Posted by Iain Liddle on March 10th, 2008
Rob Broughton, who defeated Neil Grove in heavyweight action. Picture c/o Full Contact Fighter.
Cage Rage made mixed martial arts history on Saturday night when they became the promotion to have a father and son both compete on the same event when Ken Shamrock, and son Ryan, both stepped into the cage at Wembley Arena.
An unfortunate addendum to that history note for the Shamrocks is that they also became the first father and son combination to lose at the same with neither man making it to the second round in their respective bouts.
Stepping up to heavyweight after his last fight against Tito Ortiz, Shamrock Senior - who to use local vernacular was looking every inch the ‘old man’ - found himself overmatched by his larger opponent, Sunderland’s Robert Berry, from the opening bell to the end of the contest just a few minutes later. Unable to make an impact with strikes or able to secure a takedown he allowed Berry to establish his jab early in the fight and dictate the rhythm of the bout.
In a fight that never threatened to go to the ground, Berry utilised his strength advantage and it was noticeable that his confidence increased with every passing shot that connected. It is perhaps an indictment of where Shamrock is in his career at the moment that it merely took a left jab followed by an overhand right which barely connected but was enough to knock him the already stunned UFC veteran to the floor. Berry duly capitalised by chasing after his opponent and the landing the obligatory blows needed to convince referee Grant Waterman to put a stop to proceedings after only three minutes, twenty six seconds of the first round.
As is the case with a lot of recent Cage Rage main events, the aim of this fight was more commercial than sporting. In terms of heavyweight fights alone this was maybe the third best on the card in terms of quality, however Cage Rage needed a big name to headline the show in the face of major competition from Frank Warren’s ‘Battle of Britain’, also taking place in London that evening, and in this respect the sell-out crowd indicate it must be considered a success.
The other side of the coin when hiring Shamrock always seemed to be the intention by Gary Shaw to give him a high-profile win in front of the fans watching live on Showtime Sports in the USA, before eventually promoting a fight with the other face of Pro Elite, Kimbo Slice, on CBS. In this respect the bout must be considered a dismal failure. Whilst credit should go to Berry who was noticeably in better condition than we have seen him before, the manner of the defeat proved beyond doubt that the artist formerly known as ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’ is now a danger only to himself and is the last person who should be representing the sport in it’s debut on network television.
In more relevant competition, Masakazu Imanari submitted Jean Silva in the first round to retain the Cage Rage world featherweight championship. It had been reported prior to the fight that, somewhat ironically, Silva had injured his knee in training for this fight when drilling leg lock defence in anticipation of the submission specialist.
True to form, in what was the most technically proficient bout of the event, after exhibiting highly advanced Jiu-Jitsu from guard Imanari secured a heel hook which forced the pain-stricken Silva - himself a BJJ black belt - to submit at two minutes, thirty seconds of the first round.
Durability is an underated asset to have in your arsenal as a fighter, but it is clearly not something lacking in Rob Broughton who marked his return from a ruptured Achilles tendon to defeat Neil Grove via judges decision.
Grove, who was 3-0 in Cage Rage going into this bout and had developed a reputation in some circles as a potential future British heavyweight champion, came out aggressively from the outset and attempted to chop down Broughton with a series of leg kicks that were visibly affecting the Liverpudlian. Unlike previous opponents James Thompson and Domagoj Ostojic though, Broughton did not wilt and continued to stand in front of the fearsome Grove and trade punches.
In what was seemingly a rope-a-dope strategy, Broughton seemed content to lose the first round in the knowledge that he had superior conditioning than Grove and would capitalise in the latter stages of the fight when his opponent tired, as he had during his last fight with ‘Buzz’ Berry.
On cue, the sound of the seconds bell triggered a more aggressive approach from ‘The Bear; who suddenly seemed keen to use his superior grappling skills and attempt a takedown. With every clinch the life was being sucked out of Grove and by the ten minute mark he was noticeably waning whilst his opponent was growing in strength and confidence.
The fatigued Grove was now dropping his hands more and allowed not only allowed his opponent to land more punches but also grab the clinch and dominate from there as well. The round continued in this fashion until the final bell where the judges gave Broughton the nod for a well earned victory to take his recent record to 5-1 with the only loss coming in a fight during which he had been greatly restricted by an awkward cut.
This was an extremely impressive performance from the returning fighter, who was still not at 100% after many months out of the sport, and the perfect implementation of a gameplan. Whilst undoubtedly there are still areas of his game to be worked on, Broughton solidified himself the top three of the British heavyweight rankings and is potentially the premier fighter in the weight class domestically. With Mustapha Al-Turk (also victorious on the night against Gary Turner) and current champion Tengiz Tedoradze scheduled for an upcoming rematch, the Atherton Submission Fighter will likely have to wait that little bit longer his title shot on this occasion though.
- Full results:
Robert Berry def. Ken Shamrock, TKO , R1
Cage Rage World Featherweight Championship
Masakazu Imanari def. Jean Silva, Submission, R1
Rob Broughton def. Neil Grove, Majority Decision
Tom Watson def. Pierre Guillet, TKO, R1
Mustapha al Turk def. Gary Turner, Submission, R1
Ivan Serati def. Roman Webber, Submission, R1
Henrique Santana def. Michael Johnson, Unanimous Decision
Aisling Daly def. Aysen Berik, TKO, R1
Giorgio Andrews def. Ryan Shamrock, TKO, R1
John Hathaway def. Marvin Arnold, TKO, R1
John Phillips def. Jake Bostwick, TKO, R1