Sunday Column: Cage Warriors 92 Put A Bow On An Exciting Three Weeks In The UK
Last night brought the curtain down on three straight weeks of MMA in the English capital and what a ride it’s been.
We started with BAMMA 34, had a main course of UFC London, and then last night capped it off with Cage Warriors 92 ‘Super Saturday.’
The two previous events didn’t fail to set a high standard heading into last evening and thankfully CW92 delivered another night of thrills and spills.
There’s, of course, no better place to start than the main event and Nathaniel Wood yet again raising the roof off of the Indigo at the O2.
No one can deny that Cage Warriors are good at making stars and last night it was Wood who had another magical moment in front of the London crowd.
His one-hitter quitter knockout of Luca Iovine will feature in many a Cage Warriors highlight reel for the foreseeable future and the reaction of the fans in the venue said everything about his star power in London.
Will he go on to the UFC next? As he said himself, who knows. There’s certainly no need to rush and the longer he sticks around, the better it will be for Cage Warriors and arguably his development as a fighter.
It was fitting he got the last word on a special evening.
One also to tip the cap to the incredibly talented Jack Shore.
Having defeated a UFC veteran and taken his career record to 8-0 with seven finishes, one expected a very extroverted, cocky character to appear backstage afterwards.
That isn’t Shore though. He’s confident yes, but from the few minutes I spent with him I could tell he has a wise head on young shoulders.
His talent alone will get him far, but his attitude will make him special and that’s exactly what I think he’s going to be.
Best of the rest…
Craig White, Mauro Cerilli, Nathan Greyson, Deane Trueman and Cameron Else also need honourable mentions.
“The Thunder Cat” continued his dominant run of form with a slick submission win over Alex Montanaggi and now has to compete for Cage Warriors welterweight gold given the title has just been vacated.
Cerilli also made quick work of Cage Warriors light heavyweight champion Karl Moore with a knockout that was only upstaged by Wood later in the evening.
With the lack of depth in the UFC heavyweight roster, don’t doubt for one second that Cerilli could get the call up for the UFC sooner rather than later.
Meatball and The Baddy…
The action in the cage was compelling, but also last night there was some action outside of the confines of the steel walls that was just as newsworthy.
Paddy Pimblett signing a new multi-fight deal with Cage Warriors was refreshing to hear and in the long term, I think it’s going to be better for his overall development.
It’s been a pretty wild year for Pimblett and the UFC staging an event in Liverpool isn’t going to be a one and done deal.
His time will come and it will be all the more special if he continues to develop both as a fighter and as a personality.
Speaking of UFC Liverpool, the insatiable “Meatball” Molly McCann was rocking around backstage last night in London and putting a smile on the face of anyone in close proximity.
McCann simply gets the fight game and while the chances of her getting a call-up for UFC Liverpool aren’t looking amazing right now, she’s not walking around with her head down.
Like Pimblett, McCann’s will get her moment in the spotlight and she’s well aware there’s nothing to be gained by getting down about it.
Part of me feels like UFC Liverpool isn’t going to bet the same without either Pimblett or McCann, but let’s face it, May 27 will be Darren Till’s night and both those fighters will likely get there own sooner rather than later.
So there we have it, three weeks and three special nights of MMA in the UK.
Independently they might not be nights we remember and talk about in later years, but collectively we may look back on the time period and remember the night where both the domestic promotions especially started to build up some serious momentum.
We’re only in March and there’s already been plenty of memorable moments and fights.
What’s perhaps more exciting is the fact that the best is still to come.