The Severe Spotlight: James Sheehan

Cage Warriors 128 was a special event. In the past Trilogy series, Saturday has always been the blockbuster card. However, Friday night the fans were out in force. The Irish contingent supporting their men, and Frances Morgan Charriere’s army took over half the stadium. By the time the main event rolled around it was half Irish tricolours and half French flags. Lauding over the electric atmosphere. The main event was a fantastic contest between two of the best featherweights in Europe by a long way. Hughes was not the only Irishman to taste glory on the night, however.

This spotlight is shining directly into the eyes of one James Sheehan. The Team Ryano man improved his record to 3-2 with his win over highly touted English prospect Omiel Brown. That record does not speak to James’ skillset.

A quick look at the losses he has suffered over his pro and amateur career will show you the level of competition he has been fighting. His debut was against now Cage Warriors 185lb champion, Matthew Bonner, he second pro loss against the uber prospect and now UFC fighter, Ian Garry. His sole loss at amateur was to UFC Veteran and recent Cage Warriors 170lb title tournament veteran, Rostem Akman.

The first round of the Brown fight was a round that highlighted a vastly important trait in MMA, toughness. The Team Renegade man is known for two primary attributes, a fantastic guillotine and very heavy hands. Sheehan tasted every bit of that power, on multiple occasions, and kept pushing forwards, always pressuring, always looking to dictate the range. Whilst taking a lot of hard shots from Brown, Sheehan looked to engage in clinches and grappling exchanges and land off those exchanges.

With about a minute left in the first round, the tide seemed to be turning. Brown having thrown his best shots and Sheehan not going anywhere, Sheehan began to up the pace and the volume at which he was landing.

Second round was much more dominant for Sheehan, he was winning the exchanges in the striking, and chaining his wrestling together fantastically well. More now than ever, as the sport elevates in its efficiency, the meta of fighting is how you blend phases of fighting together, and James Sheehan in this second round showed brilliantly how you can go from striking phases to grappling phases, poor positions to great positions.

The toughness and mental fortitude was back on show in the third, a closer round as both men rightfully began to tire. Sheehan shone through as the tougher, slightly fresher and more active man.

Brilliant win for Sheehan, who is a rising star in that Cage Warriors 170lb division. If there is anyone the MMA community can trust to match him well, its Ian Dean. The future is bright.

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