With a drastically reduced MMA schedule over the next few months expected, Bloody Elbow’s European MMA writer, Scott Lagdon, is diving down into the archives to highlight some of the wildest, weirdest and most fun fights from the continent that MMA fans may have missed out on. Whether it’s looking at the early careers of fighters who would go on to become international stars, or some hidden fight of the year candidates BE will have fans covered!
With a wealth of long-running promotions across Europe regularly putting on highly entertaining contests over the years, there’s tons to choose from. So, let us know if there’s anything that deserves a little extra attention.
Fight (with records at the time): Jack Grant (12-4) v Perry Goodwin (7-4) - Lightweight
Event: Cage Warriors 88 in Liverpool, England
Date: October 28th 2017
Over the years, the Echo Arena in Liverpool has been a regular and important stop-off for Cage Warriors due to the fact that many of the promotion’s biggest stars resided from the city. At Cage Warriors 88, fans in attendance were mostly there to watch Chris Fishgold, Lee Chadwick and Molly McCann compete on the main card but an exciting preliminary bout was arguably the most entertaining on the show. Jack Grant was making his promotional debut having finished all of his twelve professional wins inside the distance whereas Perry Goodwin was riding a four-fight winning streak with all of those bouts being ended by TKO.
Grant pushed forwards right from the start but Goodwin almost immediately landed a two-punch combination. Goodwin moved in but Grant countered with a solid counter right hand. The biggest strike of the fight up to that point was landed by Grant as he fired off an overhand right after Goodwin caught him with a leg kick. Grant looked for a throw to take Goodwin down to the mat but couldn’t quite execute it successfully.
When the pair were back on their feet, Goodwin threw a right hand before Grant landed a body kick, thus demonstrating the aggression both men were showing. Grant attempted a question mark kick but Goodwin continued to return with more right hands. A few moments later, Grant took Goodwin down and got his back. He briefly established the reverse crucifix position but Goodwin quickly transitioned out. Grant then rolled for a kneebar before his opponent escaped and both men returned to their feet.
Grant threw a front kick which hurt Goodwin and he retreated, so Grant rushed in with a flying knee. Shortly thereafter, Grant fired off some knees in the clinch and a couple landed directly to Goodwin’s head. He collapsed to the floor and the referee immediately dived in to stop the fight. Grant was successful in his Cage Warriors debut and picked up another finish to add to his record.
“I didn’t really know an awful lot about Goodwin back then,” discussed Grant. “However, I knew he had tidy stand up which was predominantly boxing based and I was excited to fight on a great platform to showcase my own skills. I don’t really suffer with nerves that much but I remember feeling nervous for that bout.”
“A few of the early exchanges gave me a lot of confidence, those nerves slowly disappeared and I managed to time him leaning on an overhand right with a front kick,” continued Grant. “I believe that was actually the end of the fight because he was badly winded. In the gym, I land that shot a lot and in this case, I finished with some heavy knees before he had the chance to recover. That was an important match for my career and I have massive respect for Goodwin. I really enjoy seeing him succeed these days.”
After this contest, Grant picked up two more victories over Mehdi Dakaev and Aleksi Mantykivi which earned him a shot at the vacant Cage Warriors lightweight title. He was unsuccessful in claiming the belt as he suffered his first defeat in the promotion to Jai Herbert by a third round TKO. Grant hasn’t competed since then but he is excited to return to the cage soon and fight the biggest names in the organisation’s lightweight division. He still believes that he’ll hold the title in the near future.
Goodwin got back into the win column about a year after the Grant loss when he put on a stunning performance to knock out Alexander Jacobsen, which was a big upset. Following a submission loss to Rhys McKee in another exciting bout, Goodwin decided to drop down to the featherweight division and he has won his two fights since that move. The most recent of those victories came against previous top contender, Steve Aimable, which has inserted Goodwin into the featherweight title conversation.