Cage Rage 17: Ultimate Challenge
Cage Rage 17: Ultimate Challenge
Held July 1, 2006
Wembley Arena, London, England
Report by David West – Photos by Keith Mills
The Manhunter Melvin Manhoef added another name to his hit list tonight, sending Ian "The Machine" Freeman into unconsciousness in just seventeen seconds. Freeman charged Manhoef, who knocked him down with a vicious left, then hammer-fisted Freeman on the canvas. The Machine scrambled to his knees but Manhoef blasted him with another left and Freeman dropped to all fours. Standing over his opponent, Manhoef unleashed a nightmare right hand that impacted the side of Freeman’s head like a cannonball and left the veteran battler out cold on the floor. Freeman announced afterwards that this was his last fight.
In the biggest upset of the night, unheralded Rob Broughton, from Liverpool, survived a rough first round against PRIDE star James Thompson, in which Thompson pounded Broughton on the floor and bloodied his face. In the second round Thompson maintained the top position for most of the period, but seemed to have gassed out and he couldn’t put Broughton away, drawing the derision of the crowd. In the final round, Broughton, who was impossibly still fresh after being mauled for the better part of ten minutes, finally got on top of Thompson and unleashed a furious barrage of hammer fists, landing uncounted blows to the face, and the referee jumped in seconds before Thompson’s corner threw in the towel, with their fighter senseless on the canvas. Broughton is now the new British Heavyweight champ.
Gilbert Yvel nullified Brazilian Fabiano Scherner’s leg locks by smashing Scherner with his very heavy hands as his opponent tried to secure submissions from the bottom. Yvel’s accurate and potent striking required the referee to save the battered grappler after a minute and a half.
Zelg Galesic pulled off a surprise upset against the much more experienced Curtis Stout, who took Galesic down early in the first round only to get caught in an arm bar.
Paul Daley took the vacant British Welterweight title in a hard-fought contest with Ross Mason. Thai boxer Mason edged out the first round with crisp combinations on his feet, so in the second and third rounds Daley took the fight to the canvas, where he dominated positions and worked an effective ground and pound to take the win by decision.
Pierre Guillet narrowly avoided being tapped out by an ankle lock from Daijiro Matsui in the first round of their match, with Matsui cranking on the submission as Guillet grimaced in agony before he finally freed his leg. On their feet Matsui landed several scathing thigh kicks, but Guillet repeatedly found the mark with some fast hands and wobbled Matsui with his uppercut. After sprawling on a shot from the Japanese grappler, Guillet kept chopping down at Matsui, who suffered a deep cut on his left eyelid that forced the doctor to halt the contest, giving Guillet the TKO win.
Featherweight Mark Chen had been loudly proclaiming that he was the number one contender for the British title, but he came up short against Robbie Olivier, who took Chen down, took his back, and choked him out in just over three minutes in a dominating performance from the Cambridge firefighter.
Cage Fury: A Stellar Debut
By Jim Genia
(June 30th, Atlantic City, New Jersey) Camera crews, projection screens, solid matchmaking, a very smooth production – you’d never guess this was the Cage Fury Fighting Championship’s debut show. But it was, and with a nearly-full Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall, it was a great one. Highlights of the night included: