Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Cage Rage Contenders 4: Gilbert Back with Impressive Win

By Jim Page

HAMMERSMITH PALAIS — The London version of the Cage Rage Contenders show may not be known for its sophisticated jiu-jitsu encounters, but one thing you can expect to see is a night full of intense battles between some of the most determined young fighters from London and the surrounding area.

Topping the bill was Sol Gilbert (Pictures)'s methodical destruction of the game, but overmatched, Darren Guisha. Known primarily for his boxing, Gilbert surprised the crowd scoring with an early shot for a takedown, before getting back to his tried and tested stand-up game.

The Brighton fighter had some good success in the first round, knocking Guisha off his feet twice and taking his legs away with a series of brutal low kicks. By the third round, Gilbert seemed in full control and finished the fight with a barrage of heavy shots from rear-mount.

Coming back from a disappointing submission loss to the sneaky Daijiro Matsui (Pictures) on the Cage Rage main show, Tom Watson (Pictures) had a great deal to prove against dangerous kickboxer, Dorlan O'Malley. Happily for Watson, his return went exactly to plan as he took O'Malley to the mat and finished him with punches in less than three minutes.

In a heated encounter in the middleweight division, "Brutal" Jake Bostwick was roared on by his army of fans, but found himself in a tight spot going up against Team Titan's Michael Pastou. Controlling the floor work, Pastou moved to mount position and battered the young fighter from Kidbrooke until the referee stepped in to stop the contest 20 seconds before the end of the first round.

Representing Team Bloodline, Alex Paulskorsaks had a very impressive debut on the show, taking down and submitting the brave Afnan Saeed with an Achilles lock that had the crowd wincing. Paulskorsaks gamely refused to quit until Saeed turned onto his front, giving him no choice but to submit.

Listing his style as ‘Extreme Tae Kwon do' the last thing you might expect from Steven Elliot is to take an opponent to the mat — but, after his opponent Deano Durant landed a vicious right low kick in the opening seconds of the fight, that is exactly what he did. Showing good balance, he controlled the Eltham Warrior from mount position, damaging him with strikes for yet another first round finish.

Joe Mac is an absolute monster. With his Mohawk haircut, chiseled upper body and maze of tattoos, it's hard to imagine a fighter who looks any more intimidating. However, his opponent, Marvin Arnold-Bleu, never seems short on confidence and started the fight with a hard knee to the face, which immediately drew blood from Mac's forehead.

Fighting back like a man possessed, Mac was quickly able to turn the contest in his favor with a pair of hard slams, before scoring a hotly disputed ground-and-pound stoppage victory, which saw Arnold-Bleu complain bitterly, but to no avail.

In another quick-as-a-flash win, striker-turned-submission artist Jeff Lawson caught Mark Dayrell with a superb armbar from his back after just over one minute of the first round — making amends for his less than stellar performance in his last showing on the event.

Fight of the night was without doubt the war between Lloyd Clarkson and Dan Movahedi, which had the crowd going crazy. With Clarkson absorbing a stream of punches, knees and low kicks from the outset, referee Grant Waterman later revealed that he was close to stopping the contest to save him from further punishment. But around the three-minute mark of the first round, Clarkson turned it around with a picture perfect left hook that sent Movahedi crashing to the floor. After the beating he took, it truly was an impressive stoppage win for a very determined fighter — absolutely scintillating stuff.

In the rest of the night's action, Luke Smith landed a huge right hand to claim victory over Jack miles in only 40 seconds. ZT Fight Skool product Jeff Hayes came back from some early punishment to batter Jamie Spooner on the floor for his first win. Both John Hathaway and Sunnat Ilyasov choked their way to victory in the first round.

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