Cage Warriors 109, Resorts World Arena, Birmingham - review
It was a good night for local fighters as a boisterous crowd saw a successful title defence and shock retirement.
In the main event of Cage Warriors 109, Wolverhampton’s Jai Herbert could not have performed better, needing less than four minutes to successfully complete the first defence of his lightweight title.
He dominated his opponent, America’s Cain Carrizosa from the very start of the contest. He would alternate between pushing the challenger back with his jab, to closing the distance as he looked to clinch so he could land devastating Muay Thai knees to the head.
The two strengths would combine, as having pushed Carrizosa up against the cage, then controlled his opponent’s body for prolonged period, raining down knees to the head until the referee stepped in and stopped the match.
With the win Herbert not only ends the American’s six fight winning streak, but his record improves to 10-1. He won’t need many more performances like this to get a shot at performing in a bigger promotion.
It was not the only victory for Birmingham’s Team Renegade gym, with Solihull’s Chris Miah grinding out a decision victory over Belgium’s Brian Bouland in a featherweight title contender eliminator.
Whilst an early punch from Miah would cause the Frenchman to bleed from the nose early on, he would win the match by repeatedly taking his opponent down and holding them to the ground. It wasn’t the most exciting tactic, but it was undoubtedly effective, with all three judges at ringside scoring him the winner.
Afterwards Miah would surprisingly announce his retirement from mixed martial arts due to feeling that he wasn’t able to dedicate as much time to the sport as the very best fighters.
The victories for both Herbert and Miah were loudly cheered by a partisan crowd at the Resorts World Arena. However the best match of the night was one where the local fighter lost, and the away fighter brought their own fans to cheer him on.
In the first match of the main card, Birmingham’s Michael Younis was submitted by Liverpool’s Mick Stanton. Stanton would look to impose his wrestling throughout the first round, but repeatedly struggled to retain top position, as Stanton looked to sweep him or go for submission.
It led to chaotic grappling exchanges as both men sought to gain the advantage, or at the very least, get to their feet before their opponent secured control. In one such exchange, Younis had a moment of madness, kneeing his Stanton in the head before his opponent had stood up. The illegal blow could easily have seen the fight stopped, and he was lucky to escape with just a point-deduction.
However he should have won the fight in the second round when Stanton’s knee buckled whilst he was shifting his weight during a striking exchange. Stanton show tremendous composure, managing to grapevine Younis’s leg and force the fight to the ground. He would go for several submissions, before finally taking the Birmingham man’s back and securing the victory with a rear naked choke.
Whilst neither man’s technique is the tightest, this was a highly entertaining contest, with both men always looking to push the action and fighting at a furious pace for men of their size.
Cage Warriors 109 is available to watch on VOD through the UFC’s Fight Pass. For more information on Cage Warriors, and future events, visit https://cagewarriors.com/
By Will Cooling
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