This was the week that put Welsh MMA on the map.
A week where Welsh MMA has never before experienced as much of the spotlight as this; Welshman Jack Marshman became the first of his countrymen to compete on the biggest stage by signing with the UFC, accompanied by the return of the premier domestic promotion Cage Warriors as it returned to Wales to grace the Newport Centre once again.
Marshman had been scheduled to defend his Middleweight title before vacating for his opportunity to fight at UFC Belfast, leaving the card short of a headliner. In step Martin Svensson and Scott Clist.
Svensson (15-6), a former Cage Warriors title challenger and UFC veteran was who was coming off a loss to David Teymur looking to impress as he pushes for another title shot as Clist (9-3) was coming off an impressive knock out of Tim Wilde and was enjoying a three fight win streak as he looked to progress his standings in the Lightweight rankings.
The opening frame saw a back and forth grappling battle with Svensson taking down the Englishman and hunting for submissions. Clist was able to defend and reverse position on numerous occasions, landing heavy strikes from the Swede’s guard at every opportunity. The pattern for the fight was set as Round 2 followed the blueprint set in the first but this time Clist was a little too aggressive allowing Svensson to secure a tight triangle choke to finish the fight.
The Co-main event saw Welshman Josh Reed (6-0) and Irish Martin Sheridan (8-7) battle in easily the evenings most closely contested bout. The judges had their work cut out for them to pick a winner as Sheridan had the best of the strikes but Reed the positional advantage and control, often finding himself in dominant positions as Sheridan threw significant strikes from the bottom. Two judges saw that the control outweighed the damage sustained and gave the nod to Reed in a hard-earned split decision victory.
Earlier on the card saw a stunning knock out as Englishman Dean Trueman (7-3) defeated Frenchman Arnold Quero (13-5) in 12 seconds with a beautiful combination overhand right, left hook and right straight to floor Queiro and leave him confused and wrestling with Referee Rich Mitchell as he called a stop to the action.
Hometown hero and rising prospect Jack Shore (3-0) again showed what a talent he’s proving to be by putting on a convincing mature dominating performance against the tough and durable German Eddi Pobivanez (6-3). Shore tripped Pobivanez early in the first stanza and proceeded to spend the majority of the round delivering heavy pressure and short elbows from a dominant position, cutting the German’s forehead in the process. The second round again saw Shore trip Pobivanez early but this time Shore was able to take his back and flatten him out, scoring heavy shots until Referee Marc Goddard had no choice but to stop the action.
“The Irish have had their turn, now it’s time for the Welsh” Jack Shore proclaims in his post fight interview.
Completing the full house of wins for Welsh fighters was Aaron Khalid (5-2-1) as he showed great heart turning the tables on Adam Proctor (5-1) with an impressive second round come from behind victory. Proctor dominated the opening round looking to finish Khalid from back mount for the majority of the frame, Khalid showing great heart in lasting to the bell in a deep rear naked choke. Proctor looked to continue his grappling dominance in the second and secured an early takedown but Khalid was this time able to attack a heel hook from bottom. He eventually managed to sweep to top and pounced on the opportunity to take Proctors back, locking in the rear naked choke and forcing Proctor to tap.
Martin Svensson def Scott Clist Triangle Choke 1.34 Rd 2
Josh Reed def Martin Sheridan Split Decision
Dean Trueman def Arnold Quero KO 0.12 Rd 1
Jack Shore def Eddi Pobivanez TKO 2.11 Rd2
Aaron Khalid def Adam Proctor RNC 1.37 Rd 2
Richard Williams def Terry Doyle D’Arce Choke 2.09 Rd 1
Phil Wells def Toby Hartman Decision
Kevin Cox def Daryl Grant RNC 3.34 Rd 2
Ryan Mendez Morgan def Brett Allen TKO 2.01 Rd 1
Liam Shotbolt vs Elliot Chillcott ends in a Split Draw
Gareth Ingham vs Michael Jones ends in a Split Draw
Craig Rawlins def Elliot Thomas Decision
Carl Swaby def Kirk Heely TKO 1.28 Rd 2
Christian Duncan def Kelvin Robinson Triangle Choke 1.41 Rd 1
Scott Pederson def Barry Francis Armbar 2.45 Rd 2
Chris Stirling def Sean Scrivens RNC Rd 2
Keiren Bennett def Ryan Coffey Decision
Kyle Stone def James Amos RNC Rd 1 2.48
Jordan Peake def Ollie Theo Guillotine Rd 1 0.14