by Lee Whitehead
The Cage Warriors organization of Coventry, England is playing host on Saturday to an exciting night of fights by putting all of its current title holders into battle on one amazing card that features a mixture of established UK fighters and some very experienced US imports, namely Ruben Villareal and the current Cage Warriors Heavyweight Champion Jeff Monson.
Monson in particular has been on a tear for the best part of three years since his decision loss to Forest Griffin at the WEFC back in 2002. Monson should see himself back in the UFC at some point; unfortunately, it appears that his name has been on the same sheet of paper as Jeremy Horn’s. Monson has amassed an MMA record of 18-5-0 a figure that belies his incredible experience as a grappling expert. If a fight with Monson hits the ground then you had better be good.
His opponent for tonight is Emmanuel Marc, a fighter from the Haute Tension Combat Club in France with an MMA record of 3-3-0. It seems surprising for a fighter with a 3-3-0 record to be fighting for a title so soon into their MMA career against an opponent of Monson’s calibre. One thing for sure is that expectations are low and he has nothing to lose by approaching the fight with a “do or die” attitude.
Ruben Villareal (9-6-1) squares off against another behemoth, the Brazilian Antonio “Pezão” Silva (3-0) in the main event of the evening for the vacant Cage Warriors Super Heavyweight title. Whilst Villareal may be known to most MMA fans in the US, the average UK MMA fan may not be aware of the battle tested American and this fight will provide him with the opportunity to make his mark on the UK scene.
Current Light Heavyweight champion Michael “The Count” Bisping (9-0-0) puts his perfect record on the line against Ross Pointon (4-5-0) in a match that will surely be one of the highlights of the night. Bisping is a fierce competitor with exceptionally well rounded skills and has been likened to current UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin in his approach to the game. From KO/TKO to Submissions, Bisping has proven to be the real deal in competition and will look to end this fight quickly and decisively; like Franklin, none of his fights have ever gone to the judges.
In middleweight action, Damien Riccio (8-10-0-1NC) will be looking to reverse his fortunes by coming off three tough back-to-back losses by squaring off against current Middleweight champion Martin “Hitman” Kampmann (10-2-1). Kampmann will be looking to keep this fight on the feet as Riccio’s ability to take a shot has been questionable and by contrast Riccio’s strengths as a grappler will provide his best chance. This match should be a classic grappler / striker match with the winner being the one who can best execute their gameplan.
Alexandre “Xandinho” Izidro (3-4-0) will be making the first defence of his Lightweight crown against Thomas Hytten (14-3-1) from Norway in a fight that is sure to provide excitement. Izidro is a very slick BJJ competitor with an active guard and offensive submissions from his back. He will need to use speed and tenacity to fill the experience void to Thomas Hytten who has honed his abilities through eighteen fights since his debut in 2000.
In a match that promises to be a grappling masterclass, UK MMA standout Danny Batten (7-6-2) defends his Featherweight title against Brazillian Augusto Frota (5-1-0). Both fighters possess tremendous BJJ games and it is unlikely that the fight will be anywhere other than the ground. An element that is likely to play in favour of Batten is that stablemate Izidro has been preparing to fight on the same card and is also a BJJ protégé.
Incumbent Women’s under 60kg Champion Rosi Sexton (4-0-0) will be looking to defend her title against Dina Van Den Hooven from Holland in a match that is likely to be a dominant display. Sexton holds all the keys to victory as a solid striker and a very technical ju-jitsu arsenal.
And finally, Paul McVeigh (4-3-0) will be defending his Bantamweight championship against Phil “Billy” Harris (9-4-0) in the opening bout of the evening.
FULL FIGHT CARD
Vacant CWFC Super-Heavyweight Title Fight (Main Event)
Antonio “Pezão” Silva Junior (3-0-0) Wolfslair Academy, (Brazil/UK)
vs. Ruben “Warpath” Villarreal (9-6-1) (No Limits Underground) USA
CWFC Heavyweight Title Fight
(Champion) Jeff “The Snowman” Monson 18-5-0 (ATT) USA
vs. Emmanuel Marc 3-3-0 (Haute Tension) France
CWFC Light-Heavyweight Title Fight
(Champion) Michael “The Count” Bisping 9-0-0 (Wolfslair Academy) UK
vs. Ross “The Gladiator” Pointon 4-5-0 (Gladiator Gym), Stoke-on-Trent, UK
CWFC Middleweight Title Fight
(Champion) Martin “Hitman” Kampmann 10-2-1 (Kung Fu Toa, Shooters MMA) Denmark vs. Damien Riccio 8-10-0-1NC (Team Riccio) France
Vacant CWFC Welterweight Title Fight
Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy 9-4-0 (Rough House Gym) Nottingham, UK
vs. Matt “12 Gauge” Thorpe 5-3-0 (Northern Cartel), UK
CWFC Lightweight Title Match
(Champion) Alexandre “Xandinho” Izidro 3-4-0 (Total Dojo) UK/Brazil
vs. Thomas Hytten 14-3-1 (Team Frontline) Norway
CWFC Featherweight Title Fight
Danny Batten 7-6-2 (Total Dojo Milton Keynes) UK
vs. Augusto Frota 5-1-0 (Frota Team) Brazil/Switzerland
CWFC Bantamweight Title Fight
(Champion) Paul McVeigh 4-3-0 (Dinky Ninjas) Scotland
vs. Phil “Billy” Harris 9-4-0 (Team Warriors) Portsmouth, UK
CWFC Women’s Under 60kg Title Fight
(Champion) Rosi Sexton 4-0-0 (SBG Manchester) UK
vs. Dina Van Den Hooven (2-0-0) Tatsujin Dojo, Holland
Light-Heavyweight (3×5 minute rounds)
Christian Smith (2-0-0) Tap or Snap/Derby Shoot
vs. Martin Wojcik (Pro debut) Wolfslair Academy