I had the pleasure of shooting Warrior Fight Series again this weekend. This was Harry Shoebridges third outing on his own and the first at a London venue, the iconic York Hall, home to many boxing events over the years. I’d not shot here before so was interested in finding out how it would work. It turned out that the venue is perfectly suited, being around the right size for the crowd. I know that Harry had eighteen fights on the card the week before but that dropped down to nine on the night due to pull outs. We were all a it worried about this, but at the end of the night the number was perfect for the time alotted, those who pulled out really missed out on a great night of fighting at Warrior Fight Series.
Being non-combatant I often find it hard to write about the technicalities of the bouts themselves and have to more focus on how I felt during the night however there were a couple fo standouts for me. Kes Mamba and Brad Wheeler had a great tussle and althoght grappling isnt the most compelling from a photographic point just watching these guys on the groud was superb. There was a period where the advantage slipped from one to the other fighter as theyt rolled together, each trying to tie up the other with armbars and leg locks. This was a total pleasure to watch. I bumped into both of them at the end of the night having a good chat and laugh about the technicalities of the bout. It was great to see the respect for each other.
Lloyd Clarkson and Darren Stewart went at it from the off, at one point Lloyd stood smiling as Darren punished him with elbows against the cage. I’ve seen Lloyd fight a couple of times and he is one tough cookie, took a hell of a beating and still fought back.
As the photographer I like to at least try to stay neutral, but Nathan ‘Bag and Tag’ Jones was on the card, he’s someone who has always played by the rules with me and has given me his time in the past, he’s a nice guy so I have to admit that I was rooting for him. Nathan didn’t disappoint either with a submitting Matt Robinson via rear naked choke in the first. Unfortunatly David Swan the ref was stood right in fornt of me so I didn’t get the tap on camera, but these things happen. This is Nathan’s third belt and will hopefully signal a resurgence and return to the BAMMA stable for a step up.
The main event of the evening was the highly anticipated return to the cage of Jake ‘Brutal’ Bostwick after almost a year out since his outing at Cage Warriors 69 in London last May. His opponent was the exceptionally tough Frenchman Patrick Vallee. The fight went back and forth between the two for the full three rounds. Patrick dropped Jake twice, the second time was right in front of me and I’m pretty sure Jake didnt know what was happening when he hit the canvass, however his instinct and training kicked in and despite being on his back gathered himself and mounted a great comeback and recovery.
The fight went the distance and went to the judges decision two judges scoring two rounds to one and another scoring all three to the winner…. Jake Bostwick. This was a very contentions result and one that many have talkeed about over the last few days.
Decide fore yourself and watch the full bout:
I really enjoyed the evening, It was great to catch up with some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while, as well as those who I had only just seen in last week. The officials, photographers, cage crew, filming team and commentators are like a little family!
All in all Warrior Fight Series #3 was a great evening, superb production, a great setting and crowd and I look forward to the next event from Harry Shoebridge.