The Sunday Aftermath: CWFC 70 and UFC Fight Night 47


After three weeks without world class MMA, Saturday night delivered a feast of fights to satisfy anyone fighting fan’s appetite. Cage Warriors returned to Dublin with a great card while the UFC brought the Octagon to Dana White’s adopted home in Bangor, Maine.

Duffy Returns

It was all about returns for Cage Warriors latest show in Dublin. The promotion returned following an eight week sabbatical during the world cup and main eventer Joseph Duffy returned after three years away from the cage. As many may have have expected, he didn’t set the world alight. In his previous incarnation as a mixed martial artist Duffy had extraordinarily quick hands which he let go with regularity. On Saturday he took more of a stalking approach as he planted himself in the centre of the cage against opponent Damien Lapilus and never allowed him a chance to make the fight his.

The first round saw Duffy dominate without doing too much. The second saw the Donegal native clearly up the pace and again easily win. The final round, again, was better and after stuffing some takedowns brilliantly, Duffy finished the fight with a rear naked choke. It wasn’t the most impressive performance, which CWFC CEO Graham Boylan alluded to in his post-event scrum, but after three years it’s worth being patient. In reality, Duffy won every second of the fight, improved with every round and got the finish. With another few months of training and another fight or two under his belt, Ireland could have another MMA star on its hands.

Dublin delights

Going into Cage Warriors 70 the event was dubbed the greatest show in Irish MMA history. Now that it’s over, it’s hard to argue with that. From Joseph Duffy down there were talking points, wonderful fights and standout performances. The amateur show was an excellent showcase of up and coming Irish mixed martial artists. SBG prospect James Gallagher came into the event with a lot of hype behind him and was given a tough test against Matthew Mullen. The “Strabanimal” had to come through a rough patch in the second round before taking the split decision. In truth, both fighters exited the fight leaving the viewers with positive feelings towards them. The same can be said for Ayo Daly and Kiefer Crosbie who put on a fight worthy of being on any professional main card worldwide. Crosbie showed great wrestling and striking in the first before Daly was able to turn the tide and get the submission in the second. It’s only a matter of time before both men turn pro and we have two more exciting prospects to look out for.

The pro’s didn’t disappoint either. Catherine Costigan made light work of Noelia Molina – getting the armbar in the first. The Limerick lady is a huge talent with a wonderful personality and has all the potential to be an atomweight star on the world stage. After that there were great performances from Artem Lobov, who came from the brink of defeat to win with one second to go, Karl Moore, Tommy McCafferty, Peter Queally and the fight of the night between Paul Marin and Andy Young. It looked like Young was all but done in the second round before an impressive survival and comeback put him within touching distance of the decision which Marin eventually got.

The co-main event, though, was maybe the most high quality bout of the night in which Paul Redmond gave the best performance of his career against a tricky opponent. The Team Ryano fighter wasn’t fazed by the unorthodox attacks of Alexis Savvidis and showed a newly tightened boxing attack before he took the fight to the floor at his choosing. Savvidis, in his Cage Warriors debut, also put on a fantastic display of spinning and flying attacks impressing everyone in attendance. He made a mistake in the second round, though, which was always going to be the end. Getting into a battle of legs and feet on the ground with Paul Redmond is a bad idea. When Alexis Savvidis caught a hold of “Redser’s” toe the whole crowd sensed it wasn’t going to end well for him. And it didn’t as Redmond got the tap. A UFC spot isn’t a million miles away for Redmond but a shot at the Cage Warriors lightweight belt may be even closer.

Mundane UFC

From the excitement of an Irish MMA show to an average UFC fight night card was a huge come down. The event produced some good fights but was tarnished by the lack of stars throughout and the widespread reports of BT sport putting a cricket game on in the UFC’s spot. Nevertheless the fights were, on the whole, not too bad with shocks throughout the night. The main event wasn’t one of them though as Ryan Bader used his wrestling to out-point Ovince St-Preux in a fight not to remember.

Then Ross Pearson, in the co-main event, got the marquee victory of his career as he knocked out former title challenger Gray Maynard in the second round with a flurry of power strikes. There were also knockouts for Boetsch, Jouban and Jordan while Jussier Formiga produced a terrific display to decision the highly touted and well hyped Zach Macovsky.

All in all it was a great night for mixed martial arts. Three weeks ago I said to enjoy the break in the MMA calender because an avalanche awaits on the other side. Well it came down at pace on Saturday night in Maine and Dublin. The UFC was fun as always but you can’t beat an MMA show in Ireland. Roll on New Years Eve.

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.