The Severe Spotlight: Paul Hughes

The time is now for Paul Hughes. Cage Warriors as a promotion serves the purpose of being a proving ground for fighters. The fighters that rise to the top of that pack, and shine are the ones you can trust to be destined for greater things, and greater promotions. Paul Hughes has amassed 8 fights with the promotion, finishing four of them and losing a razor close split decision in his first fight with Jordan Vucenic.

On Saturday night he extended his win streak to four, with his finish over Jan Quaeyhaegens up a weight class inside a round.

Hughes saunters out to the centre of the cage and begins his faints. Dipping into his knees, guard high, face calm. A snapping low kick inside 14 seconds turns out Quaeyhaegens around. Good footwork allows him to circle out of a confident, marauding Quaeyhaegens invasion, another snapping low kick as Quaeyhaegens circles up punishes the Dutch national for the zealous attempt.

A fantastic duck under a Quaeyhaegens jab allows for a short-left hook and a right uppercut. Quaeyhaegens stumbles momentarily, upon his own reset bounds into the space to get his own land back – Hughes meets him with a third snapping low kick that causes Quaeyhaegens to aggressively stumble, accentuated by a collar tie to consolidate the off balance.

The low kick lands a fourth time and is causing significant problems for Quaeyhaegens, who now is suffering in the close range, the head movement and speed of Hughes is proving too much. In the outside range Quaeyhaegensis having to deal with the vicious low kicks.

A grappling exchange begins with Quaeyhaegens searching for double unders. Hughes digs his own underhook and works his head position to the chin of Quaeyhaegens allowing him to dominate the clinch. Hughes drops on a single leg and uses that attack to turn the clinch around. Quaeyhaegens does a good job of landing on the inside as Hughes searches for utility of his underhooks.

After a disengage, Hughes lands a huge left hook to the liver before following up with a right hook, his cadence taking him back to the centre of the cage. The finish comes when the best shot of Quaeyhaegens’ night lands. A right teep forces Hughes to take a step back, before the low kick of Hughes is read and countered with a clean straight right hand. That right hand prompted Quaeyhaegens to follow up with another, but Hughes hand planted his feet and unleashed a slingshot of a left hook that spun the head of the Dutch fighter round as he crashed heavily into the mat.

Hughes follows down into a turtle and begins a short but savage enslaught to bring the fight to a halt.

Make no mistake that Quaeyhaegens was more than a worthy opponent, this is a man knocking on the door of a Cage Warriors 155lb title shot after stopping all three of his opponents under the promotional banner. There is very little reason keeping Paul Hughes on the Cage Warriors roster, the time is now for him to travel to the UFC and build his career there.

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