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Manuwa Defends Champion Title.

The Troxy Theatre in London was at capacity for the 24th Cage Rage U.K. last saturday. Thousands of fans packed into the Stepney venue to watch what had been hyped as the biggest ever U.K. MMA clash – Cage Rage: The Hands of War. The promise of something pretty special was more than met with a night packed full of Mixed Martial Arts fighting at its very best. The crowd was treated to some intense action from a selection of elite MMA fighters.

Particularly hotly anticipated was the comeback fight of Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa. British-born Manuwa was coming to the fight as reigning UCMMA Light Heavyweight Champion and with a 9 fight, 9 win unblemished professional record. However, the British MMA ace had not taken part in a professional fight since August of last year, when he successfully defended his UCMMA championship crown against Valentino Petrescu. Manuwa’s time-out had left some pundits questioning whether the fighter would still possess the same form that once earned him the offer of a contract from UFC.

Manuwa was facing fellow British fighter Nick “The Headhunter” Chapman, who, like his opponent, specialises in Boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Chapman’s professional record was also unblemished prior to his confrontation with Manuwa, though he lacked the Poster Boy’s breadth of experience. He had fought only two pro fights, winning both.

The excited crowd clearly had the  Manuwa-Chapman confrontation marked as a highlight. The masses of spectators exploded into frenzied cheering and whoops of delight when the fighters’ names were announced before the bout. As the fight commenced, it quickly became clear that reigning champion Manuwa was set to dominate his opponent, though Chapman made a spirited attempt to better his opponent. After the two minute mark was reached, Manuwa stepped up the intensity of his onslaught, landing a series of heavy blows against the challenger. To Nick Chapman’s credit, he didn’t go down, despite serious punishment at the hands of the champ. In the end, a knee to the head, caused a bleed and the ref stepped in to end the fight with a technical knock out. A convincing win from the 28-year-old saw Manuwa maintain his champion title and unblemished record. It also put pay to the doubts of the pundits, who had questioned whether the MMA ace still had what it took to deliver a first class fight. The short answer following the weekend’s proceedings is YES!

*** Photograph Courtesy of Poster-Boy.co.uk ***

Tags: Cage Rage 24, Hands of War, Jimi Manuwa, London, Mixed Martial Arts, Nick Chapman, UCMMA

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