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Cage Rage 25 ‘Bring It On!’ Preview

By Zach Arnold | February 25, 2008

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Guest preview written by Adam Underhill

Only thirteen days away on Saturday March 8th 2008, in conjunction with the Los Angeles-based entertainment and media brand ProElite Inc, British promoters Andy Geer and Dave O’Donnell present to the mixed martial arts world Cage Rage 25: ‘Bring It On!’ from the Wembley Arena in London, England. An interesting looking card with both veterans and newcomers booked for the night’s action; ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’ Ken Shamrock will take on Robert “Buzz” Berry in the night’s main attraction, while Japanese submission specialist Masakazu Imanari will be defending his Featherweight title against Jean “White Bear” Silva in what could be one of most entertaining fights of the night.

Ken Shamrock is flying over to the United Kingdom for his first fight outside of the United States and Japan, but has only competed in ten fights in the past eight years, and has not won a fight since his two-minute scrap with Kimo Leopoldo at UFC 48 in June 2004. With three loses to Tito Ortiz, a loss to Kazushi Sakuraba and also one to Rich Franklin in the last three years, Shamrock surely has to be looking at avenging his twelve career loses with a new start under ProElite. His opponent Robert Berry also has a questionable record, winning only two of his last five fights with loses against Rob Broughton, Neil Grove and Colin Robinson. Both fighters will be looking to improve on their own unsettled fight records. A win for Robert Berry would definitely add some credibility to his name and would look very attractive on his ‘Sherdog’ statistics page. Subsequently the win would be crushing for Shamrock’s new campaign, with followers of the sport sincerely doubting his fighting ability and indefinitely questioning his third comeback to mixed martial arts in eight years. Although only a number, at forty-four years old is it finally time for the ultimate fighting legend to hang up the gloves? The answer lies in Robert ‘Buzz’ Berry. After losing a British Heavyweight title bout with Rob Broughton in September 2006, Berry will be looking to get back into Heavyweight title contention and a win over Shamrock will do that indefinitely.

In the evening’s potential fight of the night, Japanese DEEP legend Masakazu Imanari takes on Brazilian Chute Boxe fighter and Cage Rage veteran Jean “White Bear” Silva in a Cage Rage Featherweight title war. Beating MMA veteran and former PRIDE FC fighter Chris Brennan (19-12-1) in his last fight, Jean Silva is looking to improve on his 15-7-3 fight record with notable wins over popular British fighters Paul Daley and Leigh Remedios. Silva has fought with the best in the industry, but has come up short against the likes of Vitor “Shaolin” Ribiero and “Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi. “White Bear” will be looking to take back his Featherweight title at any cost, but Masakazu Imanari is one fighter never to be banked against. A veteran in the Japanese rings of DEEP and ZST, Imanari has succeeded nine of his thirteen career wins through submission. Winning all three of his bouts last year, including his fight with Robbie Oliver at Cage Rage 20, Imanari will be aiming to continue his auspicious success in Cage Rage and retain the Featherweight belt he won in just twenty-seven seconds last February. Both have a similar amount of fights under their belt so experience will not be a predicament. Both have fought some of the best in the industry, and both with mixed results. As ground specialists, do not expect this fight to ensue with stand-up combinations or a quick knockout. An intricate game of chess is likely to proceed along with a well-deserved win for the victor. Definitely a fight to watch out for.

There are ten other bouts on this loaded card, including the first ever female confrontation between newcomer Aysen Berik and the undefeated Ailing “The Bash” Daly, and also the return of UK MMA legend Leigh Remedios. A popular name within most British MMA circles, Leigh’s last fight was against Sami “The Hun” Berik at ‘FX3 Battle of Britain’ back in October 2005, where he won via rear naked choke only two minutes into round one. Going up against Danny Batten, an experienced all-rounded featherweight with bouts in the Japanese Pancrase, ZST and Shoot-Boxing organisations, Remedios will want to work on his stamina and endurance as Batten tends to lose any fight that goes longer than ten minutes. A large percentage of each of the fighters’ wins have been via submission, so it would be wise for both fighters to develop an effective game plan in successfully evading submission attempts and takedowns. This featherweight clash has been in the making for many years, and I’m sure a lot of British MMA traditionalists are looking forward to this fight more than others. Both fighters have good striking and submission ability, and are hungry to get back into the game with a encouraging win.

Four of the top heavyweight fighters in Cage Rage are all in action on March 8th, with fan favourite Rob Broughton returning to take on Karate practitioner Neil “Goliath” Grove, and also undefeated kick boxer Gary Turner squaring off against heavy hitter Mustapha al-Turk. After his successful debut against James Thompson in July 2006, Rob “The Bear” Broughton’s only loss in Cage Rage was against Heavyweight champion Tengiz Tedoradze last February. His toughest test yet now lies with Neil Grove who also had an impressive debut against James Thompson last July, and currently has a flawless MMA record of 5-0 with none of his fights lasting any longer than the first round. Both fighters will be battling for the top spot as a credible upcoming opponent for the current Heavyweight champion Tedoradze, and it’s certain that one of these big sluggers is getting finished before the second round.

Another fight in the Heavyweight title contention is undefeated Gary Turner against heavy hitter Mustapha al-Turk. Both have varying styles but have both succeeded in beating some credible opposition, with al-Turk defeating Henry “Sentoryu” Miller and Mark Kerr, and Turner beating Tank Abbott and former British Heavyweight Champion boxer Julius Francis at Cage Rage 23. Again these two heartfelt Heavyweights will be battling for a top contenders spot for the Cage Rage Championship, and “The Barnsley Gladiator” from Georgia will be watching on to discover just who is coming to take his prestigious British Heavyweight title from him.

All of these fighters have everything to prove to themselves as well as to the loyal following that Cage Rage manages to bring to every one of their events. For some it could make or break their future careers within the company. Robert Berry has the opportunity of pushing himself back into the current Championship contention while Ken Shamrock’s entire Elite XC comeback campaign lies heavily on a flawless game plan in a fortnight’s time. Both Jean Silva and Masakazu Imanari are extremely well matched and have everything to fight for as both will be looking hold the World Featherweight title in air subsequent to the final bell. Gary Turner, Mustapha al-Turk, Neil Grove and Rob Broughton will do everything they can to join Robert Berry in working their way back into the Heavyweight title race, with current champion Tengiz watching on with apprehension.

Leigh Remedios is coming back after a two-year long hiatus and is set to become a feared competitor in the Featherweight division yet again. Ken Shamrock’s son Ryan is in action, against young gun Giorgio Andrews, in his debut mixed martial arts fight. History will be made as Aysen Berik and Aisling Daly clash in the first female bout in the company. Two dangerous Middleweights go at it with Tom “Kong” Watson taking on Pierre Guillet with both coming off recent loses, and the enormous Italian powerhouse Ivan Serati takes on striker Roman Webber in a clash of Light Heavyweight titans. With other bouts including Henrique Santana vs. Michael Johnson, John Hathaway vs. Marvin Arnold and Jake Bostwick vs. John Phillips, the mixed martial arts fanatics of London, England are certainly in for a exhilarating night of raw, hard-hitting, cage-fighting action that only Cage Rage can provide.

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