In what was arguably the strongest Cage Warriors card of the year, CW98 delivered an action-packed evening of MMA right from the off at the Genting Arena on Saturday night. With a card including a welterweight title fight of epic proportions, and a featherweight tournament to determine the title contenders, Cage Warriors continue to push the boat out with excellent matchmaking and high-quality cards. Back in Birmingham for the first time in 8 years, Cage Warriors have firmly cemented themselves as the number one promotion in the UK, if not Europe, even more so now since the apparent demise of BAMMA.
With a wealth of talent on show for the 98th edition of Cage Warriors, the card fully lived up to the buzz surrounding the event. With a 12 second head kick KO after only 12 seconds of the first round, Quendrim Pallata certainly set the bar high for the evening with his quick disposal of Omeil Brown in an amateur light heavyweight bout. Although the quick finishes weren’t a regular occurrence throughout the card, the level of quality was second to none. Whether you’re a fan of the ground game or a connoisseur of stand up, this card had something to quench the thirst of all fight fans.
With the now standard quick turnaround of fights that Cage Warriors have become accustomed to, the evening ran pretty much like clockwork from the Pallata fight through to the 5 round war that was Ross Houston v Stefano Paterno, Cage Warriors really do seem to outdo themselves time and time again.
It’s really quite difficult to pinpoint any real negatives for the evenings show but one thing that did stand out, if only marginally, was the relatively low turnout. With a decent showing for the amateur and early prelims, I fully expected the arena to be jam packed by the time the main card came around. Although this wasn’t the case, those in attendance certainly made up for it with their victorious support. As mentioned, this is only a minor quibble and one that barely even warrants a mention but with straws being well and truly clutched, this was the closest I could find to a bad aspect of the evening.
As with The Bad, it’s difficult to narrow it down to any real ugly aspects of the card. With that said, let’s turn a negative into a positive by taking a look at some of the highlights.
- The aforementioned Pallata KO was something to behold. Calm walk in, formalities done with, head kick, job done. Superb start to proceedings.
- New welterweight signing Alex Lohoré showed that he means business in his new home with a fairly straightforward TKO victory over Sam Boult. Proclaiming after the fight “Number one is dead, four more to go”, Da Killa Kid has clearly stated his intentions for the division.
- The Aiden Lee vs Dean Trueman fight should be an epic battle after both came through their respective semi-final fights. With just 15 seconds remaining in the first round, Birmingham’s own, Aiden Lee sunk in a rear naked choke to set up a title showdown with Dean Trueman. Trueman had earlier scored a unanimous victory over Lewis Monarch in what generated arguably the liveliest reaction from the crowd with both fighters having large sections of support in attendance.
- Perry Goodwin’s highly entertaining win over Alexander Jacobsen was definitely a highlight of the evening. With both fighters trading from the off, this one was destined to remain on the feet. Goodwin was calm, collective and fed off the vocal support he received. With his unique style and elements of showboating, Goodwin had the fight wrapped up early in the second with a flurry of strikes that left the Redcar native jubilant in victory.
- Ross Houston v Stefano Paterno was unquestionably the fight of the night in what was a back and forth, five round war. As the split decision scorecards suggested, this one really was a tough one to call and you couldn’t have really argued if the defending champion had his hand raised at the end. It was, however, Ross Houston who took the honours to become the new welterweight champion. Houston had to dig in deep after being knocked down in the fourth round in what Paterno must have thought was job done. But the SBG Inverness fighter dug in and saw out the championship rounds to become the new champion.
In summary, Cage Warriors continue to deliver on the UK and European MMA scene and will only go from strength to strength as they add to their already well-established legacy.
Main Card Results
Ross Houston def. Stefano Paterno via split decision (48-47, 46-48, 48-47)
Aiden Lee def. Paull McBain via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:45 of R1
Dean Trueman def. Lewis Monarch via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Adam Proctor def. Angelo Rubino via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Perry Goodwin def. Alexander Jacobsen TKO (strikes) at 0:37 of R2
Preliminary Card Results
Alex Lohoré def. Sam Boult via TKO (strikes) at 3:18 of R2
Scott Malone def. Adam Amarasinghe via TKO (strikes) at 1:10 of R3
Kingsley Crawford def. Antanas Jazbutis via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)
George McManus def. Josh Plant via submission (reverse triangle) at 4:01 of R1
Michael Younis def. Marcin Prostko via submission (standing guillotine) at 4:00 of R1