Cage Warriors 53 came from Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, Scotland on the 13th April 2013. Split Decision MMA UK made the journey from Lancashire, England to cover the show and it did not disappoint.
Scott Flynn v Dawid Kostecki – Welterweight (Amateur Bout)
The opening contest on Cage Warriors 53’s full card was a good battle and was just what was needed to show the crowd in attendance what was to be expected for the rest of the night. Kostecki began the first round with a variety of kicks on display, eventually taking the fight down to the ground. Flynn attempted a few submission moves from the bottom that came to nothing and the fight moved back on to the feet seeing both fighters exchange blows. Round two began how the last one ended until Flynn appeared to catch a kick from Kostecki and pulled him closer before securing his neck and cranking it for a fantastic standing guillotine choke to end the encounter.
Flynn def. Kostecki via Submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:27
Peter McCafferty v Dean Begg – Bantamweight (Amateur Bout)
This fight had a fast pace to it straight from the start, Begg tried a knee and lost his balance with McCafferty getting on top of him and set about throwing some strikes on the ground before taking his back and attempting a rear naked choke. He gave this up and the contest moved back to the feet where Begg fired in a couple of high kicks that part connected with his opponent before McCafferty gave as good back with a solid punch of his own and with the fight going to ground he took Begg’s back until the round came to a close. The second round began with a takedown from McCafferty that led to nothing and the fight went back to the feet briefly before going to ground again. Later in the round Begg threw a few heavy shots and the the contest returned to the ground eventually with Begg looking for a submission leading to McCafferty trying to escape a triangle choke attempt. This resulted in him trying a Rampage-style power bomb to escape the triangle but he was unable to shake the submission off and the round came to a close. The final round started with Begg throwing a couple of punches that did not connect losing his balance and ending up on the ground in bottom position. This would work to his advantage as he took his time and worked a triangle choke, when it was just right he put pressure on the back of McCafferty’s head and forced the tap at just over the minute mark.
Begg def. McCafferty via Submission (triangle choke) – Round 3, 1:06
Ross Houston v Steven McCreadie – Welterweight (Amateur Bout)
The last amateur fight on the card began with both fighters feeling each other out on the feet for the first minute, Houston throwing some good combination punches and McCreadie returning low leg kicks in reply before they got into a clinch. Scotland’s McCreadie from there threw a good punch catching Houston well. Houston then went for a trip takedown which forced both fighters into the cage side, Houston ended up on the bottom on the ground and got his opponent into his guard, trying for a submission at the close of the round coming just too late. A good exchange from both opened the second round they then clinched and the fight went to ground where McCreadie landed on top in Houston’s half guard. McCreadie then chose to stand before returning to the ground this time in side control, from here Houston managed to gain the top position transitioning into McCreadie’s guard before the end of the round. The third and final three minute round had both fighters throwing punches leading to Wolverhampton’s Houston working McCreadie against the cage and taking him down. He eventually took the fighter’s back with hooks in. On the minute mark McCreadie took control and top position, at which point Houston attempted an arm bar submission from the bottom which came to nothing. The Scottish fighter ended the round in top position in side control leading to the fight going to the judges to decide the outcome.
McCreadie def. Houston via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Round 3, 3:00
Mark Connor v Joe Laurence – Flyweight
Laurence came out aggresive but was taken down against the cage, tried to get back to his feet but ended up on the ground in guard position. From there Connor dropped short elbows on the ground with Laurence being on the bottom for the majority of this opening round trying to defend. As in the last round Joe Laurence came out aggresive throwing left and rights, the fight went up against the cage where Connor managed to work a good double leg take down ending up in Laurence’s guard. Laurence managed to show some excellent defensive skills to prevent taking much damage from the bottom, until close to the end of the round where Connor managed to slip in a few good strikes. Laurence hit a takedown that soon came back to the feet to open the final round. Mark Connor against the cage worked a takedown of his own that led to him being in the full mount position raining punches down and then taking his opponent’s back. After some more work he returned to full mount briefly and then to the back position where he managed to ground and pound his way to force the stoppage from the referee.
Connor def. Laurence via TKO (Ground & Pound) – Round 3, 2:07
Richie Edgeworth v Jean N’Doye – Catchweight
N’Doye could not manage to make the bantamweight this fight was scheduled to be and thus gave up 25% of his purse to Edgeworth, he weighed in at 137.2 lbs with his opponent at 136 lbs. With a touch of the gloves both fighters exchanged strikes to open the round, N’Doye attempted a takedown that did not come off but on second attempt was successful with it. From the ground the fight moved back to standing where Edgeworth caught N’Doye with a good left punch that sent the Frenchman into the cage and he followed it up with a flying front kick that got the crowd going. Jean N’Doye then moved for a takedown and attempted a guillotine the fight carried on where once again N’Doye got his opponent to the ground this time trying for a side choke with only ten seconds left in the round that Edgeworth managed to hang on for. The second round saw Edgeworth taken down to the ground resulting in N’Doye taking his back and controlling the fighter with hooks in moving into a rear naked choke submission that was applied and completed for the win to Jean N’Doye. “I’m living the dream everytime I set foot in this cage” N’Doye commented in his post-match interview and now showing a record of 6-1.
N’Doye def. Edgeworth via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 2, 1:41
James Doolan v James Pennington – Bantamweight
Doolan a 27 fight veteran was making his Cage Warriors debut against Portsmouth’s Pennington in this bantamweight clash to open the main card. A touch of gloves followed by both feeling each other out on the feet trading low kicks and Pennington landing a strong uppercut to drop Doolan to the floor from where he moved into his guard, here he worked a little ground and pound before the fight got stood up after the referee took a point off Pennington for a shot to the back of the head. Doolan secured a takedown with just over a minute to go, but the fight went back to the feet were Doolan landed some good knees against the cage. Round two began with a few kicks and punches exchanged then Pennington from against the cage grabbed Doolan in a choke attempt that went to the ground but came to nothing. Here Pennington then worked in Doolan’s guard until around 30 seconds from the end of the round where Doolan reversed the position and moved on to the top to end the round. The final round saw Doolan grab a quick takedown at the start but Pennington quickly moved into an armbar submission and got the tap to end the match at 29 seconds of the third round. After the fight James Pennington revealed “The game plan was to get in there and just go with the flow” – it certainly worked well for him.
Pennington def. Doolan via Submission (Armbar) – Round 3, 0:29
Paul Marin v Neil Seery – Flyweight
Seery fighting out of Dublin, Ireland landed a big overhand right on Marin during the opening moments of the fight, but from another exchange he ended up with a cut under one eye. It didn’t matter as Seery blasted Marin with a powerful left leg kick to the body that sent Marin to the ground in pain and he tapped the ground in agony forcing the ref to stop the contest, and giving a TKO win to the Irishman.
Seery def. Marin via TKO (Body Kick) – Round 1, 1:22
Jason Ball v Jason Cooledge – Lightweight
The fight opened with a lot of action against the cage with both fighters having their fair share of the advantage in positioning, Ball then seemed to be edging the standup back in the middle of the cage so Cooledge pushed the action back to the fence and slowed the fight down getting a takedown. However from there Ball ended up in a good position to get back to his feet quickly and moving round the back of Cooledge to apply a very fast rear-naked choke and the fight was done. Afterwards Ball said, “I think speed helped me alot in that one” and when asked about Cage Warriors and his hopes he revealed, “I’d like to go all the way to the top”. On that showing who could doubt him ?
Ball def. Cooledge via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 1, 3:16
Mats Nilsson v Chris Scott – Middleweight
Celtic footballing legend Henrik Larsson had a message of good luck played to the crowd in support of his fellow Swede Mats Nilsson, but would his friend end the contest the victor ? The middleweight bout saw Nilsson after a brief stand up exchange duck under a strike and pick Scott up in a double leg from where he slammed him down in the middle of the cage. Here he worked in guard dropping elbows while avoiding submission attempts from Chris Scott on the bottom. Scott who was fighting out of Sunderland landed some nice elbows from the bottom position with Nilsson moving into half guard to continue his ground assault around the half way point in the opening round. The remainder of the round saw Mats Nilsson trying to land blows from the top from both on the ground and standing above his opponent. Round two saw Scott with some good standing knees, and the action moved to the cage where Nilsson worked for a takedown twice, the second time keeping his opponent on the ground. The action moved back to the feet around the 3 minute mark. Nilsson executed another takedown away from the cage. After around a minute Scott worked his way back to his feet at which point Nilsson worked very hard for a single leg takedown which he secured ending the round in dominant position on top. The final round had both fighters showing some good stand up with a mixture of strikes on show, Nilsson’s attempt against the cage to take the fight to the ground was quickly pushed aside. He tried once again but again was denied at which point Scott unleashed some great standing elbows and held Nilsson against the cage. At this point Nilsson responded and landed some great strikes of his own and then the Swede quickly took Scott down as the round came to a close. The judges awarded Nilsson the win and when asked about his performance he said, “Ring rust got the better of me” and that he was hoping to show more skills in the fight. No matter he picked up the win and he’ll be happy about that.
Nilsson def. Scott via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29.28, 29-28) – Round 3, 5:00
Joanne Calderwood v Sally Krumdiack – Strawweight
The crowd came alive when local fighter Joanne Calderwood was introduced for this the only women’s fight on the card. Joanne who entered this fight undefeated landed some strong kicks in the stand up exchange with the American Krumdiack landing a few hard punches of her own in return. Calderwood connected with a front kick that stumbled her opponent before catching her with a powerful uppercut that dropped her to the ground at which point Glasgow’s Calderwood demonstrated her killer instinct swiftly moving in to deliver a crushing barrage of strikes to force referee Marc Goddard to bring the fight to an end by TKO. On this performance against an experienced fighter, Joanne Calderwood showed just why the fighters of Invicta FC back in the States should be more than a little worried about her.
Calderwood def. Krumdiack via TKO (Strikes) – Round 1, 3:08
Jim Alers v Joni Salovaara – Featherweight Title
The recently vacated Cage Warriors featherweight title was up for grabs here in the main event. Once the action began Alers grabbed an early takedown and moved from half guard to side control to the full mount position. From here he got Salovaara’s back applying a rear-naked choke that his opponent managed to fight off but Alers continued on his back and kept control until the end of the opening round. Round two saw a good right punch from Alers in the opening exchanges on the feet with both fighters happy to stand and trade blows for a couple of minuted. Salovaara threw out a high spin kick that just missed it’s target before Alers grabbed a takedown with just under two minutes left. With not much happening on the ground the referee stood both fighters up with just 40 secs. The end of the round saw Salovaara see a high kick blocked by Alers. The next round Alers looked to take the fight to the ground but could not secure it, with the action still on the feet a nice leg kick from Salovaara landed. Half way through the round Alers went for another takedown attempt but this time against the cage and managed to get it along with Salovaara’s back on the ground with his hooks in, but he couldn’t quite get the rear-naked choke he was after. Into the championship rounds and round four saw Alers get his opponent to the ground and he switched to the bottom and was looking for a triangle choke but couldn’t get it secured. Salovaar then worked from the American’s guard but with not alot of action Marc Goddard the referee stood them up only for Salovaara to bring the fight back to the ground however Alers from the bottom worked his position into a great triangle-armbar to get the win and the Cage Warriors featherweight title.
Alers def. Salovaara via Submission (Triangle-Armbar) – Round 4, 3:43
After the main event both fighters shared words in the cage to show good sportsmanship between athletes at the top of their game, which is always great to see.
New champion Jim Alers moved to 10-1 after this impressive performance and surely it cannot be long until the UFC takes a closer look at what he can do for their featherwight division. Afterwards Alers like a true champion shared his moment with his very vocal collection of fans to bring the night to an end.
In Team SD MMA UK’s opinion we’d say the Fight Of The Night was Peter McCafferty v Dean Begg earlier on the card, it was an even fight and had a really fast pace to it and both fighters showed great heart and skills in the cage, the late stoppage gave it some drama at the end to cap it off. Submission Of The Night really had to go to Jim Alers for working so hard for submissions throughout the title fight and he got there in the end and it was a truly great finish when it came, special mention for Scott Flynn’s standing guillotine that was a thing of beauty. Finally we’d say Joanne Calderwood’s finish was the KO Of The Night, great technique and an eye for a finish when she saw the opening, the body kick from Neil Seery was crazy too.
Split Decision MMA UK would like to thank Cage Warriors for allowing us alongside Love2Fight to cover the event, it was well worth the long drive home back to England afterwards.
Next up Cage Warriors 54 comes from the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales on the 4th May 2013.