by Symon Jenner, Cagewarriors.com
Cagewarriors: Strike Force 3 – The Viking Invasion Report
By Symon Jenner, Cagewarriors.com

Guillotine Revolution!

Dougie Truman continues to raise the bar for UK MMA, and with Ian Freeman on board as the night’s MC, “Strike Force 3” promised a lot. What you got was a night of lightning quick action with furious striking and some sublime submissions.

The Skydome provides an awesome arena for MMA. An ever-changing layout, it enables a safe area to enjoy some excellent action in the octagon.

The VIP area was full and the crowd was buzzing with support for the Singh-Sidhu brothers who were making their debut in professional mixed martial arts.

The first action of the night saw Darren Spencer of the Wolfslair take on Kristian Lexell of Shootfighting Stockholm. It was a pro-debut on very short notice for the Wolfslair fighter but he looked hungry.

Bout 1 – Middleweight
Darren Spencer – [Pro Debut] (Wolfslair Academy)
Kristian Lexell – 2-1-0, (Shootfighting Stockholm, Shooters MMA, Sweden)

The bout started with Spencer moving well on his feet. Lexell noticed early on that the ground was the best option for him and took it there with a good double leg. Lexell opened up with some ground and pound through the guard of Spencer. Spencer worked well to attempt to reverse the position from underneath and Lexell hunted for a head and arm triangle.

Spencer easily avoided this but ended up losing position and giving up the mount. Lexell unleashed a barrage of blows from the mount, but only when the elbows started did Spencer look in any trouble, however Lexell didn’t hesitate for one moment and the Ref had no choice but to call an end to the contest.

Winner – Kristian Lexell via TKO/Referee Stoppage (Ground and Pound) after 3:33 of round 1

Bout 2 – Light-heavyweight
Ross Pointon, 3-5-0 (Gladiator Gym Stoke-on-Trent)
Jerome Laulan 1-0-0, (French Top Team)

The second fight of the night saw Ross Pointon take on Jerome Laulan. The only words to describe this fight are fast and war. 36 seconds later a bloody Pointon is back on the winning trail. From the press pit we saw the look in Pointon’s eyes as he entered the octagon. The instant he stayed in the pocket trading like a man possessed you knew it was bad for Laulan. Blitzed by the hand speed of Pointon, but not looking out of it Laulan succumbed to a tight guillotine before you could blink. This was the fighter everyone thought Pointon is and I can’t wait to see him fight like he did tonight in the future.

Winner – Ross “The Gladiator” Pointon via submission (Guillotine Choke) 0:36 of round 1

Bout 3 – Heavyweight
Marc Goddard 5-4-0 (UK Storm Fight Team)
Henrique “Chocolate” Nogueira 1-3-0, (Wolfslair Academy)

Bout number 3 saw UK Storm take on the Wolfslair as Marc Goddard stepped in the cage against Henrique Nogueira.

A tentative start to the fight saw Goddard against the cage preventing the takedown from the Brazilian, but the fight soon made its way to the canvas. Some swift blows from both fighters saw a clever reversal of position and Goddard in the guard of Nogueira. In a repeat of the last fight Goddard finds himself ready for execution and was locked up in a guillotine by Nogueira, heads a rolling it’s over, as Goddard has no choice but to tap. Nogueira was pleased to get back to winning ways and celebrates. But the poignant image is Goddard kneeling in the octagon trying to figure out how he got caught.

Winner – Henrique “Chocolate” Nogueira via submission (Guillotine Choke) after 2:49 of round 1

Bout 4 – Vacant CWFC Lightweight Title
Alexandre “Xandinho” Izidro, 2-3-0 (Total Dojo, Milton Keynes)
Jani Lax – 7-5-0 (Team Scandinavia, Sweden)

Jani Lax strikes an imposing figure, he looked confident and in excellent shape as he calmly made his way to the octagon. Little Alex looked like a man with a mission and something to prove after some controversial decisions in recent events.

Some cagey stand up from both fighters saw Izidro utilising some great pummelling to seize double under-hooks. A big cheer accompanies the resulting slam by Izidro as he lands in the guard of Lax. Scrambling sees the fight standing quickly but the speed of which Izidro jumps into the guillotine is the death sentence for Lax. Slowly applied Lax did not want to tap and even Izidro’s corner though he may be wasting energy, luckily Izidro knew better and carried out the sentence forcing a brave Lax to tap out.

A great way to take the vacant title and the cage was awash with celebration and smiling faces. When asked who was next for Izidro he said he will fight anyone who is put in front of him. In the words of Ian Freeman Izidro is ‘a true warrior’.

Winner – Alexandre “Xandinho” Izidro via Submission (Guillotine Choke) after 2:58 of round 1
Alexandre “Xandinho” Izidro wins the vacant CWFC Lightweight Title

A short break saw the night’s action dedicated to Lee Murray who was brutally stabbed in an incident during the week. Initially critical Murray showed that his heart is as strong outside the octagon as it is inside it and is recovering well. I am sure I speak for everyone involved in UK MMA when we wish Lee a speedy and full recovery and offer our support to his family.

Bout 5- Middleweight
Josenildo “Luquinha” Ramarho [Pro Debut] (Wolfslair Academy)
David Bielkheden 8-3-0 – (Team Scandinavia, Stockholm, Sweden)

Taking a fight on twenty-four hours notice is no mean feat but to take it against an accomplished mixed martial artist like Bielkheden is especially brave.

Ramarho showed no fear straight off the bat as he took it to Bielkheden, forcing him to his back with a strong shoot. Some excellent hip movement saw Bielkheden lock in a tight armbar and what seemed to be a verbal submission emanated from the cage from Ramarho but the Ref told them to fight on, as it was not a clear submission.

The resulting scramble sees Bielkheden in the guard of Ramarho who was moving well on the bottom and looking for a submission. Bielkheden obviously had enough of the triangle attempts and proceeds to ‘rampage’ his way out with a slam. Followed up with some big hammer-fists and punches Ramarho is forced to turn his back to prevent further punishment. As he moves to turtle Bielkheden sinks in a Mata Leao and an impressive debutant is made to tap out.

Winner – David Bielkheden via submission (Rear Naked Choke) after 4:52 of round 1

Bout 6 – Welterweight
Jim Wallhead 1-2-0 (Rough House Gym)
Steve Singh-Sidhu [Pro Debut] (Red Corner Gym Coventry)

After both entrances by these fighters this had a lot to live up to. Singh coming in with a raucous drum and crowd combination blew up a storm as he entered the cage. Wallhead appeared in his black belt and GBR judo gi to Paradise City looking calm and focused in the face of fierce local support.

Back to basics was the cry from the corner as Wallhead stalked Singh around the cage. Credit to the debut man he was moving well and looking to trade with a collected and focused Wallhead. Basics came the cry again as Wallhead used his grappling skills to get a big ‘ooooo’ from the crowd as the slam hit the mat. Using the cage well Singh moved back to his feet. Wallhead went for an ambitious head and arm triangle whilst standing, but sensed the energy was wasted whilst Singh worked hard to escape.

As Singh tired he looked to go back to his good footwork but fatigue saw his hands drop regularly, Wallhead capitalised on this and landed with some strikes you would expect to see from a Rough House fighter. Eventually Singh-Sidhu’s hands stayed down long enough for Wallhead to deliver a flurry which brought the brave Singh to his knees. The incredibly tough Singh was not going to tap or stay down so the towel came into to the ring calling and end to a good contest.

The local support for Singh looked to be on the verge of ruining the evening for all concerned but in a display of class, Singh (who was also assisted by the imposing Ian Freeman talked the crowd down.) Then in a further act of class by Singh he even got his rowdy support to applaud Wallhead. A good debut for Singh, even if he lost he still put on a great show, whilst Wallhead added to the entertainment and deservedly won.

I remember meeting Jim at CWFC Quest he is a focused fighter with some serious potential and it will be interesting to see who he faces next.

Winner – Jim Wallhead via Corner Stoppage (Due to strikes) after 3:14 of round 1

Bout 7 – Heavyweight
Tom Blackledge 4-2-0, (Wolfslair Academy)
Tengiz Tedoradze 14-5-0 (South Yorkshire MMA)

This was billed by some people to be the sleeper fight of the evening, as many people were awaiting this one and they weren’t to be disappointed.

Right from the start it was obvious Blackledge was going to need to avoid the heavy hands of Tedoradze. It seemed the game plan was to fight the wrestler on the ground as Blackledge went to the guard. The ground game looked like a solid plan for Blackledge as he worked well to secure an armbar, which looked like it was going to gain the win. Somehow the powerful Tedoradze worked out of it and the fight came back to the standing position.

Another exchange saw Blackledge trading with Tedoradze; again it seemed Tedoradze’s power moved Blackledge to the ground, who then looked for submissions. However moving well on the ground just wasn’t going to be enough against the ferocious Tedoradze as he bullied his way past the guard and smashed Blackledge into the mat.

Tedoradze is a force to be reckoned with, and whilst Blackledge looked good he didn’t have it in him tonight to beat the “Barnsley Gladiator”. It would be interesting to see what Blackledge could do if he was to move back down to light heavyweight.

Winner – Tengiz Tedoradze via Submission (Tap out due to ground and pound) after 2:20 of round 1

Bout 8 – Welterweight
Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy 8-3-0 (Rough House Gym, Nottingham)
Diego Gonzales 5-2-0 (Team Scandinavia)

Touching gloves is an act of sportsmanship, diving straight into your opponent while he has his gloved raised to meet yours is below the belt and is certainly is not the done thing. Maybe this was a pre-planned strategy but Gonzales had done his homework on the dangerous Hardy. It pre-empted an easy takedown for Gonzales who punched his way to Hardy’s back.

Although Hardy is notorious for his submission defence and with Gonzales locked up in a figure four on his back, Hardy looked to work his way out. Eventually at the end of the round a bloody Hardy emerged into the Swede’s guard. This was the first fight of the evening to make it to a second round.

Round two saw a big head kick from Hardy damage Gonzales, but the tough fighter kept coming forward and took down Hardy to half-guard. Tired from initially weathering the storm in the first round Hardy cannot prevent a secure rear naked choke finding the mark.

Winner – Diego Gonzales via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) after 1:19 of round 2

Bout 9 – Featherweight
Kash Singh Sidhu [Pro Debut] (Red Corner Gym, Coventry)
Kyle Davis 1-0-0 (House of Pain, Wales)

The second of the Singh’s made their pro-debut to the sounds of another fantastic live drum medley. This was met by Davis coming to the ring draped in the dragon of Wales. After watching this fight it seems crazy to me that the big MMA organisations do not promote the lighter fighters. Showing the heart of heavyweights this was a barn storming fight.

Both fighters came out throwing down and Davis got the better of Singh initially, somehow finding himself on the floor some rapid reversals saw Davis moving from armbar to triangle. Never quite finding the finish for the sub both fighters seemed content to just bang it out, much to the delight of the crowd. Eventually the action saw Davis furiously raining down blows to get the TKO victory. The support having learnt from last time delivered one of the cheers of the night. Again to quote the MC this was ‘one f**k of a fight’.

Winner – Kyle Davis via TKO/Referee Stoppage (Ground and Pound) after 3:42 of round 1

Main Event – CWFC Light Heavyweight Title
(Champion) Michael “The Count” Bisping 8-0-0 (Wolfslair Academy)
Jakob “Striking Viking” Lovstad 8-2-0 (Team Scandinavia)

I think the smiling by Lovstad was his undoing. “The Count” is normally frightening when he fights as his usual calm self. I don’t think winding him up was sensible.

A rapid sprawl from Bisping saw Lovstad on his back, and that was where he would stay as Bisping goes to defcon 1. Pouring destruction on the prone Lovstad resulted in a swift TKO for Bisping. Three taps on the chest, some return on the smiling and one middle finger later it is all handshakes and victory celebrations for “the Count.”

The end of the fight was taken very well from the amiable Lovstad and the Count deservedly retains the title belt.

Winner – Michael “The Count” Bisping via Submission (Tap out due to ground and pound) after 1:10 of round 1
Michael “The Count” Bisping retains the CWFC Light-Heavyweight Title.

This was an excellent evening of mixed martial arts competition at the Skydrome with slick production matching the action inside the octagon. Great crowd support for the debutant Singh brothers and great work on the microphone by “The Machine.” I nearly forgot there were some great fights too with Izidro claiming the title and Bisping showing why he wears the belt. Good wins for Lexell, Pointon, Chocolate, Bielkheden, Tedoradze, Wallhead, Gonzales and Davis.

Strike Force 4 Night of Champions is next on November 26th and with Cagewarriors going from strength to strength it makes for an interesting night.

For more information, visit www.Cagewarriors.com