Cage Warriors 62: Warburton passes Murch test with ease

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Curt “The War” Warburton made short work of Wesley Murch in last night’s headline bout at Cage Warriors 62, held at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena, which was contested at a catch-weight of 160 lbs.

Using the cage to steady himself, the UFC veteran finished a rear naked choke that contorted the neck of Murch, who was forced to tap under minute into the contest.

Warburton came out of the gates with intention and smothered his opponent, forcing him to the ground before establishing his hooks and catching the choke.

On the back of the win “The War” claimed he would be targeting Steven Ray’s 155 strap in 2014.

Earlier in the night, Chris Fishgold put in a grinding performance against the experienced Olivier Pastor, who refused to be counted out of this featherweight showdown.

Fishgold was dominant in the opening rounds, switching his hips fantastically well to keep Pastor grounded. Despite Fishgold owning top position for much of the first two rounds, Pastor constantly looked to attack.

Unlucky not to have his hand raised in the second round having taken the back of the hardened 40 year old, Fishgold may have lost a lot of energy looking to finish with a neck crank.

Knowing it was all or nothing, Pastor flew out of his corner in the final round and forced Fishgold to the canvas. Landing some big shots that won over the Newcastle crowd, the Frenchman proved he was a game opponent.

Fishgold managed to get to his feet toward the end of the round and exchanged punches to see out the contest, taking unanimous 29-28 decision.

Richie Knox didn’t disappoint his home crowd by putting on a showcase of aggression with Karl Moore in their bout.

Knox swung from the hip and looked to have the Irishman hurt on several occasions before Moore landed a beautiful left hand, supplemented by some solid ground and pound, that forced the most dramatic of stoppages out of referee, Rich Mitchell.

This first round win sees the FAI man remain unbeaten, and at just 22 years old, the light heavy weight has a huge future in the sport.

Ireland’s Tommy Quinn added another big win to his record as he put away Dan Hope in the second round of their contest with a supreme pugilistic performance.

Hope hung in with the Derry man in the opening round, but early in the second Quinn sent Hope into orbit with a massive uppercut. Following up with some strikes, Hope managed to find space to get back to his feet but Quinn mixed up his shots well to the body and the head and his opponent lay up against the cage.

Hope proved his toughness but his defence wasn’t there on the night, forcing the stoppage just over a minute into the second round of the 176 lbs catch weight bout.

Bantamweight Ian Entwistle took the “Submission of the Night” award caliming victory over SBGi’s Liam James, disrupting the Irish-based Geordie’s renaissance in the sport under new coaches, with an unorthodox entry to a devastating heel hook.

Entwistle looked perpendicular to James as he entered the submission, leaving spectators and commentators initially dazzled as to what he was doing until he came out with the leg tearing lock.

James, for the longevity of his career, tapped as soon as he realised the situation he was in leaving Entwistle to celebrate his quick win in a very aggressive fashion.

To start the main card, Alex Enlund putting on a grappling clinic in which he appeared to throw only a handful of punches as he took Danny Lawson down, wrapped up a body triangle, flattened him out and eventually finished a rear naked choke.

This text book win will certainly move Enlund up the 135 ladder and Cage Warriors fans will look forward to seeing him again.

It wasn’t only Karl Moore and Tommy Quinn that had Irish eyes smiling last night as Martin Sheridan took the “Knockout of the Night” honour home with a huge knee to the face off Jordan Desborough in the closing minute of the opening round of their featherweight matchup.

Northern Ireland’s Ronan McKay also banked an important W over fan favourite Leeroy Barnes with a knee that stopped the powerful Geordie in his tracks. McKay has been on a tear of late taking wins over Judo black belt Richie Gorey and the talented Henry Fadipe in his two previous outings.

Despite the spectacle on the night, there was a sizeable gulf toward the end of the card with the absence of the flyweight title fight. Ulysses Gomez was pulled from the card at the eleventh hour, leaving champion Neil Seery with no opponent for his first title defence.

Other Results:
Ronan McKay def. Leeroy Barnes via knockout (knee) – Round 1, 2:56

Laura Howarth def. Emma Delaney via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Martin Sheridan def. Jordan Desborough via knockout (knee) – Round 1, 4:21

Agnieszka Niedzwiedz def. Kerry Hughes via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Shaj Haque def. Mark Connor via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

By Peter Carroll – @PetesyCarroll

Owner/Editor of SevereMMA.com. Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.