• Chris Fishgold vs. Marcin Wrzosek
• Mohsen Bahari vs. Matt Inman
• Jason Cooledge vs. Saul Rogers
• Steve Dinsdale vs. Dan Rushworth
Mark Connor vs. Bryan Creighton
Mick Gerrard vs. Leon Pierre
Mick Kay vs. Dean Reilly

Cage Warriors 54 Results / Reaction

Sat, 04 May 2013
Cardiff, Wales
Motorpoint Arena

It’s really nice to have some quality fights on at a reasonable time on a Saturday night, and as usual Europe’s #1 promotion produced some truly quality fights.

The Facebook streamed preliminary card featured two absolute wars between Jamie Rodgers & Brad Wheeler and Kris Edwards & Shaj Haque which had the Cardiff crowd warmed up from the off. Both bouts went to wafer thin split decisions and while Rogers and Haque took the nods, I’m loathe to call any of these guys losers.

Also on the prelim card, Matt Inman broke a two fight skid with a TKO win over Leon Kenge in what was a very exciting scrap.

Onto the main card and ‘Mr Pink’ Martin McDonough earned his fifth win in a row, again coming from behind to secure a submission victory, this time over Mark Platts. McDonough’s sweep to set up the victory was a thing of beauty, especially as he was in the process of being punched in the face at the time. With such a run of stoppage wins, McDonough must be in the running for the CWFC Bantamweight title tournament.

Next up, another local favourite Brett Johns put on an awesome display, with perhaps the first time I’ve ever seen a Dinky Ninja get out grappled en route to a nasty KO victory via ground & pound over James Macalister. Johns showed the danger of his judo base, controlling the bout from start to finish and landing one particularly sweet judo throw.

Veterans Ivan Buchinger and Jason Ball put on an entertaining but indecisive bout with Buchinger getting the nod from the judges to snap Ball’s two fight win streak and rebound from his crushing loss to Conor McGregor in December.

Mark Glover came into this event as one of Cage Warriors marquee new signings, 18 months after a slot on the Ultimate Fighter but ring rust proved his undoing as Lewis Long used canny striking and a calm head to earn a clear unanimous decision victory.

In the co-main event, active Twitterite Danny ‘Hot Chocolate’ Roberts scored a landmark victory with a quality striking performance against noted grappler Diego Gonzales which earned him a TKO2 win.

Gonzales protested the stoppage, but I’ll leave the analysis of that to Marc Goddard himself – “Why did you stop my fight?” “Err because you were unconscious bro.”

Seems fair enough to me.

The win advances Roberts to 8-1 and coming off wins over Gonzales and Jack Mason in Cage Warriors, he’s right in the mix in their stacked welterweight division.

The main event saw Welsh fan favourite John Phillips looking to use his knockout power to win the Middleweight belt. However, Jesse Taylor showed his quality by taking him down and working for a rear naked choke in less than three minutes.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of, being wrestled and subbed by a competitor of Taylor’s stature so Phillips shouldn’t feel too bad. This is the second time in a row that Taylor has used his trademark Team Quest skill set to silence a partisan crowd in a Cage Warriors main event and he looks to be in the form of his life, now on a 6-0 streak since his submission loss to then Welterweight champ Gael Grimaud last year.

Who can wrest the CWFC 185lb belt from JT Money? We’ll find out, but first we’ve got CWFC Fight Night 8 from Jordan next week, with fights involving favourites like Jack Mason, Faycal Husin, James Brum and Mike Ling all being streamed live, worldwide once again.

Stay tuned for our full previews of that event.

• Jesse Taylor def. John Phillips via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:43 – to retain CWFC middleweight title
• Danny Roberts def. Diego Gonzalez via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:02
• Lewis Long def. Mark Glover via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
• Ivan Buchinger def. Jason Ball via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
• Brett Johns def. James MacAlister via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:23
• Martin McDonough def. Mark Platts via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:18

• Shaj Haque def. Kris Edwards via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
• Matt Inman def. Leon Kenge via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 1:03
• Jamie Rogers def. Brad Wheeler via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

• Steve McCombe def. Joe Orrey via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 1:48
• Owain Parry def. Rob Leybourne via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:11