Mick Stanton pulled off an incredible upset at Cage Warriors 151, beating hot prospect Will Currie by unanimous decision to secure the Cage Warriors Middleweight title.
At 36 years old, Stanton had been written off by many and entered this title fight as a 4/1 underdog.
The Liverpudlian was the veteran coming up against a young starlet in Currie who was all but set to sign for the UFC following a victory.
The 24 year Londoner had the stronger start to the fight. Currie took Stanton down and held top position for most of the opening round. The script had been perfectly drawn up for ‘Drago’ to make the step up to the UFC.
However, if the script up to this point were a heart-warming film for all the family, it would soon turn into horror for Currie’s corner.
Yes, Currie held top position, an important aspect of the judge’s score cards in MMA, but failed rarely inflicted much damage on his opponent.
As a result, ‘The Huyton Hammer’ grew into the fight never giving Currie a second to think on the ground, attacking a wide array of submissions.
Stanton’s best attempt came in round three, as he seemed to have a Kimura arm lock, only for his grip to come loose at the last second.
After the fight Stanton said, ” You’ve got to break it (his arm). It’s a world title fight. I thought I had it for a second and he turned out of it, but there were one or two of them.”
Despite failing to submit Currie, Stanton ended the round by raining down ground and pound shots. The fourth was more of the same, meaning that Currie needed a finish in the fifth and final round.
‘Drago’ came very close, with a number of vicious elbows to the head of Stanton from full mount. But ultimately, the bell rang, and ‘The Huyton Hammer’ shocked the MMA world with all three judges scoring it 48-47 in his favour.
Despite Currie’s loss, his opponent still believes he will go on to achieve big things in the sport.
“Of course he will [go far]. I’m 11-7 now, and I’ve lost to the best of the best. He’s a lot better than his previous two fights, he’s trained hard, and you can see he’s with the right people, so he’ll go far,” Stanton said.
Indeed, Currie will be back as although his performance at Cage Warriors 151 was not what he had hoped, he is still one of British MMA’s best prospects.
An exciting, back and forth title fight was a fitting end to a sensational night of fights at the BT Sport studio, in which saw seven finishes in ten fights.
None were quicker than Sam Kelly’s 11-second knockout of Pav Sahota. The Mancunian Kelly had brought the loudest set of fans, who had probably been planning on chanting “Manchester la la la” at the top of their lungs for a bit longer than they did.
Shawn Marcos Claudina Da Silva also produced a highlight-worthy performance. The German danced his way to the cage and danced his way around his opponent, throwing several spinning strikes and flying knees.
The Planter Eater Gym fighter said his secret was “being loose and being yourself, and if you do that, then you can perform the best.”
Moving away from the knockouts, there were some stunning submission victories on the night.
None more so than Ander Sanchez’s ‘Heel Hook’ victory over Ryan Hewitt.
We rarely see Heel Hooks in Mixed Martial Arts, because it is near impossible to stop your opponent from striking you whilst attempting to produce a lot of torque on the opponent’s foot. However, Sanchez moved into position with such speed that Hewitt could not prevent the submission.