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Cage Rage 10: Deliverance review
by Scott Newman (MMA)
Posted on February 26, 2007, 7:57 AM

Cage Rage 10: Deliverance

London, England

-Your hosts are Malcolm Martin, Rob Nutley, and joining us for the first time, Stephen Quadros. Richard Blackwood’s still doing the post-fight interviews though, and as usual comes out with some seriously bizarre stuff.

Welterweight Fight: David Lee vs Rick Andrews

Lee’s actually a UFC veteran, although his debut came later than this show – he was brought in to basically play the sacrificial victim for Tyson Griffin at UFC 63. Here though he was largely unheralded, holding a 2-1 record in Cage Rage and overall in his career.

Round one, and Lee quickly comes forward into a clinch, where Andrews lifts him into the air for a BIG SLAM. Lee gets a triangle almost immediately as they hit the mat though, and even though Andrews tries to slam out of it, it’s too tight and Lee forces the tapout at 43 seconds of the opening round.

Very slick submission from Lee there, a much better showing than his UFC one, that’s for sure! Though to be fair to the guy, Tyson Griffin’s a nightmare opponent for practically anyone, so I probably shouldn’t rip on him.

Featherweight Fight: Brad Pickett vs Chris Freeborn

This was ‘One Punch’ Pickett’s second appearance in Cage Rage, and his entrance with the trilby and what-not has Quadros marking right away, noticing the ‘Brad Pitt in Snatch’ resemblance instantly. Freeborn looks a lot smaller than Pickett and appears to be about fifteen, but I guess appearances are deceiving. Pre-fight Pickett gives us a classic line, saying he’ll make Freeborn pay for “causing him to miss Spurs on a Saturday”.

They get underway and Freeborn quickly pushes him to the fence, but Pickett muscles him off and lands a left hook to rock him! Pickett gets a bit wild though and misses a follow-up hook and a spinning backfist, and Freeborn gets a takedown to guard. Pickett quickly pushes off and gets to his feet, but Freeborn eats an uppercut and gets another takedown. He passes into side mount, and then tries to get a full mount, but Pickett overpowers him and reverses, getting on top in Freeborn’s guard, where he lands a couple of punches before standing back up. Pickett swings for the fences, but Freeborn avoids and gets another takedown to side mount, then takes the full mount. Pickett reverses though, rolling him over to guard, and he tries to stand, but Freeborn grabs his leg for an ankle pick, and brings him down again before mounting. Freeborn lands some punches and elbows, but Pickett gives his back and uses it to escape out, reversing into top position in Freeborn’s guard. Freeborn gets a triangle from the bottom, only for Pickett to slip out and stand, but it’s Freeborn who ends the round with a short slam.

Freeborn opens the 2nd with a swift takedown to side mount, but Pickett gets his guard back quickly. Freeborn passes to side mount with equal quickness though, and then takes a full mount. Pickett scrambles and manages a reversal, getting on top in Freeborn’s guard, but he’s tired at this point and Freeborn quickly locks the triangle up again. Pickett tries to slip out, but this time Freeborn’s got it deep, and he pulls Pickett’s arm across for leverage, while nailing him right in the face with elbows. Pickett looks in deep trouble, barely defending now as Freeborn continues to squeeze the choke while hitting elbows to the face, and Pickett’s nose begins to bleed profusely. The referee gives him a LOT of time, but it’s clear that Pickett’s not defending at all, and finally the fight is stopped.

Energetic fight, but Freeborn just had too much on the ground for Pickett to handle, and outside of a couple of shots, Pickett didn’t get chance to work his stand-up as he had no answer for Freeborn’s takedowns. It wasn’t like Pickett was completely lost on the ground or anything, but he was clearly out of his depth and when the gas started running out in the 2nd, Freeborn just took over.

Heavyweight Fight: Robert Berry vs Andy Harby

‘Buzz’ Berry is one of the more popular fighters on the Cage Rage circuit, a big, muscular Heavyweight brawler from the North-East, while Harby appears to be cut from pretty much the same cloth, although I’ve never heard of him before.

Berry opens with a leg kick and then lands some punches, before getting a takedown to half-guard. Harby kicks him away, but Berry steps right over his legs and gets into a high mount, where he tries an armbar, but slips and Harby manages to avoid and get on top in half-guard. Buzz reverses over and ends up in top position, where Harby attempts an armbar from the bottom, but Buzz muscles free and they come back up to standing. Both men exchange now, throwing bombs, but Berry lands the better shots and rocks him bad, sending him staggering back towards the fence. Buzz closes in, and grabs the back of his head, landing some heavy uppercuts to drop him for the knockout.

Pretty sloppy fight for the most part, but Buzz’s KO was nice enough.

Heavyweight Fight: Andy Costello vs Daniel Burzotta

Don’t know much about either of these guys I’m afraid, although the announcers tell us that Costello’s a Judo guy while Burzotta’s more of a BJJ-based fighter.

They press into a clinch where Burzotta gets a front headlock, and then pulls guard to attempt a guillotine, but Costello pops out of that easily. Costello drops some punches as Burzotta keeps an active guard, forcing Costello to avoid an armbar attempt. Burzotta tries the armbar a second time with the same result, but a third attempt proves more successful, and he locks it in for the tapout.

Bleh, nothing to see there really. Not sure why Costello choose to remain in the guard, too, when he could’ve just stood out of danger.

Light-Heavyweight Fight: Antony Rea vs Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos

Both of these guys were making their Cage Rage debuts here. Rea’s a French fighter, a bit of a jack-of-all-trades type who’s been in with some really good fighters (Rich Franklin, Marvin Eastman, Vitor Belfort in a later Cage Rage), but he’s one of those guys who tends to beat lesser opponents but can’t break through into the upper echelon. Cyborg is representing Chute Boxe, he’s got Wanderlei Silva in his corner and he looks equally as scary as the Axe Murderer, absolutely shredded, covered in tattoos with a glazed, vacant look in his eyes.

They begin and Cyborg comes out throwing wild hooks as Rea ducks under and almost crawls in for a takedown. Cyborg avoids it and lands some knees, and more wild punches, but Rea blocks most of them and goes for a takedown. Cyborg grabs the fence to avoid, and they exchange knees and punches in a head clinch, before breaking into a wild trade with most of the shots missing by a mile. Cyborg shoots in for a takedown, but Rea sprawls and looks to spin to take Cyborg’s back, instead ending up in a side position with Cyborg in the turtle. Rea slugs away at the side of the head from the top, but then the referee breaks them up and takes a point from Rea, apparently for using a downward elbow to the back of the head. They restart, and Rea comes forward and rocks him with some straight punches, then gets a takedown to half-guard. Cyborg looks completely out of gas now, and Rea gets the knee-on-chest position and pounds away with punches and elbows, then takes full mount. More heavy punches and elbows land as Cyborg tries to cover up, and Rea continues the punishment, slowing down slightly as the round comes to a conclusion.

Between rounds Cyborg just looks DONE, totally exhausted. They come out for the 2nd though, and Rea quickly catches a kick and gets the takedown. He goes back to the knee-on-chest position and pounds away, then follows with the full mount, and really opens up with punches and elbows, with little defense from Cyborg, until the referee steps in.

Impressive performance from Rea; the announcers talk about him “weathering the storm” but it wasn’t a storm as such as Rea was never legitimately hurt, it was more a case of him avoiding Cyborg’s wild hooks and then just taking over as soon as the Brazilian gassed out. Still, he fought a smart fight and came away with a good ‘name’ win on his record.

Sami Berik vs Jeremy Bailey

Ring announcer still persists in calling Berik a ‘Tai Chi’ fighter, despite both commentators and now Quadros pointing out that Tai Chi isn’t a really offensive martial art, and explaining that Berik’s done all sorts of stuff like karate and San Shou. We’ve been through the case of Bailey enough now I think, I guess his following is just enough to constantly bring the guy back for every other show.

Round one opens with a low kick from Bailey, which Berik answers with a high kick, into a clinch. Bailey tries a judo throw, but ends up mounted, and Berik lands some elbows as Bailey swings his legs up, looking for a reversal. He ends up underneath a side mount though, and Berik moves him towards the fence and takes full mount again. Some shots land from Berik, but Bailey rolls and escapes out the back door to standing. Berik lands some left hooks and knees the body, but Bailey catches him with a good uppercut into a clinch. Berik gets a takedown to half-guard from there, and works to the mount, where he drops some elbows. He tries an armbar from the top, but Bailey escapes, and ends up in top position in Berik’s guard. He drops a big right hand that lands flush, and then stands, and NAILS Berik in the face with a soccer kick as he looks to get up. Referee immediately steps in for the illegal blow, and takes a point from Bailey, but at least this time he looks genuinely apologetic about what he’s done, I think he just acted on instinct rather than trying to play up to the ‘Bad Boy’ image like in his past fights. Anyhow, they restart, and Berik comes forward swinging to end the round.

Into the 2nd, and they press with not many strikes landing at all, and Bailey misses a spinning backfist. Berik closes in and throws some interesting standing elbows, but they don’t seem to do much damage as Bailey covers up well, and then comes back with a heavy straight right to stun Sami. Berik continues to come forward though, and throws a flurry into the clinch, but Bailey blocks a takedown and breaks off. Berik comes forward with some knees, but Bailey no-sells them and begins to taunt Berik, trying to draw him into a trade. Bailey lands a hard right hand, so Berik gets a takedown to guard, but Bailey ties him up from the bottom and the referee ends up standing them for inactivity. Berik comes forward into the clinch from the restart, but this time Bailey surprises him with a beautiful belly-to-belly throw down to side mount, before taking a full mount and opening up with punches! Berik rolls and gives his back, and Bailey quickly flattens him out and looks to hook in a rear naked choke...but the buzzer sounds to end the round! Berik was saved by the bell there methinks.

Both men press to open the third and final round, and Bailey throws some big rights that miss. Berik gets a takedown, but Bailey grabs a guillotine and despite Berik having an arm in, he really squeezes it on and the camera catches Berik wincing quite badly. It looks for a second like he might have it, but Berik manages to work free and then the action slows down, and the official stands them. Berik lands a knee off the restart and gets another takedown, then stands and grabs Bailey’s legs, looking as if he’s about to try a Boston crab! Of course that’s not the case, and he drops for an ankle lock, then lets go and we get a weird moment where both guys just sit staring at one another. The official stands them, and Berik throws another flurry of elbows, and then gets another takedown to half-guard. Bailey holds on and gets full guard, and the round ends with Berik flailing away in the top position. We go to the judges, and it’s a split decision victory for Berik.

I’d agree with the decision – Bailey came closest to finishing at the end of the 2nd, but the majority of the fight was controlled by Berik and he was probably the more aggressive, too. The fight wasn’t bad at all though – perfectly acceptable MMA for this level of show, and for once Bailey didn’t fight like a complete idiot.

Cage Rage Lightweight Title: Leigh Remedios vs Jean Silva

This one got put together at the last second as Silva’s original opponent Chris Brennan, and Remedios’s original opponent Robbie Olivier dropped out. Remedios moved back up to the Lightweight limit of 155lbs for this, but ironically he actually came in heavier than Silva, who looks thin and pale here, apparently he had a severe rib injury about two weeks prior and was still carrying two cracked ribs coming in. This was a rematch, too, of a fight about a year prior that saw Silva knock Remedios out with a high kick.

Silva charges out swinging, and they go into a clinch and muscle around the octagon. An exchange in the clinch follows, before Silva gets a takedown to guard. Remedios ties him up from the bottom, so Silva stands and lands a high kick into the clinch as Leigh gets to his feet. They exchange knees against the fence, before breaking and trading punches back to the clinch, and then breaking and exchanging back into it again. This time Jean gets a trip to Remedios’s guard, and stands and drops some punches before Leigh gets an armbar from the bottom. Silva manages to step over nicely, and works free into Remedios’s half-guard. He lands some elbows from the top, and then stands and tries a cartwheel pass to end the round.

Into the 2nd, and they exchange strikes to open, before going into a clinch and muscling for position while landing some chopping punches. Silva breaks and lands a combination of punches, but Remedios counters with a leg kick that drops him to a knee. Silva shoots into a clinch, and they muscle for position while exchanging short strikes once more. Back out, and both land shots into another clinch, where Remedios gets a trip takedown to half-guard. He passes into the north/south position, but Silva spins around and gets guard. Leigh stands and kicks the legs, so the official brings Jean back to his feet. Silva lands some punches into a clinch, and breaks with knees, and they trade before Leigh gets another trip to guard, with Silva rolling for a leglock to end. Pretty even round there.

Third and final round, and Silva opens with some solid punches and a front kick to the midsection. He looks for the takedown, but Leigh blocks well and they go into a clinch, before breaking and exchanging, and Remedios lands the leg kick again, causing Silva to fall back into guard. Not much happens from the position as Leigh avoids a triangle attempt, and then stands and kicks the legs until the official brings Silva back up. They restart, and exchange wild punches to end the fight.

We’re going to the judges, I’ve got it for Silva 29-28, but they end up with a draw, which is probably a fair result I guess. When the fight happened there was a lot of talk online about Remedios being robbed here, but I don’t see how you can score that fight for him – he did pretty much no damage outside of a couple of nice leg kicks, and the grappling and striking was just about even, with Silva probably being the more aggressive. A draw is a fair result I think, but there’s no way Leigh was robbed here, sorry. Pretty dull fight too, nothing like their first one, with a LOT of clinching and a more conservative game from Silva who was clearly feeling the rib injury.

Light-Heavyweight Fight: Melvin Manhoef vs Mathias Riccio

This was the debut of Dutch kickboxer Manhoef, facing a fellow striker in Frenchman Mathias Riccio. Manhoef’s one of the scariest looking guys in the whole of MMA I’d say, a huge, ripped guy who’s built like a tank and just carries himself like a complete badass.

They exchange a couple of low kicks to open, with both looking to set up for big punches. They swing into a clinch, and Riccio ends up on his back in guard, not really a takedown from Melvin as such though. Manhoef drops a couple of big punches, then stands back up, and Riccio joins him, eating a big right hand and a high kick as they restart. Riccio clinches and looks for a takedown, but Manhoef blocks, and then drops him with a knee and a big right hand. He pounds away, looking for the finish, but can’t connect cleanly and Riccio survives to be stood by the referee. Riccio looks wobbly, and manages to press forward into a clinch, but eats a pair of VICIOUS KNEES from Manhoef, who follows with some HUGE POWER HOOKS to finally drop him for the knockout.

Explosive debut for Manhoef who fought exactly as he was advertised, throwing wicked power punches and knees until Riccio was out cold. Post-fight Melvin endears himself for life with the British crowd by declaring “I live for this shit” when Richard Blackwood points out the obvious – that you can’t imagine the guy as a postman or anything. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of Melvin’s.

Middleweight Fight: Jorge Rivera vs Alex Reid

Coming off a win at the prior Cage Rage show, rising UK star Alex Reid was stepping up big time here against UFC veteran Jorge Rivera, a man who’d been in with some of the very best fighters in the world and more than held his own. Announcers even mention that this might be a step too far for him. Still, Reid seemed confident enough that this would be his stepping stone to Pride or the UFC.

Must mention here, Reid’s wearing one of the most bizarre pairs of ring shorts I’ve ever seen, a tight, sparkly pair of Vale Tudo trunks. Anyway....Reid comes out and lands a couple of low kicks to open, but Rivera stuns him with some heavy punches into a clinch. Rivera lands some knees on the inside, hurting Reid, before opening up with some bodyshots to really put him on the ropes. A huge overhand right follows, and Reid goes down and OUT, seemingly convulsing as he hits the ground as the official steps in.

Totally dominant, highlight-reel win for Rivera, and a bitter disappointment for Reid. Cage Rage has been criticised before for throwing some of its UK fighters to the wolves, giving them UFC/Pride veterans before they’re truly ready to step up, and this was probably a good example of it here – Reid had never come close to fighting someone on the level of Rivera and it showed in quick and destructive fashion.

Middleweight Fight: Gabriel Santos vs Mark Weir

Santos is a wrestler out of Brazil, physically resembling Paulo Filho in that he’s a short, stocky, heavily muscled guy. Apparently Weir wasn’t even supposed to have this fight, either, it was originally scheduled for his teammate Matt Ewin, but Ewin went down with injury and Weir stepped in. He still looks in tremendous shape, as it goes.

Santos shoots in right away to open, and gets a takedown to guard, but Weir immediately works to stand back up. He manages to get to his feet, but Santos drags him down once more. Weir uses the fence to get to his feet again as Quadros mentions him supposedly training the tactic with Chuck Liddell for a WEC fight he had, but Santos then lifts him into the air and delivers a big slam, keeping Weir down this time. He manoeuvres into side mount, and then into the north/south position, and then back to side mount, but doesn’t really land any strikes or do any damage. Weir almost gets to his feet, but Santos manages to keep him down right until the end of the round, when Mark finally escapes to his feet.

Into the 2nd, and Weir comes out looking to hit, landing a right to stun Santos, who quickly closes distance and clinches. He looks for the takedown, and even though Weir tries to block, Santos seems too strong and gets the takedown to guard. No strikes thrown or damage done again, this guy is a seriously bad lay-n-pray artist. He passes into half-guard, and then works his way into side mount and goes for an armbar, but Weir manages to slip free and gain top position! Weir rains down some strikes, and Santos manages to get guard back, but Weir continues to land some heavy punches to end the round out.

Third and final round, and Weir appears to be fresher, but Santos comes out and gets another takedown to guard and avoids a guillotine attempt. He passes into half-guard, but makes no attempt to actually damage Weir outside of tapping him with some weak body punches. No idea why the ref hasn’t restarted this yet as Santos continues to do absolutely nothing, and FINALLY he comes in to stand them, gaining a round of sarcastic applause from the crowd. Weir comes forward off the restart, landing some punches, and ends up on top in Santos’s guard to end the fight. And of course, it’s a unanimous decision for Santos.

First off, that was a terrible fight. For those who claim Josh Koscheck is a “lay-n-pray” fighter, I dare you to watch this one. Seriously, I think Weir did more damage in the minute and half he was on top at the end of the 2nd than Santos did in the whole fight. To be honest though, I blame the referee for the debacle more than anything – why he wasn’t restarting them on their feet more I don’t know, as Santos did absolutely nothing from the top, yet was allowed to hold Weir down for about three-quarters of the fight. One of the most dull fights I’ve ever come across.

Middleweight Fight: Curtis Stout vs Sol Gilbert

Like Reid fighting Rivera, this was a big step up in competition for Gilbert, as even though on paper he had a better record than Stout (6-1-1 to 7-6-1), Stout had been in with the likes of Rich Franklin, Phil Baroni, and David Loiseau, while Gilbert’s toughest test had probably been Jean-Francois Lenogue or Matt Ewin. Still, there was hope for Sol here as Stout was on the wrong end of a three-fight losing streak coming in.

Round one begins, and Sol comes out swinging, but doesn’t land anything clean and Stout counters with a low kick and then gets a takedown to guard. He lands some punches from the top, pinning Gilbert into the fence for good measure. Gilbert does a decent job of defending, moving himself away from the cage and blocking a lot of the shots, but Stout at least stays busy, continually striking from the top. He passes to half-guard momentarily, but Gilbert scrambles to get his guard back and this time uses the fence to attempt a reversal. Stout keeps him firmly down though, and continues his ground-and-pound to end the period.

Both men press to begin the 2nd round, and Sol misses an attempted superman punch, before Stout suddenly lands the LEFT HOOK FROM HELL, knocking Gilbert OUT COLD, and he FALLS DOWN AND HITS HIS HEAD ON THE FENCE!~!

Jesus Motherfucking Christ.

Referee looks in disbelief as he pulls out the mouthpiece of what appears on the surface to be a dead body, but thankfully Gilbert comes round quickly, and doesn’t appear to be seriously hurt, as Stout cries tears of joy during his celebrations.

Honest to God, I cannot overstate how sick that KO was. Quite possibly the most brutal knockout I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m not an easy person to shock, and that knockout shocked me. Click Here for a quick video showing it and tell me Gilbert doesn’t look dead upon landing. Incredible shot from Stout.

Light-Heavyweight Fight: Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral vs Pierre Guillet

Guillet was sporting a decent enough record of 8-2 coming into this, but it was pretty clear that he was badly overmatched against Babalu, and this was basically a tune-up fight for the Brazilian before his return to the UFC in April. For some reason though, in the pre-fight interview and upon entrance, Babalu looks SERIOUSLY ANGRY here, not just the ‘coked up vacant psycho’ look he normally sports, but like, REALLY pissed, like Guillet’s just insulted his sister or something. Somehow Guillet doesn’t look too intimidated; I’d be shitting myself if I were in his shoes methinks.

They get started and Babalu comes forward right away, landing a hard low kick that snaps Pierre’s leg backwards. He follows by grabbing underhooks and muscling Guillet to the fence, where he gets the takedown to guard. Guillet tries to control him, but it’s to no avail as Babalu passes to half-guard quickly, landing some punches along the way. Suddenly Sobral opens up with a barrage of punches, and Guillet throws up a desperation triangle attempt, but ends up taking more abuse, and poor Pierre taps out there. Referee Grant Waterman comes in to stop things, and takes a couple of shots himself from Babalu, who just keeps going like a rabid animal. Finally when it’s clear the fight’s over, suddenly he changes moods altogether and hugs Guillet like he’s his long-lost brother.

Utterly crazy behaviour from Babalu, but a completely scary performance too as he came in more aggressively than I’ve ever seen him before and just overwhelmed his hapless opponent. Respect to Guillet for stepping up though, I have to say. And, we end there, what a note to end on.

Final Thoughts....

Despite having a few highlight reel knockouts from Rivera, Manhoef and Stout, and a wild showing from Babalu in the main event, I came away somewhat underwhelmed by Cage Rage 10. I’m not really sure why, either, as there was only one truly horrid fight – Weir/Santos – and everything else was pretty solid, even if Silva/Remedios was slow. Maybe it’s the fact that Cage Rage has spoiled us somewhat with more marquee names and excellent fights on the following shows, I don’t know, but something was definitely lacking. Still, the vicious knockouts, especially Stout over Gilbert, make this worth a mild recommendation all the same.

Coming Soon....

Pride: 18.
UFC: 26, 27, 28, 29, 63, 64 and 65.
Cage Rage: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18.
WEC: 10 and 11.
WFA: 1, 2 and 3.
King of the Cage: 15, 18, 21, 23, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 42 and 48.
Best of Shooto 2003 vols. 1 & 2.

Until next time,

Scott Newman:

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