London: There’s a real appetite for big MMA events in the UK right now, and just a week after the UFC rolled through the capital, Cage Warriors 92 Super Saturday arrived at the 02’s Indigo Arena – stepping up to fill the limbo between UFC London and UFC Liverpool.
On an evening that offered 2 main cards and no less than 3 title fights, a crowd of expectant fans from all over the country packed into the arena. I was among them to cover the evenings’ action.
Nights at the O2 are always special, whether it’s the grandeur of the venue or the energy of the London crowd in attendance, the athletes always turn up and put on a show. With the first 3 fights of the undercard all ending by stoppage, including Darren O’Gorman’s 4.59 triangle submission of Salih Kulucan, it was clear that this evening would be no different.
Main card 1
In the first title bout of the evening, Nathan Greyson battled it out with a game Sam Creasey to earn himself the vacant flyweight belt, following in the footsteps of his teammate Nathaniel Wood.
Greyson was able to endure some early pressure from Creasey, as the Leighton Buzzard native began pressing with his superior wrestling. Greyson remained patient however and waited for his moment to strike. That moment came during the third round after a scramble left Creasey in the bottom position. Greyson immediately got to work and began to land heavy shots from the guard, rendering Creasey unconscious, and securing himself the Cage Warriors Gold.
We also saw heavyweight champion Mauro Cerilli defend his belt moments later when the Italian knocked out challenger Karl Moore in the first round. The Italian powerhouse moved like a Bantamweight as he threw a combination of knees and fists that ended the fight with shocking speed. While Moore will be disappointed with the loss, the power and athleticism of Cerilli proved too much for him on the night. As for Cerilli, though he may be a man of few words, the Italian champion has a big future in the sport.
Around the arena
Around the arena I was able to run into several familiar faces from the organisation, including current women’s flyweight champion ‘Meatball’ Molly McCann, who was in attendance to answer questions from the media and fans, as well as current UFC stars Jack Marshman and Tom Breese.
Main card 2
In the biggest fight of his career Jack ‘Tank’ Shore defeated a crafty veteran in Vaughn Lee. This was the first time the young Welshman had made the cut to Bantamweight, but it didn’t stop him from putting on a three-round clinic over the former UFC fighter. Shore has looked better every time we’ve seen him in the cage so far and is now within touching distance of a title shot.
Craig White also notched up another impressive victory with his second round triangle submission of Alex Montagnani. The ‘Thundercat’ is currently in the form of his life and will certainly take the next shot at the vacant Welterweight title later on this year. With likely contenders in Ross Houston and a returning Nicolas Dalby, I look forward to seeing what the rest of 2018 holds for Craig.
In the main event, Nathaniel Wood took on Luca Iovine, ending the fight inside the first minute with one of the most stunning knockouts the organisation has ever seen. Wood looked sharp from the outset, firing heavy leg kicks and finding his range early.
And then it was over… just moments later Wood’s left hook landed flush on Iovine’s chin, putting the Italian out on his feet, and proving that he really does have dynamite in his hands.
So what’s next for Nathaniel Wood? After two spectacular title defences, it is my belief that ‘The Prospect’ will now move on to the UFC. With his massive home support, and under the tutelage of legend Brad Pickett, there is no better time for the 24-year-old Londoner to move on to the worlds premier organisation. If not I’m sure fans would love to see him put it on the line one more time against Welsh prodigy, Jack Shore.