Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
MMAWeekly’s Lee Whitehead was in England this weekend for Cage Rage and has the photo’s up in the photo gallery. Just click on the photo gallery to check out all the photos from this past week.

For those who couldn’t be there, here’s play by play from the event…

Mark Weir defeats Akira Shoji by KO – 0:17 (R1)

Weir and Shoji touch gloves, both fighters are circling at the moment neither has made any contact, Weir steps in with a high kick to the head of Shoji, Shoji comes crashing down (completely out at this point) and meets an uppercut from Weir before he hits the canvas. Weir immediately pounces on him landing to crosses to the face before the referee separates them. Weir continuing his devastating trend and has shown the PRIDE bosses how it’s done… all in 17 seconds!!!

Anderson Silva defeats Curtis Stout by KO – 4:59 (R1)

You have to give Stout all the credit, he is one classy dude – no animosity from his part, he came out looked respectful of the champ and didn’t appear to want to make waves, in short, a good sport!

So it begins… Stout lands the first kick, a nice long distance chop to the outside of Silva, Anderson responds with a high kick, they clinch and start jostling for position, Silva with the whizzer!!! They are down into guard but Stout reverses position, Silva is working an open guard, he rises and flies for the Triangle, Stout picks him and slams him, upon landing Silva pulls for the leg and tries to set-up the kneebar but Stout is having none of it, pulling out and defencing the move well. Silva is up and pushing Stout into the cage, Stout has the over/under-hooks, Silva back crunches Stout down to the mat, Stout moves round on the bottom to the north/south position, Silva is looking to set-up the Anaconda choke.

Sensing the submission attempt, Stout rolls to his back, Silva is in half-guard, Stout tries to sweep but Silva blocks, Silva hammerfists then connects with some nice shots to the ribs, Silva is using his long legs to try and knee trap Stouts right arm, Stout shrimps back to full guard, Silva rises and starts throwing bombs, Silva moves Stout up to the cage edge and continues his assault, Stout releases his guard and tries to drive a single in defence but is eating shots to the face, Silva sidestepped pushing Stout down to the ground and hammers him as Grant Waterman dives in to stop the fight, Stout is out for the count, and unable to move for the next few minutes. Thankfully, following a brief check by the medic he appears to be OK.

Dominant performance by the champ, a good fight by Stout though it highlighted his need to work on BJJ and his positioning – Waterman has proven again why he is where he is on the UK MMA refereeing scene, excellent work!

In closing it appears that any animosity from Silva’s part is gone as he proceeds to lift up Stout for the audience in a show of respect.

Vitor Belfort defeats Antony Rea by KO – 1:30 (R2)

Belfort is looking confident, Rea is waiting on Belfort to make the first move, Rea throws two jabs in succession – nothing connects, Belfort throws a quick combo but Rea shoots to avoid, Belfort has pre-empted the shoot and sprawls nicely forcing Rea back to his feet, Belfort has jumped up on Rea into a standing guillotine, Rea drops down with Belfort pulling guard whilst still holding the choke, Rea is defending well forcing Belfort to abort, Belfort shrimps to the right prompting Rea to defend against an Armbar but Belfort jumps into a slick Omo Plata posting Rea on his head and blocking the small of his back from turning – very slick, it is obvious Belfort has been working his BJJ hard.

Antony manages to roll from the Omo Plata and pulls guard on Belfort, Belfort lands some short shots to the ribs and passes to half guard, Belfort has pulled Rea’s head up and is working for a second guillotine, Rea pulls out so Belfort jumps out and back to his feet. They circle, Belfort scores a high kick and steps in with a solid hook, cross, hook combo before firing in a series of uppercuts – Rea is rocked! Rea clinches and turns Belfort to the cage, Belfort secures double underhooks, Rea throws a couple of knees to the lower abdomen, Belfort is looking unfazed, Belfort breaks. They circle, Belfort avoids a fast outside kick from Rea, Rea steps in with a jab, Belfort uppercuts and crosses catching Rea again, The round ends with Rea scoring an inside kick to Belfort’s left leg.

Round 2, Rea jabs, Belfort Jabs, Rea attempts a high kick but nothing on it, Belfort checks an outside kick, Belfort high kicks and connects, they clinch, Belfort scores with the knees then breaks, Rea shoots but Belfort hooks and breaks, Belfort fires a big right cross that grazes but the following left uppercut scores on the button dropping Rea to the canvas with a broken nose for the KO!!!

It is abundantly clear that Belfort has been working on his boxing and ju-jitsu for this match, he looked sharp and methodical and a different fighter from any of the Belfort’s we have seen before, he picked his shots, looked slick in his BJJ and judging by the the change in his physique; has been working cardio. In the following interview Belfort was respectful towards Rea and stated how he is now back on track with his mind in the right place… let’s hope the Belfort that fought tonight hangs around!!!

Mark Epstein defeats Brian Adams by KO – 0:19 (R1)

Adams starts fast with a jab, Adams throws an outside kick – Epstein checks then jabs, Adams jabs – Epstein avoids but lands a vicious left hook with so much on it that he follows Adams down off balance. Epstein is immediately up but the referee has dived in to stop the fight declaring a KO.

It’s always difficult for the crowd to see what the ref sees and in this case the reaction from the crowd was mixed – it appears that Adams had taken the shot and fallen down with a flash KO, composed himself quickly and raised his legs ready to kick at Epstein’s knees… could be instinct, could have been composed but he took a vicious shot and was clearly in trouble.

Sol Gilbert defeats Xavier Foupa-Pokam due to Disqualification – illegal kick to downed opponent

Gilbert starts fast with a hook, Pokam throws a jab, cross outside kick and drops Gilbert quickly – reach might be a factor in this. Gilbert steps in again and eats a knee, Pokam is obviously looking to keep the distance and pick his shots. Both are looking light on their feet. Pokam scores an outside kick to Gilbert’s leg, Gilbert steps in a eats a cross… Gilbert looking a little dazed, tries to shoot and misses when Pokam sidesteps, Gilbert lands from the shoot on all fours prompting Pokam to step in with a vicious Shin kick to the head of Gilbert… Gilbert is clearly unable to continue looking dazed from the kick. Referee stops the action and disqualifies Pokam for the illegal blow.

In the post fight interview Gilbert showed class and good sportsmanship by presenting his trophy to Pokam saying that there was no winner and no loser in the fight and there needs to be a rematch. Pokam praised Gilbert and agreed to the rematch, likely to happen in February.

Alan Murdoch defeats Dave Legeno by Submission – Armbar 4:07 (R1)

Crowd reaction to Alan Murdoch is appaling, it is obvious that London likes an underdog, and in Dave Legeno they appear to have one – he is making his MMA debut on the Cage Rage stage in front of thousands of fans, no pressure then…

Round one starts with both fighters looking to kill each other, Legeno crosses than uppercuts and lands flush, Murdoch stumbles back to the cage and eats probably 15 heavy shots in succession, the guy is wobbling all over the place with Legeno teeing off at will, though dazed Murdoch goes into survival mode and grabs Legeno’s left leg for a takedown, Legeno is clearly stronger and twarts the attempt throwing Murdoch’s back to the cage, Murdoch is eating punches again, this time in the clinch, short sharp blasts to the ribs – Murdoch is trying to topple Legeno in order to survive. Legeno is exhibiting excellent balance and trip defence, Murdoch throws a couple of knees, Legeno clinches with Murdoch having the over/under-hooks, Murdoch is bleeding and has a huge welt on his forehead.

Having expended so much energy in the initial stage Legeno is trying to catch his breath, Murdoch has weathered the storm and manages to put Legeno on his back pulling guard. Legeno gets tagged a few times with hammerfists but there isn’t much weight in the punches at this point. Legeno turns Murdoch and they scramble to the feet. At this point things are getting a little sloppy with both fighters clearly suffering from a lack of cardio, Legeno is getting the better of the exchanges and tags Murdoch again with an evil hook followed by an uppercut, Murdoch drops from the uppercut and scrambles for the leg, Legeno fights the takedown by going for the guillotine, Unable to secure he falls to his back and Murdoch lands in mount. Legeno’s lack of MMA ring experience shows at this point when Murdoch blatantly goes for the armbar dropping to the side and arching well. Legeno may have been too tough for his own good prompting the referee to halt the bout and protecting the fighter from almost certain injury. Legeno didn’t tap but had no means of defence either. It is debatable how much longer these two could have gone on at this pace with Legeno looking tired and Murdoch having a mess of a face. An exhilarating fight that received raised eyebrows from Forest Griffin as the presenter of the winner’s trophy.

Gesias “JZ” Cavalcanti defeats Michihiro Omigawa by KO – 0:49 (R1)

Good stakes for this fight as PRIDE have confirmed this is a BUSHIDO challenge match with a guaranteed spot on the next BUSHIDO card.

Both fighters start on their feet looking to strike, JZ hooks, Omigawa throw an outside kick, JZ returns the favour, JZ steps in and out with a fast combo, JZ places a solid push kick on Omigawa, Omigawa lands another outside chop, JZ circles briefly before stepping in with a perfect cross that lands bang on the button dropping Omigawa to the canvas out cold.

Praise must go to Cage Rage referee Grant Waterman who dived into the fray for the stoppage before JZ could step in to land more punishment. Michihiro drops to 0-2-0 and Cavalcanti advances to PRIDE BUSHIDO.

Matt Lindland defeats Antonio Schembri by TKO – 3:33 (R3)

R1, Lindland steps in with the hook, Schembri shoots and is caught in a guillotine but nothing there, Lindland has the underhooks and fires a nice knee up the middle, Schembri move to a thai clinch but Lindland breaks it, Schembri jumps up on to Lindland for a standing guillotine so Lindland slams him onto his back, Schembri shrimps for the Armbar, Lindland controls Schembri’s legs and passes to half guard and starts hammering his face, Lindland is up on his feet and starts to encroach and stack Schembri into the cage, Schembri has a full butterfly but Lindland’s positioning is too good, Lindland is pounding, Schembri pulls back to full guard then attempts an Armbar, misses and tries for the Triangle, Lindland pulls out and starts hammerfisting. Referee stands them up.

Lindland ducks a good hook and drives Schembri down, Schembri is in guard trying to land heel kick to Lindland’s back, The referee stops the action at this point to take Lindland’s mouthpiece out of Schembri’s sideburn and to pop it back into his mouth – much to the amusement of the crowd! Lindland break and up to his feet, Steps into Schembri with a massive hook, end of round.

R2, Schembri comes out with a flying knees that lands flush but Lindland has caught both legs and slams Schembri down and into guard. Schembri is attempting the Armbar, Lindland pulls his arm out and blocks Schembri’s leg, Schembri in the rubberguard, Ref stands them up again… Lindland engages with a good high kick then cross dropping Schembri to the mat, Lindland pounces and into guard, Schembri is trying to hook a leg in guard but Lindland backs out. There up and clinching, Schembri jumps to Standing guard and is slammed again, Lindland starts pounding, Schembri lands a couple of good elbows before the end of the round.

Schembri stayed sitting on the floor for the round break, clearly exhausted. R3 starts and Lindland connects with a hook, they clinch and drive to the cage, Schembri is footstomping ala Ruas then jumps to standing guard Lindland slams again… Schembri isn’t taking the hint, Lindland is stacking Schembri again and landing solid shots, Schembri shrimps for the Armbar, Lindland is leaving his arm in for the Armbar as if to tease Schembri but at the same time landing solid hammerfists to the face, Lindland steps out and is greeted by bicycle kicks, Ref stands them up, Schembri connects with a hook and wobbles Lindland, Lindland drives Schembri down and into guard, Stacks and punches then backs out, Referee calls an Open Guard, Lindland fakes a flying guard pass and steps in with a vicious cross tagging Schembri flush, Lindland is on top now reigning unanswered blows for the stoppage at the 3:33 mark for the win via TKO.

Having received his trophy Lindland calls out Lee Murray, pays him all the respect in the world for having survived his ordeal but promises him a beating when then step into the ring together, Lee Murray accepts – you can see that despite the trash-talking there is huge respect there but you have to wonder if Lindland is too much for Murray so soon after his ordeal.

Ryan White defeats Mark Buchannan by Referee Stoppage – G’N’P 3:07 (R1)

Nigel Whitear defeats Dean Bray by Submission – Armbar 3:56 (R1)

Paul Daley defeats Joey van Wanrooy by Unanimous Decision

Robbie Oliver defeats Chris Freebourne by Unanimous Decision

Alex Reid and Daijiro Matsui fight to a Majority Draw

Robert Berry defeats Mark Goddard by Submission – Guillotine Choke 1:01 (R1)

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