MMA Battle Arena returns to action this weekend with what will arguably be the biggest night of amateur MMA in the UK this year. Featuring no less than seven title fights, this mega event is split into three separate sections, covering off every wish and desire of the fight fans in attendance.
Did you catch the opening bout of Cage Warriors 76 on UFC Fight Pass last night? It was everything any fight fan could ask for. If you weren’t lucky enough to witness it, make yourself a coffee, settle down in your chair and read this play-by-play by friend of On The Road With Addicted, Steve Be. You’ll smell the sweat, you’ll feel the tension and you’ll ache from head to toe by the end.
Stick with On The Road With Addicted for Beccy Davies’ full review of the event, coming soon.
Sam Creasey vs Kris Edwards
Samurai Creasey steps back up to bantamweight to test his undefeated 5 and 0 record against wily veteran Kris Edwards. Looking to put a definitive mark on the British lighter weight divisions Creasy and Edwards met at Cage Warriors 76 in Newport, Wales.
With not only his undefeated record on the line, but also his chance at making it to the big leagues of mixed martial arts, Sam Creasey was feeling that this was the culmination of years of hard work. Edwards, a Cage Warriors veteran, meanwhile was feeling the pressure of re-entering the biggest stage in UK MMA. Which fighter could seize the moment in what promised to be a grueling battle of styles and grit? The first fight to be showcased on UFC Fightpass would soon tell all.
As the bell rang to signal the opening stanza Creasey and Edwards fell to feeling one another out. Creasey looking to establish angles by using the ‘Neo footwork’ that has puzzled and frustrated his former opponents was stifled by a stiff jab landed by Edwards. The former flyweight Creasey then tore up Edward’s lead leg with a left hook to rear leg kick combination that had Edward’s leg buckling. As both men were showing their respective striking chops Edwards tried to mix it up by setting up a clinch and pressing Creasey’s back to the cage. But Creasey had been here before and reversed the position landing a trip to send Edwards clattering to the mat just recovering guard as Creasey saw out the first round in top position with heading elbows just missing their intention to cut this fight wide open.
Edwards comes out for the second noticeably pleased to be starting again from standing. He lands a leg kick which has Creasey regroup with some angled footwork. Creasey bumps off to the right then lunges in with a heavy right hand to the chin of Edwards. Sensing a momentary advantage Creasey rushes in for the clinch but finds his own back forced to the cage, but only for a moment, as he turns the wheel and locks his hands for a big double leg take down. Edwards regroups well and is able to fight back up to his feet. The Welshman stalks Creasey who gladly clinches again with Edwards only to get the bodylock, lifting Edwards high into the Welsh sky and slamming him mercilessly into the mat. Round 2 ends in the same theme as the first: Creasey on top looking to do damage.
Somewhere, someone was probably displeased with the striking-to-grappling ratio of this fight so far. To those detractors Creasey and Edwards answered the bell for Round 3 with murder on their minds. Edwards knowing he was behind on the scorecards came out throwing a high kick that immediately sends the crowd into a fever pitch. It doesn’t land and what ensues is the most violence any bantamweight pair can offer. Each man plants their feet into the canvas and sends their fists flying into the Welsh evening air. Edwards throwing looping bombs that do no more than graze the skull of Creasey. Meanwhile, the Englishman Creasey finds some success with a series of uppercuts that similarly glance off Edwards. Somewhere in this mayhem Creasey sees sense and wraps his arms around Edwards hips for a double leg, again securing top position. After all that reckless abandon Creasey looks to maintain while Edward desperately works to get up and unleash one last flurry. However when Edwards realises the fruits of his efforts; his back walking up the cage and his feet finding the canvas, Creasey reminds him what a top level wrestler can do. The former flyweight Creasey lifts his opponent and sends him smashing into the canvas floor to place an exclamation point on this fight. Sam Creasey finishes the fight on top for the third round in a row. He sends Edwards back to his corner in frustration: and possibly sends both bantamweights and flyweights all over the UK away with a serious problem:
Who can solve the Creasey question?
Can anyone at bantamweight or flyweight handle the footwork, pace and top pressure of Sam Creasey?
Creasey wins via Unanimous Decision over Kris Edwards.
30-27, 29-28, 30-27