Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) DVD Reviews

Cage Rage 16: Critical Condition DVD Review

Held on April 22, 2006 at the Wembley Conference Centre in England, Cage Rage 16 brought together fighters from around the world to compete in MMA combat…the UK way!

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Cert: 15

Length: 188 mins

That’s right, after a hiatus due to personal problems everyone’s favourite wrestling 101 MMA DVD reviewer (after Russ) has returned! The first review will be from my favourite MMA promotion: Cage Rage.

Held on April 22, 2006 at the Wembley Conference Centre in England, Cage Rage 16 brought together fighters from around the world to compete in MMA combat…the UK way!

Fight Card

  • Anderson Silva vs. Tony Fryklund
  • Dave Menne vs. Alex Reid
  • Paul Daley vs. Dave Strasser
  • Amar Suloev vs. James Nicholl
  • Jorge ‘Macaco’ Patino vs. Curtis Stout
  • Brad Pickett vs. Hiroyuki Abe
  • Robert Berry vs. Gary Rawlings
  • Mark Epstein vs. Ryan Robinson
  • Edson ‘Drago’ vs. Tengiz Tedoradze

The Fights

First up on the card is knockout expert Edson Drago against Tenzig Tedoradze in a heavyweight fight. UK fighter Tedoradze had a nice simple plan ‘I take him to the ground and smash him in the face’… that’s a game plan! Shame it didn’t work. Drago set a Cage Rage record with a 5-second knockout after landing a perfect left to the jaw of Tedoradze. **

Mark ‘The Beast’ Epstein faced Ryan Robinson next in a match for the vacant Cage Rage British Light Heavyweight Championship. Robinson takes an early advantage with a partially blocked single leg takedown before swinging around to take the side mount position. Robinson lands a lot of nice strikes to Epstein’s head before The Beast manages to reverse and take the mount. The striker surprises everyone by attempting a side choke on Robinson, who is only saved by the bell.

Round two opens with both men exchanging blows before trying for a clinch. Epstein again defends a takedown attempt before controlling the entire round from the top, but for the second round in a row, the fight ended while Robinson was trapped in a submission move (in this round a kimura).

Round three is again entirely contested on the floor. Epstein gets a nasty cut on the bridge of his nose in a period where Robinson has the advantage, but a sudden reversal a minute from the end manages to scrape back enough points for the judges to award The Beast the win by majority decision. **

Brad ‘One Punch’ Pickett (still looking like a yokel) is up next to face the slightly taller Hiroyuki Abe in a featherweight division fight. Round one is contested mostly stood up with both men landing some nice shots to the other, Abe’s left hooks landing often but with nowhere near enough power to worry the granite jawed Pickett. When the fight is taken to the ground the British fighter is slightly outclassed but still manages to escape a few submission attempts, including a near fight-ending armbar.

Rounds two and three were more of the same with Pickett easily controlling the action, a nice series of high knees and punches nearly knocked Abe’s light out. The judges gave this fight to Pickett via unanimous decision. **

Jorge ‘Macao’ Patino vs. Curtis ‘Bang Em Out’ Stout has the potential to be a short and incredibly violent bout. Both men can throw hard hands, but Patino has the definite advantage on the floor. Stout is shown almost immediately as a one-dimensional fighter; his (admittedly fantastic) stand-up game is just unable to cope with Patino’s takedown and BJJ skills.

In the second round Stout NEARLY manages to get the win after escaping from the ground and slamming Macaco to the floor with impressive force….but then he dives straight into the guard of the Brazilian fighter. Eventually, the win goes to Macaco after an unsurprising judge’s decision, Curtis Stout was MORE than exposed as a one-trick fighter. A bit of a dud fight in all honesty. *

Making his Cage Rage debut next is Romanian Amar Suloev against ’Gentleman’ James E Nicholl. The first round isn’t a fight…it’s a clinic of brutality! Suloev beats Nicholl around the cage, cutting him open and leaving him a bloody mess. And yet James E Nicholl still manages to summon the strength to fight back, both men showing as credits to their teams. ****

Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley vs. Dave Strasser is the next fight on the card. Semtex, while annoying as hell in backstage pre-fight interviews, is a favourite of mine in the Welterweight division and so I went into this fight expecting a damned entertaining show. The first round is controlled by Daley with a barrage of knees and hard hands, even when Strasser manages to take ‘Semtex’ to the ground nothing comes of it.

The first punch of round two rocks Strasser badly and from then on in the result is barely even contested, the American unable to counter anything from Daley as well as absorbing several nasty kicks to the left calf. For some reason Daley is unable to finish Strasser off, which to me shows a serious lack in part of his fight game given how unbelievably dominant Paul Daley was. **

Hopefully Dave Menne and Alex Reid will be able to pull this card from the humdrum into something above forgettable. Should Reid manage to get the win over the former UFC Champion Menne it would be a huge boost for his career, however, at this point, I just don’t believe that Alex Reid has the ability to pull this off yet. Round one starts with Menne launching a hard kick to the stomach of Alex Reid before being taken to the floor and into the worst ground fight I have ever seen. Bar none. Not even in a school playground.

Eventually (it felt like several hours) it went to the judges to score, and they unanimously scored in favour of Dave Menne….hardly a surprise. So much for my high hopes. *

The cards main event pitted the never disappointing Anderson Silva against Tony Fryklund As soon as this started it was obvious that Silva far outclassed his opponent, and oh boy did the crowd know it! A beautiful back elbow, that’s right in MMA someone used a back elbow, knocked Fryklund down and out of the fight within the first few minutes of the fight. No doubt about it, Anderson Silva is one of the best in the world at his weight class. ****

Bonus Features

Pre-fight interviews with the fighters. Nothing more, nothing less.


Well….this was an instantly forgettable card if it wasn’t for the 5 second KO. This is for collectors only. **