by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
Cage Rage Contenders rolls into the Hammersmith Palais again for another night of ruff-n-tumble up-n-coming MMA action. A good night aside from a few minor quibbles, none relating to the actual fights more to do with some of the most appalling lighting glare making photography incredibly difficult and huge gaps between some of the fights (understandable due to medical team commitments.)

Luke Smith vs Jack Miles

First fight of the evening doesn’t last very long and sets the tone for many a fight during the evening as Smith looks composed from the bell firing in few quick shots before setting up a big overhand right to land flush and KO miles at the 0:40 mark of the first. Too short to really make a major judgement on either fighter but a good stoppage nevertheless.

Jeff Hayes vs Jamie Spooner

Spooner had a great first round dominating the action up until the last 15 seconds with a combination of better positioning, a good sprawl and some heavy shots from side control, save for a reversal to mount by Hayes before the bell, it was all Spooner.

Hayes starts having realised that his opponent didn’t appear to be able to buck him off at the end of the last round and proceeds to work diligently for the mount, which he duly secures and proceeds to pound out a ground-n-pound attack till the ref steps in. I think the fact that Spooner blew his wad in the first will have a lot to do with it, but all props to Hayes at finding the finish.

Serge Ussanov vs John Hathaway

Ussanov started fast with the strikes rushing over to his opponents corner, forced to double leg as a defence Hathaway lifted Ussanov for the slam and found himself being standing guillotined.

Just as it appeared that Ussanov was going to secure a quick win Hathaway pulled out and proceed to pound forcing the Russian to give his back and cover. Hooks in and it didn’t take long for Hathaway to try his own hand at asphyxiation securing the tap at the 2:08 mark.

Sunnat Ilyasov vs Mindaugas Mockevicius

Hmmm, slight mismatch here as Ilysov is the Korean MMA Champion and the under 74kg World Combat Sambo champion and his opponent Mockevicius is, well, unfortunate…

The bell rings, they engage with strikes quickly but Ilyasov lands a big left, then a knee and sets up a guillotine for the submission win at record time. Mockevicius didn’t really stand a chance and I expect we will be seeing Ilyasov on the main Cage Rage show very shortly!

Lloyds Clarkson vs Dan Mohavedi

Mohavedi is in his corner looking ferocious and ready for battle and the opening minutes of the bout confirm this as he is throwing full leather for the fences from the off. He lands such a huge succession of hooks and knees that most normal fighters would have buckled by now, but Clarkson is a warrior and manages to keep himself in the game by clinching and weathering.

Mohavedi is starting to get cocky when a glancing blow gets through his defence and starts really swinging wild, you get the sense that the longer this goes on the better chance Clarkson has of slipping a finisher through, and at the 3:15 mark that’s exactly what he does putting Mohavedi down and out with a big right cross.

Jeff Lawson vs Mark Dayrell

Dayrell lands a thunderous low kick at the start, second time round with the same kick and Lawson picks it to put him on his back, working hard for the reversal Dayrell manages to switch positions and pound quickly, his eagerness is punished when Lawson secures the arm from the bottom to secure the win at the 1:23 mark via armbar.

Another solid fight for the UK1 under 70kg champion.

Joe Mac vs Marvin Bleau

Joe Mac looks for all this world like a short Kimo with a beard, fortunately he appears to have a better chin and desire to win than his American counterpart.

The pace is fast and furious with Bleau unable to capitalise on his reach advantage as Mac is too quick to close the distance. Clearly stronger, Mac lifts and dumps Bleau in the pat and proceeds to work a ground and pound attack, Bleau is unable to improve his position under fire.

A brief interlude is called when a scuffle of supporters ensues out of the cage, a brief distraction and doesn’t affect the fight in anyway as Bleau finds himself on the bottom again after the restart, he curls to cover but isn’t really taking damage and then the ref steps in to halt the action. I would say he wasn’t in any danger, but we have seen it before, if your not improving and your under fire you run the risk or stoppage – keep working to improve! 4:08 is all it takes for Joe Mac to win his debut.

Deano Durrant vs Steve Elliot

The only real offence Durrant managed during this fight was a hard, well placed low kick that prompted Elliot to ground his opponent. Once down he worked methodically for position and started to unleash, measured pinpoint strikes. Many times we see a fighter go mental and unload, in this case Elliot picked his shots for maximum impact and forced Durrant to tap out under the pressure 1:55 into the first.

Alex Paulskorsaks vs Afnan Saeed

Saeed is a very explosive fighter, he’s calm and moves well around the cage, as soon as his opponent is in range at the right time he explodes into action, bang, bang, bang and out again, very effective. Unfortunately, in one of the early exchanges he takes a shot that opens up a pretty decent cut on his left eyebrow that requires a doctor’s check.

Upon restarting, both fighters engage quickly, keen to press the action and end up on the ground working for position, now, we don’t get to see too many leg-locks in action on the UK scene so it’s a pleasant surprise to see Paulskorasks pull a beautiful Achilles crush out of the bag at 2:18 into the first for the tap.

Micheal Pastou vs Jake Bostwick

Having seen Pastou appear completely lacklustre during the last Intense Fighting show of 2006 I expected the buoyant Bostwick to dispose of him quickly, how wrong could I be… Pastou looked switched on from the start and brought the fight to the ground and into his favour following a big left that marked his eye up.

Once down Bostwick was unable to shift or shrimp back to base and had to be content with half guard. Pastou started to unleash hammerfists and punches aplenty and just kept building momentum, Bostwick was unable to improve at all having been on his back for the best part of three minutes prompting Grant to step in and call time to the bout just 12 seconds from the bell.

Tom Watson vs Dorlan O’Malley

Tom Watson gets back to winning ways following the disappointment of loosing to Daijiro Matsui at Cage Rage 20 via armbar. No such dangers against O’Malley here, he is primarily known as a striker so Watson played to his strengths securing an early takedown and pounding on the Russian/Irish fighter without mercy for night on the full 2:51 of the first.

A good win puts Watson back on track and we will hopefully see him in regular action now, he’s a good fighter with a lot of potential to go far.

Sol Gilbert vs Darren Guisha

Fight of the night for me, Gilbert has taken a step back to the Contenders show to get back on track following his KO loss to Paul Daley and Darren Guisha is the man in his way.

Gilbert came out from the bell and shot across the ring with one of the most impressive shoots I have seen in a long time to secure the takedown, a brief period of GNP action follows before the ref restarts, from there its all on the feet up until the midway mark of the 3rd.

Both fighters manage to land leg kicks and some good exchanges but Guisha is never really in any danger of finishing save for a lucky punchers chance. Gilbert is looking very crisp with his boxing and his leg kicks are fast with a lot of force on them, he pretty much lands at will during the second round.

Never one to go down easy Guisha showed that he’s all heart picking up two eyebrow cuts (one either side) and leading leg that fast looked like it might need amputating to save it (such was the swelling) but never shying away from the exchange. Its only at the midway mark of the 3rd that Gilbert puts his opponent down again, this time for the last as he starts to pound his battered opponent forcing the ref to call a halt at 2:24 of Round Three.

A good solid, pressure releasing performance from “Zero Tolerance” and one that should put him back on the right track again.

Full Results:

1) Luke Smith def Jack Miles via KO 0:40 R1

2) Jeff Hayes def Jamie Spooner via GNP 1:33 R1

3) John Hatthaway def Sergey Ussanov via Guillotine 2:08 R1

4) Sunnat Ilyasov def Mindaugas Mockevicius via Guillotine 0:44 R1

5) Lloyds Clarkson def Dan Mohavedi via KO 3:15 R1

6) Jeff Lawson def Mark Dayrell via Armbar 1:23 R1

7) Joe Mac def Marvin Bleau via GNP 4:08 R1

8) Steve Elliot def Deano Durrant via GNP 1:55 R1

9) Alex Paulskorsaks def Afnan Saeed via Achilles Crush 2:18 R1

10) Michael Pastou def Jake Bostwick GNP 4:48 R1

11) Tom Watson def Dorlan O’Malley via GNP 2:51 R1

12) Sol Gilbert def Darren Guisha via GNP 2:24 R3