Mason Jones and Paddy Pimblett both scored themselves some emphatic victories this past weekend at Cage Warriors 113.
Cage Warriors 113 goes ahead against all odds
The event went ahead against all odds, it had a venue change, changes to opponents and a featherweight title fight had to be scrapped due to the travel ban. Cage Warriors owner Graham Boylen managed to keep this card going for the fighters and the teams that needed this event in these uncertain times.
Big credit to Graham and the Cage Warriors team for continuing to put on what was an entertaining night of fights.
It wasn’t easy and must have taken an awful lot of organization to get the event to go ahead behind closed doors in Manchester. Seeing these events with no crowd is bizarre, and I do feel bad for the announcer as it does look just plain awkward.
But this is still way better than no event at all so top marks to them all for putting this together because us fight fans are grateful to just have some action to watch. So on behalf of fight fans, thank you to Cage Warriors.
Two standout performances that I will focus on both took place in the lightweight division. Mason Jones capturing the vacant Lightweight title and Paddy the Baddy Pimblett returning after a long hiatus, both of these guys had great performances.
Jones dominant TKO victory
Mason Jones squared off against Joe McColgan for the vacant Lightweight title in an entertaining stand up scrap. Mason Jones was undefeated coming in and has now moved to an impressive 9-0 as he got a dominant TKO victory.
Mason Jones has a very crowd friendly style and McColgan was happy to oblige in trading blows that made for a great fight. Jones ultimately outclassed McColgan, he was just a step quicker and it meant that he was able to land some nasty shots.
Jones was very good at making the fight ugly, I thought that due to his grappling credentials he may well try to shoot in but that was not the case here.
Both men stood trading, Jones was particularly good in the clinch where he landed a big knee to the head, followed up with some ground and pound that forced the referee to call the fight shortly before the end of the very first round.
Jones is very much one to watch at lightweight, many UFC stars including one Connor McGregor started as prospects in Cage Warriors. Jones is only 24 years old, but he has a list of credentials from someone much older.
A black belt in BJJ, Judo and kickboxing, crazy that at the age of 24 he is so well rounded, he can strike, he can grapple and he is currently the undefeated lightweight champion, keep an eye on this guy.
Paddy the Baddy is back
Paddy the Baddy Pimblett is someone that most MMA fans are aware of, the former Cage Warriors featherweight champion is very highly regarded both in terms of skill and his pure entertainment value.
His entrance was the standard we expect from Paddy, even with no crowd it felt like a party, which is what we have come to expect from the brash Liverpudlian.
Pimblett’s performance in the cage was equally impressive, it seems that the time off since losing his belt has been of benefit. He is now fighting at a higher weight class and he looked like he belonged there, he still looks very big, deceptively big in fact. He is tall and uses this very well striking, but even better on the ground.
Pimblett was happy to stand and strike early, he was very good, his footwork kept him out of trouble for the most part and when his opponent slipped he wasted no time in capitalising. Pimblett is an excellent grappler and he has shown this several times, he locked up a body triangle and waited for opportunities.
Pimblett seemed to be more patient; he wasn’t just going for chokes and submissions, he was very careful and made sure that he kept position and control. Eventually he flattened his opponent out and started to tee off with strikes, forcing the referee to call the fight in the first round.
Fights to make next for Jones and Pimblett
Now this brings us to fights to make next, now Pimblett has been a hot prospect for some time and he did allude to a possible move to the UFC when he spoke to interviewers back stage detailed here at MMA Junkie.
Pimblett is perfect for the UFC, he knows how to work a crowd and he is a genuine character who has the skills to back up his persona. However selfishly I would like to see Paddy have one more fight in Cage Warriors before heading to the big leagues.
That fight surely has to be against the newly crowned lightweight champion, this would be the fight that I would like to see. This is a genuine marquee fight, two huge prospects who will most likely be in the UFC before long.
Now one of them would take a loss if they are to meet, but honestly at this point a loss is not too damaging for either fighter. The loser would probably need just another win to get back on track to obtain a contract with the UFC.
Also the potential is here that both of these guys make waves in the UFC, imagine a rematch down the line, a huge grudge match this time in the UFC, that would sell tickets especially with a history.
The time to make that history is now, match these two up for the Lightweight title, the winner will likely immediately head to the UFC the loser will not be far behind. Then if these two realise their potential they both have every chance of rematch in in the future somewhere in the top ten of the UFC lightweight division.
A lot of things would need to go right in order for this to come to fruition but hey, stranger things have happened, and the future looks bright for both of these guys.