by Matt Freeman for MMAWeekly.com
LONDON – Phil Baroni came and delivered at Cage Rage 27, producing a spectacular knockout in his welterweight debut, just as predicted. Coming in with a clear game plan, he never allowed Scott Jansen to get off with his strikes.
After baiting Jansen in with a jab, he shot in to score with a double-leg takedown from where he proceeded to work into side control. Clearly rattled, Jansen tried to escape only for Baroni to work a straight armbar, which looked like it was on. However, the game Jansen defended and locked his opponent down until the referee re-started the match. After a brief exchanged, Baroni landed with a massive counter right hook that floored Jansen and left him out cold for a number minutes after the fight had been stopped at 3:18 of round one.
In their heavyweight rematch Neil Grove defeated Robert “Buzz” Berry in the second after a technical battle that saw Berry trying to take the fight to the ground, whilst Grove looked to keep the fight standing and at range. Trading heavy leg kicks early on, Berry caught Grove’s leg and drove him into the mat, but he was unable to score any real damage before the round ended.
Grove came out in the second the fresher man, attacking Berry’s lead leg and backing him up before unloading a thunderous combination that dropped his opponent. Following him to the mat, Grove landed further shots, forcing the referee to halt the match at 1:29.
Mustapha Al Turk defeated James McSweeney to win the Cage Rage British heavyweight title. Using his jab to set up the clinch, Al Turk took McSweeney down with ease before securing side control. Moving into mount, he unleashed a barrage of blows to take the win via ground and pound at 2:06 of the first round.
Middleweight Tom Watson showed some improved wrestling to control the whole of his bout against tough Welshman John Phillips. After both stood and traded big shots at the start of the opening round, Watson took the fight to the mat and steadily ground and pounded his opponent out of contention. Although Phillips tried to use his boxing, Watson was relentless with his take downs and kept the fight on the ground where he controlled and pounded his opponent to take the unanimous decision victory.
In a real battle, Stav ‘Crazy Bear’ Economou took the decision win over Poland’s Poitor Kusmierz with a brave performance. Both landed big shots in the first round and though Kusmierz were the cleaner, cutting Economou, the Crazy Bear kept on coming forward and throwing bombs.
In the second, Economou scored with a number of takedowns from the clinch, but he was unable to keep Kusmierz down and though tired both stood and traded until the end. Economou had the aggression to keep coming forward and after fifteen minutes of toe to toe action it was that forward motion that earned him the win.
Robbie Olivier defended his featherweight title, defeating Ashleigh Grimshaw late in the second round. After a patient first five minutes that saw Grimshaw working his strikes whilst Olivier waited for an opening before scoring with a great takedown, the second round saw Ashleigh stalking the champion. Grimashaw looked to land with his punches, but Olivier shot in and took his opponent to ground from where he began to land blows. Grimshaw tried to escape, but Olivier took his back and sunk in the rear naked choke at 4:01.
In an exciting match between Brad Pickett and Italian Cristian Binda that saw both land with some devastating punches, it was Pickett’s wrestling that proved the deciding factor. After Binda was dropped in the first round, Pickett scored with some great takedowns in the second before sinking in a tight guillotine at 2:52 of round two to take the well earned victory.
Aisling Daley continued her winning ways with a first round demolition of the Czechoslovakian Eva Lisko. Rushing her opponent, Daley clinched before working to the back where she jumped onto Lisko’s back and dragged her to the floor. Lisko tried to scramble, but Daley controlled and used punches to set up a rear naked choke for the win at 1:18 of round one.
Jason Young defeated Francis Heagney to claim the vacant Cage Rage lightweight title via unanimous decision. After a first round that saw Heagney control the pace of the match, engaging Young with his wrestling and keeping the fight on the floor, the second round began with Young driving forward with a flying knee. With both men on the mat, Young won the scramble and took mount from where he dropped bomb after bomb.
In the final round, a confident Young landed with punches and kicks. Heagney scored a takedown and began to ground and pound his opponent only to be reversed and punished with heavy shots.
Wesley Johnson defeated Mark Brown in just 31 seconds of the first round. After rushing his opponent with a flurry of punches, Johnson took Brown to the mat and swiftly secured mount position before pounding his opponent into defeat.
Jody Cottham took a hard earned victory over Umidjon Mavlyanov in a wild back and forth bout. Cottham began with all guns blazing, but Mavlyanov weathered the storm and worked his ground and pound game. In the second, after a series of reversals on the mat, Cottham sunk in a guillotine choke for the victory at 3:16
In a barnstormer of a battle, Dave Vangasse defeated James Elson deep in the final round of their middleweight clash. Vangasse controlled the first round on the mat, but Elson took the second with some good ground and pound after using a Kimura to sweep his opponent. In the third, Vangasse scored the take down and in the scramble secured the rear naked choke for the win at 3:16.
-Phil Baroni def. Scott Jansen via KO at 3:18, R1
-Neil Grove def. Robert Buzz Berry via TKO (Strikes) at 1:29, R2
-Mustapha Al Turk def. James McSweeney via TKO (Strikes) at 2:06, R1
-Tom Watson def. John Phillips via Unanimous Decision, R3
-Stav Economou def. Piotor Kusmierz via Decision, R3
-Robbie Olivier def. Ashleigh Grimshaw via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:01, R2
-Brad Pickett def. Cristian Binda via Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 2:52, R2
-Aisling Daley def. Eva Lisko via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:18, R1
-Jason Young def. Francis Heagney via Unanimous Decision, R3
-Wesley Brown def. Mark Brown via TKO (Strikes) at 0:31, R1
-Jody Cottham def. Umidjon Mavlyanov via Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 3:16, R2
-Dave Vangasse def. James Elson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:43, R3