ACB 5 – Unstoppable – Review

ACB 5The Beacon Centre, St Helens, played host to a full night of Amateur MMA action as Amateur Cage Battles hosted it’s fifth installment: Unstoppable. It was a full card stacked with 20 fights and not one disappointed. The main attraction of the night was the four title fights with the main event being played out by Chino Nwinyinya and Kostadin Toychev for the ACB lightweight championship. 
Lightweight: Ryan Delve vs Wez Brown
The first round started with Brown coming forward first and looking to land early. He connected with a nice leg but this was as far as he would get on the feet Delve got in and executed a great takedown and got himself into top position. He tried to work from the position but the fight worked its way back to the feet and Delve took dominant position against the cage. He completes a second takedown and works his way to Brown’s back, locks in his hooks and tries to work for a choke. A good defence is shown by Brown so Delve transitions round to take full mount and lands some nice ground and pound. The last 10 seconds of the round see’s Delve get the back of his opponent but Brown coming back and landing a few warning shots of his own.
A sense of urgency was behind Brown to start the second round as he came out landing a good left body kick and a one-two combination. Sensing an opportunity he swarmed in on his opponent but found himself being taken back to the floor. Delve worked his way into full mount, grabbed an arm and looked for the finish. They scrambled a little but Delve was not letting go and Brown had to tap out.  He looked in some pain at the end and I hope he is okay today.
Ryan Delve the winner by Armbar Submission at 1:18 of the round. 
Featherweight: Luke Crossland vs John Eyre
The first round was a great affair with both fighters going at such a high pace. Both fighters came out and engaged and where both looking for that early finish. Eyre threw a punishing body kick but his opponent just carried on going and responded with a kick of his own. Crossland went for a head kick and pushed in for a takedown.  After a short break for a groin shot the fighters were back and Eyre started to find some success on the feet. He landed some great uppercuts from the clinch which would trouble a lot of fighter but Crossland was not backing down and he looks for a combination of his own and the round comes to a close against the cage.  
The second round began a little tensely with neither fighter wanting to make that crucial error and it was Eyre who pushed forward first. He looked to swarm his opponent but found himself being thrown to the canvas by Crossland who executed a top notch judo throw. The rest of the round is Crossland dominating on the ground. He sends some punishing knees to the body of his opponent and ends the round with some vicious punches.
Going into the third you could sense a finish was coming as both fighters had shown they were dangerous. And for Luke Crossland it was him got that W. Eyre looked to push in at the start of the round but found himself eating some shots from his opponent. Crossland seizes his chance and clinches up and drops his opponent with a beautiful knee and pounces on him with some devastating ground and pound. The referee had no choice but to jump in and stop the fight.
Crossland the winner by TKO at 59 seconds of round three.
Welterweight: Gary Owens vs Hayden Gahgan
The fight began with Gahgan rushing in and completing a huge takedown. Owens is straight up but Gahgan looks for a standing guillotine choke. Owens gets out and they both jostle again the cage for position. Owens manages to get it to the floor and takes full mount, where he lands some nice shots. He can’t keep the position and is reversed by his opponent who gets into side control. After a bit of work from Gahgan, Owens gets back to his feet but is swept back to the floor. Gahgan takes side control and lands some nasty knees to the body of his opponent. The round ends with Owens working his way to top position but not being able to execute any significant strikes.
The second round is similar to the first with Gahgan coming out and getting the fight straight back to the ground. The fight finds its way back to the feet but Gahgan is on top form and gets the fight straight back to the ground where he lands in side control and throws a nice knee to the body of his opponent. He looks to work his way for a choke but Owens stands up and then finds Gahgan taking him to the floor again. However this time Owens manages to find a sub attempt and locks on a guillotine. This doesn’t worry Gahgan too much who gets out, works around and gets on his own guillotine to see out another dominant round for himself.
The third round you can see the effect this fight has had on the fighters. Both guys have given their all! Gahgan tries hard to get the takedown but finds it unsuccessful and they jostle against the cage with both looking for opportunities. But none forthcoming.
They go to the judges scorecard who score it as an Unanimous Decision victory for Hayden Gahgan.
Welterweight: Joe Naraynsingh vs Peter Chester
A hectic first round in this one with two different styles coming together. Naraynsingh starts with a stinging right kick which Chester responds with and goes to fire another but finds himself backing up to some nice shots from Naraynsingh. Chester looks for a takedown attempt but he can’t complete. It’s hectic on the feet with both guys swinging but Naraynsingh is finding more success. Chester again pushes for a takedown but is unsuccessful, slips and finds himself eating more shots. He finally finds a nice double leg takedown but can’t do much from top position as Naraynsingh shows his strength on the ground and locks in an armbar. Chester tries to slam out but doesn’t get out and the round ends with the submission looking tight.
The second starts with Naraynsingh walking forward and throwing a  front kick which pushes his opponent right back and then keeps pushing his opponent away as he comes in for the Takedown.  Chester is on his back and his opponent throws some fast kicks to his legs. Back on the feet Naraynsingh lands another front kick and is punishing his opponent with leg kicks. Chester pushes in for takedown and is swept  by his opponent. Naraynsingh takes top position  and moves to full mount. He locks on an arm triangle. But Chester has a good defence and rolls over. From the bottom Naranynsingh locks in the choke again and forces his opponent to tap.
Naraynsingh wins via Arm Triangle at 2:35 of the second round.
Lightweight: Beau Gavin vs Rob Carroll
As the fight begins it is easy to tell Gavin is the crowd favourite. Both fighters exchange early but its Carroll who gets the first takedown. He ends up in Gavin’s guillotine though and looks in a little trouble but survives.  Gavin goes for an arm bar but Carroll gets out after a scramble and keeps top position. Gavin then throws up another submission attempt by looking for a triangle choke but can’t connect. Both looking for leg locks and then they get to the feet. Carroll pulls guard and Gavin takes top position. Gavin lands some nice shots from top but as he stands up he eats some kicks from the bottom. On the feet both are swinging wildly and Gavin gets a great takedown by sweeping up his opponent after a brief exchange. He lands in top position and lands some great shots.
Gavin is bloodied up at the end of the round, but he wouldn’t have minded after a great round.
Carroll goes for a kick to start round two but it’s caught and has his legs swept by Gavin. Gavin doesn’t follow to mat and the ref stands Carroll up. Both throw wild and land kicks at each other and Gavin ends on the floor. Carroll jumps up for a standing guillotine but gives up. It goes to the ground where Gavin is on top. Not much happens and the ref stands them up. Nice stiff left from Gavin rocks his opponent and he ends up slamming him to the ground and follows in. There he lands some nice ground and pound. Out of nowhere Carroll taps out and the fight is ended! But after closer inspection I think Carroll had an eye injury and couldn’t continue.
Gavin wins via TKO (Verbal Submission) at 2:30 of the second round.
Middleweight: Mark Kinsella vs Dan Riley
The fight starts with Kinsella pushing in early and completing a takedown. From the top he unleashes some great ground and pound. They jostle for position and he lands a knee to his opponents body. He gets into side control and is still landing some punishing shots and gets into full mount.  As he opponent turns into side position, Kinsella lands punch after punch to stop the fight and get the TKO win at 1:34.
Welterweight: Paul Maddocks vs Mark Hill
The fight starts with a tentative opening as both fighters fired out some feelers. Maddocks pushes in for takedown and it takes a while but he completes it. However they are straight back up and Maddocks has his opponent against the cage but is turned and Hills throws some nice knees. Maddocks then pushes him to cage and completes another takedown. He gains top position and looks to control. But Hills is working hard from his back and looks for submission attempts but can’t get any in. Hills kicks out and ends up on top in crouch position and spins to back, but Maddocks stands up and has Hill against the cage to end the round.
Maddocks opens up the second with a nice inside left kick and they both exchange. Hill senses blood and pushes in, using some nice kicks and punches to push his opponent back. But Maddocks is on top and he takes the fight to the ground and gets into top position. Hills push out and gets into top position himself. As Maddocks tries to stand he moves into full mount. From top position Maddocks pulls back for a guillotine but Hills gets out and finishes round on top.  A back and forth round! I would hate to be a judge after a round like this.
The final round starts with both guys looking a little tired and Maddocks tries for two takedowns which are unsuccessful. Hill is looking to stay on the feet and pick his opponent apart. A third takedown attempt is blocked. He gets Hill against the cage and finally gets the takedown he has been looking for. They scramble but Maddocks keeps top position. He takes full mount and Hill can’t get out. He starts to throw shots in and ends the round on top.
The judges made an unanimous decision, 30-29, to Paul Maddocks.
Middleweight: Andrew Smith vs  Adam Pachucki
Blink and you would have missed this fight.  Pachucki comes out and throws a left head kick early which connects hard, stumbles opponent, but he is still standing. Pachucki swarms in with punches and ref the stops it! The impact of the kick was so good that Smith was still staggering after the fight is over.
Pachucki gets the TKO win at just 10 seconds
Featherweight: Robbie Fallon vs Jack Cartwright
The first round begins with Fallon completing a takedown early but it’s Cartwright who lands on top. Fallon works for a submission but can’t get it in but then looks for another by grabbing the arm of his opponent. They jostle and Cartwright breaks freak, lands some nice hammer-fists and they stand up. Cartwright lands a great 1-2 combo and Fallon goes for a takedown but can’t get it and his opponent is on top. Fallon throws up a triangle from the bottom and with 5 seconds to go Cartwright breaks free and lands some brutal shots on his opponent and is pumped up going back to his corner. 
Round two begins with Cartwright pushing out and throwing some nice shots and drops his opponent with a great punch and then follows in to throw more punches and the ref jumps in to stop the fight. After the fight Fallon stood up but stumbled back and fell down. He came to and was okay. Much respect to him for recovering from taking such hard shots from his opponent.
Cartwright got the TKO victory at 15 seconds of round two.
Lightweight: Geoff Ogendo vs Josh Connor
Connor started early with a right kick, but Ogendo pushed in with some nice punches and caught his opponent with a body punch. He then dropped Connor with a straight right. Connor responded with a nice body kick and looked for the takedown but couldn’t complete. On the feet Ogendo looked confident and had a flurry of nice shots but Connor got a great slam takedown and landed in side control were he landed a few strikes and transitioned to full mount. He started raining down some heavy strikes and he rolled for a triangle choke off his back. Ogendo looked to slam Connor out but was still in the choke to end the round.
It was at tentative start to the second round but Ogendo looked strong on the feet. Connor responded with a high kick that just missed but connected with a nice front kick. Ogendo’s strikes are still looking good but Connor pushes in and gets the fight to the floor! He looks for the sub and moves to top position but can’t land any shots and they returned to the feet. Connor looked for a body kick but started to show some signs of fatigue! He pushed in with a nice combo but Ogendo responded with a combination of his own and the round ends.
The fight looked tight on the judge’s scorecards going into the third. Ogendo opened up the round with a flying knee and both fighters looked to land kicks. Ogendo sensed an opportunity and pushed in throwing some nice combinations. He then lands a nice left hook but Connor responded with his own shots. Both fighters started throwing back and forth until Connor completed a takedown. On the ground he moved into full mount and started to land some good shots. He keeps the position and sees out the round.
Over to the judges who give a majority decision: 30-29. 30-29, 29-29 in favour of Geoff Ogendo.
Middleweight: Graham Mealand vs Matty Hillier
The first round started with Hillier pushing his opponent to the fence and looking for a takedown but takes a knee to the groin off Mealand. On the restart Mealand is looking good with is stand up and completes a takedown. As they go down Hillier gets him into a guillotine attempt but Mealand gets out and controls the top position. He starts to stand and land some shots on his opponent but as he goes back down Hiller goes for a submission attempt by grabbing an arm. He extends but Mealand gets out and sees out the round.
Round two starts on the feet and they both look for shots. Hillier is pushed up against the cage and the fight ends up on the floor with Mealand on top. He looks for a submission and when that doesn’t work, he looks to control the position. He looks for a kimura and Hillier is looking to get up but can’t and the hold is too much for him and he taps.
Mealand gets the Kimura submission victory at 2:00 of the round.
Welterweight: Liam Dooley vs Chris Green
Another fight where if you blinked you would miss it. The only word to be used to describe this fight is WOW! Dooley was a man on a mission. He came out and landed a combination and dropped his opponent and then followed in and hit 2-3 quick hammer fists and the ref stopped it! He celebrated with a back flip!
Dooley got the TKO win at 5 seconds of the round.
Light Heavyweight: James Walker vs Phil Mannian
The first round started with Walker swinging hard early and Mannian looking for a takedown. Walker stuffed two attempts and found himself in side control. There he lands some elbows and then it returns to the feet. Walker starts to swing for the fences and Mannian has another takedown stuffed, which leads Walker to finding his way to top position. There he lands some nice hammer-fists and punches. He makes his opponent eat a lot of shots in close and all are powerful! He is relentless and the ref told Mannian to defend himself, so he tries to escape but Walker is just too relentless and the fight is stopped. Phil’s left eye is quite swollen at the end.
James Walker gets the TKO finish at 2:46 of the first round.
Catchweight: Jack Flynn vs Lewis Stockley
Stockley opens the fight with a kick and a punch but is slammed to the ground by Flynn who ends up on top, in side control. He works to full mount and looks to lands some shots. He is vicious as Stockley tries to stand up. As they are standing Flynn pulls guard and sinks in the triangle choke, which is deep and Stockley taps at 1.21 of the round. Great submission victory by Jack Flynn.
Lightweight: James Reece vs Daryl Golding
The fight began with Golding starting stronger and landing some nice leg kicks, punches and a knee. He followed in and started swinging for the fences. Hel landed a nice throw and ended up in full mount. There he looks to throw down some strikes and as Reece turns over, he takes the back, gets in the hooks and gets the tap via rear naked choke at 1:14. 
Heavyweight: Darren Moore vs Scott Mitchell
This fight was said to be a title eliminator in the heavyweight division and it didn’t disappoint.  The first round saw both fighters come out and throw a few punches before Moore drove in and completed a great double leg takedown.  Brock Lesnar would have been proud. He got on top and started to rain down strikes. He looked to control but Mitchell landed some nice punches from the bottom! Moore responded  by working harder and landing more good punches. He then transitioned to full mount and rained down more strikes. Mitchell turned over and Moore got his back and threw more punches. He turned back into top position and finished the round landing more punches.
The second started as the first with Moore coming out and looking for another takedown. Mitchell was prepared to start and stopped the attempt against the fence. But Moore has strength and is relentless. He completes a double leg takedown and gets into top position and then moves to the back. However Mitchell gets in a good reverse and finds himself in top position. He starts to throw left punches to his opponent and then some left knees to the body. He finishes the round in top position! 
A great fight which is definitely 1-1 on the judge’s scorecards. However Moore got up at the end of round one and stumbled away looking tired. The ref gives him time but he couldn’t continue
Moore gets up and stumbles away to his corner. He looks tired. And he can’t come out for the third. It was a grueling affair and took a lot from both guys.
Mitchell takes the TKO win after six minutes and will be hopeful of a title shot soon.
ACB Featherweight Championship Fight: (C) Scott Matthews vs Callum Gahgan
If ever there was a title fight that was so close this round showed two fighters on top of their respective games.  Gahgan started by looking for a punch but was taken down by Matthews. On the floor Matthews goes for a guillotine choke, which leads to Gahgan landing on top. Matthews has his legs wrapped around Gahgan’s arm and they move into the north-south position, with Gahgan on top. From there he gets out of the submission and takes top position. From there he drops back and gets pulls back on the ankle of Matthews. Matthews looks composed and goes for an ankle as well. They round ends with both fighters pulling on the others leg.
With nothing to separate them in the first, you could tell that one tiny mistake could hand the other the fight. Matthews started the second looking for a takedown but couldn’t complete and gets his opponent in a Thai Clinch and goes for a few knees. The fight finds its way to the floor where Gahgan ends up in full mount. There he starts to rain down shots and looks to go for the arm of the champion. He can’t get the hold on and find Matthews on top. But Gahgan isn’t fazed and throws up a beautiful triangle choke and forces the champion to tap out at 1:46 of the second round.
ACB has a new Featherweight champion and after the fight Gahgan was asked how it feels to win the belt and he said:
“It feels fucking amazing!”
Great fight for the belt! Now it is 1-1 between the two and there could be the chance for a rubber match. I know I would love to see it. 
Interim ACB Bantamweight Championship: Sam Creasey vs Jack Birkett
The first round start with both looking to throw early with punches and Birkett landed a nice right kick which is returned by Creasey. Creasey then took the fight to the floor and moved quickly into full mount. There he landed some nice punches while Birkett tried hard to get out of the position and nearly escaped, but Creasey ended up in side mount. He moved to top position and landed some strikes and went back to side control where he looked to work more. He moved back to the top and lands some thunderous punches and saw out the round.
The second started a bit slower with Creasey landing some nice kicks and swarming in on his opponent with punches and completing a great slam takedown. He landed in side control and looked to work by landing strikes. The strikes were definitely hitting home. He transitioned smoothly to top position and Birkett looked to get out but turned over but Creasey kept full mount and started raining down strong punches.  The referee warned Jack to defend himself but he can’t and the fight is stopped at 2:26 of the round. Giving Sam Creasey the TKO finish and the Interim Bantamweight Championship.
When asked how he feels he said that it’s the “Greatest feeling in the world”.
ACB Heavyweight Championship: (C) Rob Beech vs Neill Smith 
The co-main event of the evening saw a Goliath battle for the heavyweight championship. The fight started with both fighters coming out swinging and landing some nice shots. Beech closed the gap early and threw his opponent to the floor and landed in top position! He landed some nice shots but they didn’t do a lot of damage. He then found his way into full mount but Smith reversed and landed in top position himself.  He couldn’t do much damage and the round ended.
The second started with both fighters swinging and Beech catching Smith and the fight going back to the ground. Beech found himself in side control and transitioned to full mount. He couldn’t do too much damage and goes back to side control. There he puts on an arm choke and looks to move back to full mount.  As they turn over he tightens the choke and Smith is forced to tap.
Rob Beech keeps his title, via Arm Choke at 1:35 of the second round.
Main Event: ACB Lightweight Championship: (C) Chino Nwinyinya vs Kostadin Toychev
The main event of the evening saw the lightweight championship being contested and it was gruelling fight which saw the judges called into action.
The first round started with Toychev coming straight out and looking for a high kick. Nwinyinya read this and scooped his opponent up and took him down! They jostled on the ground and it was Nwinyinya who got into top position. Toychev looked to throw some nice shots off his but his opponent returned the gesture with some of his own. Nwinyinya controlled the position throwing more punches and elbows and sees out the round on top.  
Round two saw Nwinyinya come out and open with a nice kick and following it up with a good takedown. Toychev found himself sat against the cage, where they grapple, and he found his way to his feet. As soon as he is up Nwinyinya has him scooped up and slammed back to the canvas. From top position Nwinyinya throws some more solid punches and continues to work. He found his way to full mount and fended off a sweep attempt from the challenger. He saw out the round in the dominant position landing more strikes.
If there was ever a finish required in a fight the challenger, Toychev, needed to find it in the last round.  He started strong with some solid stand up, finding a home for some nice kicks and punches. He was pressing hard but found himself walking into a great double leg takedown from Nwinyinya. On the floor Nwinyinya controlled the end of the fight, working in top position and landing some solid shots.
It was a unanimous decision from all three judges who gave the fight 30-27 to Chino Nwinyinya.
A solid performance from the champion who maintains his position at the top of the lightweight pile.
Fight of the Night: Luke Crossland vs John Eyre
Knockout of the Night: Adam Pachucki
Submission of the Night: Callum Gahgan
It was a cracking night of fights put on by Amateur Cage Battles and you can see why the show is gaining more and more popularity. There is a lot of top fighters who appeared on the card and they all worked hard in each fight. If there is any fighters who are looking to be tested, ACB is the place to go.
On a personal note I would like to thank Lee at ACB for allowing me to attend the show and getting me a great position at cage side to watch the action.
If you missed ACB 5, then get ACB 6 in your diaries. It takes place on the 25th May 2013. 

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