- CAGE WARRIORS: ENTER THE ROUGH HOUSE 3 REVIEW AND PHOTOS

July 22, 2007
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by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT


 


Cage Warriors – Enter the Roughhouse 3 played out to a venue far from its capacity, several factors figured into this and it was a shame considering the fighters themselves fought as if they were playing out to a packed house anyway.


Enter the Roughhouse was originally setup in Nottingham to showcase up and coming talent from the Roughhouse academy (home to UK MMA stalwarts such as Daley, Hardy and Wallhead) as well as surrounding area gyms such as Wolfslair, etc… But to be a successful show you need attendees; An unfortunate date clash with the Ultimate Force event running on the same day (little over an hour’s drive from this venue) lured away some of the fighters that could have been on the card – and their supporters. Another Nottingham based event takes place next weekend, again featuring local fighters, and finally, poor ticket sales from the fighters on the card.


Times are hard for Cage Warriors at present as it deals with an over-saturation of promotions in its once buoyant stomping ground and a lack of management depth following the arrests of both Truman and Lillis earlier in the year. Still, undeterred by such detractions, Ian Dean plugs away gamely supporting the scene and promoting the event in a role he has fallen into without choice – lets hope things pickup for the promotion heading into the second half of the year.


Paul Kelly def Sami “The Hun” Berik via RNC R1 1:27


Wolfslair up-n-comer Paul Kelly made short work of the experienced Sami Berik by overpowering him on the ground with his patented Ground and Pound attack following a big right hook. Kelly’s bread and butter is hammering down on you while your on your back, and this is the worst possible position for Berik to find himself in – sure enough, having softened him up with shots, he forces the Bloodline fighter to give his back avoiding punishment before sinking in the RNC for the Tap.


Mark O’Toole def Christian Smith via Armbar R1 3:08


Local favourite Christian Smith came into this bout off the back of a raucous crowd support but never really managed to get off cleanly, looking as though he never found his timing and he paid the price for it with O’Toole catching him flush on the right eyebrow opening a cut to force the doctors check.


Once Vaselined back together they engaged with O’Toole again landing flush putting Smith firmly on his backside, the end was almost near and could have easily been stopped at that point but referee Mark Goddard sensed he was able to recover and allowed the fight to continue. Smith was still rocked and although game he fell prey to a beautiful Armbar that he was unable to roll out of. O’Toole puts the disappointment of his last Roughhouse outing behind him and goes back to Ireland a happy man!


Andre Winner def Daniel Thomas via Decision


Losing in front of your home crowd and team-mates must be the worst thing for a fighter and that is exactly what happened last time Winner fought here, worse still he was choked unconscious, further adding to his misery.


Mindful of that fact, he appeared to be fighting cautiously against Thomas and engaged in a really dirty, grinding clinch fight for the majority of the 15 minutes of the bout. Winner is definitely a fighter on the rise, and he proved this by picking up the FX3 lightweight belt back in July, but in this case it appeared as though he just wanted to win safely at home and looked mindful of this post-fight.


Still a win is a win, and as such he advances his pro record to 7-1-0.


Matt Thorpe def Vasile Doczi via GNP R1 2:09


Thorpe is tall and rangy compared to his opponent, who faces a massive height and reach disadvantage. It is obvious that striking will be hard for Doczi as he will surely have to take shots to find the pocket, let alone shooting from a distance without a setup.


Thorpe kept his distance at the start, underlining his opponents options, landed a solid combo then closed fast putting the Romanian down with a short left hook before following into guard. A quick guard pass to side avoiding the triangle attempt was enough to spell the end and it took little past the two minute mark of the bout to force the referee to intervene as Doczi was absorbing unanswered blows and unable to improve his position or re-attain guard again.


Jim Wallhead def Soli Clichko via Arm Triangle R1 2:52


Wallhead picked off another opponent with a solid display of his ever improving ground work, “Judo Jim” shot under a hook and double-legged his adversary down fast, repositioning his weight and driving forward to close options from the bottom. Wallhead’s experience pays dividends as he is able to wait for the right moment to pass to side control and setup a figure four before jumping to full mount.


Clichko is trying to be resilient squirming his way out of mount and back to safety but Wallhead starts to overpower him with strikes, stacking him up and breaking guard, once opened he throws a big connecting shot down and throws the flailing legs to the side passing to side control and setting up the arm triangle for the submission win at the 2:52 mark.


Henrique “Chocolate” Nogueira def Lee Austin via RNC R1 3:19


Nogueira must have failed to read the script for this fight, he is the Brazilian, he should be the one taking his opponents down and applying submissions, but he found himself on the back-foot from the bell coming off badly from a failed shoot and taking shots for his efforts, Austin didn’t seem to care about the Brazilians credentials and jumped on his back to sink in a tight Rear Naked Choke setting off alarm bells in his adversaries head!


Nogueira fought hard to get his hand in, removing initial danger from the choke, then proceeded to work diligently to free himself up and away from the submission, only to find himself mounted and in the midst of a ground and pound attack. Can Austin upset the Wolfslair fighter? Well the answer is no, but he does mark himself out to be an exciting up and comer with a now 2-2-0 record. Nogueira pulls it back from the brink a second time and manages to latch on a tight guillotine in the scramble to feet for the win.


Patience and durability pulled out the win for him here and I am sure he will be taking notes on where he went wrong at the start.


Aaron Blackwell def Ashley Smith via Decision


Blackwell and Smith proved to be a very entertaining fight considering the start of the match had me concerned about the prospect of two counter-fighters circling each other. How wrong could I be? This fight resembled a San-Shou exhibition with both fighters displaying their kicking abilities. The circle, they kick, the circle, they kick.


Some people may find a match like this boring, but I by contrast found it quite exhilarating witnessing the talent on display. Ever the professional though, Goddard (referee) pulled them up on three occasions to inform they needed to engage more and press the issue – and so they did although the kicks would remain a feature.


Blackwell clearly had the edge in this match from a ground perspective and standing, but his opponent showed durability and strength, only lacking the depth of experience to find a way around his opponent and think on his feet changing tactics. Blackwell almost won the fight via Armbar submission on two separate occasions, but found himself being dumped from standing whilst still being attached to his opponents appendage.


Both fighters earned each others respect throughout the bout, but Blackwell picks up the decision win this time, I personally would like to see these fighters rematch in a year’s time when Smith has more experience.


Closing out the card, Lee Livingstone puts the lights out on Kevin Reed with a formidable barrage of knees in the clinch at the 1:29 mark of the second round bringing the TKO stoppage to his home-crowd and Dave Bownds makes a successful Pro-MMA debut against Rob Cooper via Rear Naked Choke 3:40 into round one showing that cardio and composure is key, employing a selective ground and pound attack before setting up the submission.


Full Results:


Dave Bownds def Rob Cooper via RNC R1 3:40


Lee Livingstone def Kevin Reed via TKO R2 1:29


Aaron Blackwell def Ashley Smith via Decision


Henrique “Chocolate” Nogueira def Lee Austin via RNC R1 3:19


Jim Wallhead def Soli Clichko via Arm Triangle R1 2:52


Matt Thorpe def Vasile Doczi via GNP R1 2:09


Andre Winner def Daniel Thomas via Decision


Mark O’Toole def Christian Smith via Armbar R1 3:08


Paul Kelly def Sami “The Hun” Berik via RNC R1 1:27


 


CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

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