were in attendance at Made 4 The Cage's Newcastle debut, and it was in the fantastic surroundings of the Rugby World Cup Fan Zone at St James' Park. Just stepping into the Fan Zone itself provided a tangible feeling of excitement, and it was apparent right away that promoter's Dale and Steve were right to grab the opportunity with both hands.
The vast marquee was a adorned with flags and kitted out with great care, making the production seem very high class. As the fans began to make their way in and the venue got fuller, the sound seemed to resonate right away and, when you're running a fight event known for vocal support, this was always going to help the atmosphere.
We've been friends with the show for some time, counting them as valued partners and one of the UK's most exciting and promising fight events. With that said, we're suckers for quality and only support the promotions that are trying to help grassroots fighters and gyms, whilst also showcasing the best the UK has to offer. It makes sense for the UK's top combat sports equipment outlet to align ourselves with the top promotions.
Made 4 The Cage 18 ticked all these boxes emphatically. From exciting first timers to top ranked athletes, the matches were on point. The top of the bill contests of Jack Marshman vs. Kyle Redfearn and Ryan Roddy vs. Chris Fishgold went down to the wire in extremely competitive and hard-fought battles.
Here are the stand-out moments of the night from FightstorePro's perspective. Feel free to agree or disagree with us, but do let us know your thoughts via FACEBOOK
Blood and guts
There were two bouts in particular that showed us heart and grit to the highest degree.
The main event between Jack Marshman and Kyle Redfearn didn't necessarily go as expected, with both men considered strikers coming into the matchup, but it did deliver in drama. After originally pulling out with a hand injury, Redfearn was brought back into the fray to face Marshman when Ryan Scope suffered an injury setback of his own.
You always know Redfearn is going to bring his all and go out swinging some heavy leather, and Marshman felt the brunt of his right in the dome. But, bloodied and bruised, the exceptionally tough Welshman showed us just how well rounded he is by avoiding the continuing onslaughts to outwrestle and outgrapple his opponent en route to a gritty majority decision win.
Norway's Edvin Eldholm lost a tough decision lost time out at M4TC, and this time he found himself in another hard three rounder. However, he was able to come out on top but a gritty performance from Paul Gregson helped it along its way to become our fight of the night.
In the end it was Eldholm's grappling that proved to be superior, but the pair engaged in some furious striking exchanges where both men ate huge shots and kept coming forward. There was no quit in Gregson as he bit down on his gum shield and kept coming back despite being in positions where many others would have quit. It was an epic encounter!
Unflinching and clinical
(Proctor winning in Revgear equipment
Fightstore Pro athlete Adam Proctor moved on to 4-0 in his professional career with a win over the incredibly tough Perry Goodwin. Goodwin is known for a powerful and aggressive attack, but the young Sixth Sense MMA fighter dealt with the threat expertly, looking composed much beyond his years.
Proctor dominated with a smooth yet punishing back control game throughout. Within 12 months it looks like he'll be mixing it up with the established ranked names in the UK's 170lbs division.
Andrew Fisher and James Saville had 21 professional fights each coming into their lightweight contest, and both men had faced some of the UK and Europe's best, as well as taken on top opposition from across the pond. Fisher's original opponent had pulled out and willing road warrior Saville stepped up to the plate.
It was an exciting fight of two contrasting boxing styles. Saville's jab was deadly accurate, bloodying the nose of Fisher and working well to keep him from getting inside. When Fisher did have the opportunity, he waded in with hard hooks to the body and head. The quality and experience of both men shone through, and it ultimately came to an end when Fisher opted to take it to the mat and forced the referee to step in due to an onslaught of punches on the ground with Saville unable to manoeuvre into an advantageous position.
Ryan Roddy vs. Chris Fishgold was rendered a majority draw, with two of the cageside officials giving scores of 29-29. The fight was another contrast of styles, with Fishgold looking to get inside and work the action against the fence, whilst Roddy was content to strike, mostly landing hard kicks and knees.
Whilst Fishgold's pressure was admirable, as was the defensive acumen of Roddy who made the takedowns almost impossible when they were jostling for position. In an extremely hard-fought, tit-for-tat battle, the fifteen minutes couldn't separate them. The Liverpool fighter came closest to ending things with a tight-looking heel hook attempt but Roddy managed to hold on until the end of the round for the reset. Fishgold praised his opponent and suggested a rematch after the fight - maybe that could work in the future.
Shows have come and gone in the North East. Once major players have faded away. Made 4 The Cage have grown and grown, and their commitment to putting on the best cards possible is a reason Fightstore will be backing them.
You can follow what's going on with Made 4 The Cage via @made4thecageuk
(Images courtesy of M4TC photographer Angy Ellis)