The Severe Spotlight: Oban Elliot

Oban Elliott

The MMA community had a rare reprieve from a UFC card this weekend, which allowed the media and wider fanbase to switch its attention to the regional promotions. KSW put on a great card with ex-strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski sending Michał Materla to his appointment with the shadow realm after a landing vicious uppercut and following with a brutal coffin nail.

Cage Warriors also served up a double header, with their CW137 and CW138 cards. 11 fights were spread across two cards – six and five fight cards are a refreshing and welcome change in comparison to a sixteen fight UFC card.

Cage Warriors 137 was topped by Matthew Bonner and Joël Kouadja. Kouadja entering the promotion looking to take a huge name in ex-champion Bonner. Bonner looked to climb his way back to the title. The Liverpool based man made it two finishes in two with a second round rear naked choke.

Cage Warriors 138’s crescendo played out as a huge upset. Both 137 and 138’s cards took place in Colchester, the hometown of one half of the headline bout; James Webb. The script had been pencilled in by the promotion for Webb to have his hand raised in his own backyard, setting up some fights with names at the top of the division. Leon Aliu decided that fairy tales would not be written in Colchester folklore as he handed Webb his second loss in two with a hellacious over hand and follow up shots on the ground. Aliu announced himself to the promotion, and the fanbase in a big way.

Nestled into the second fight of the 138 card was The Welsh Gangster. Oban Elliot began his amateur career with ten fights, ten wins and ten finishes. His professional career thus far meandered, dropping a stoppage loss to fellow prospect Mike Figlak and long-time Cage Warriors veteran Madars Fleminas in between five impressive finish wins.

The fifth win came at the behest of Lithuanian Cage Warriors debutant Herkus Lukošiūnas. Lukošiūnas is a decorated striker, with a plethora of kickboxing bouts in his background. A fantastic array of kicks mixed in with his pressure footwork and heavy hands.

Oban Elliot as we know, is designed to finish. The fight began with some exchanges on the feet. The storied kicks to the body of Lukošiūnas cracked like fireworks into the mid-section of Elliot. The Welshman was primarily forced to circle on the outside, looking to work his way into the inside space, offering his jab and a one-two well.

Elliot certainly did not look out of place on the feet, but MMA is about efficiency, and the most efficient way to win for Elliot turned out to be in the grappling realm. With 3:47 left on the clock, Elliot ran Lukošiūnas to the cage with a double leg, connecting his hands together and dumped the Lithuanians hips to the mat. Landing in a half-guard situation,

Elliot did a fantastic job of offering a dilemma. The first part of that dilemma was settling his hip weight over the lower hip of Lukošiūnas, stopping him from using his overhook as an anchor to draw his own hips back to the cage and drag himself up. The second was constantly driving weight over the posting arm of Lukošiūnas, whilst using his left arm as a block. A posting arm can only bear so much weight, and the weight of two men is often too much. With his opponents shoulders on the mat, the ground and pound onslaught began.

Elliot again utilised the head height concept to keep a tremendous amount of weight on his opponent, and moved between using his forearm as a post on the head, and slamming elbows into his man. This is a situation that forced a reaction from the man on bottom, you can either concede to a TKO loss, or you can move in any direction possible. That directional movement is often to give your back. Elliot, reading that this was the choice Lukošiūnas was making, switched momentarily to a hip grip on the far hip, slowing down the build to turtle.

In came the first hook, and the climb to the back. The second hook was not immediately available to Elliot, so he threatened the choke. The threat of the choke forced Lukošiūnas to defend with both hands, freeing the secondary arm of Elliot. From here the strikes came like boulder sized hail stones, by far the most impactful strikes of the fight, and again forcing Lukošiūnas into making a choice in a very bad dilemma. Do you take the shots and risk getting knocked out, or do you writhe and desperately try to improve your position? He chose the latter, and in doing so, removed his chin from his chest.

Elliot sunk his left arm under the chin with the sleek efficiency of a submarine warship disappearing into the ocean. Flattened his man out, and got the tap.

Elliot, has some wonderful facets to his game and uses the tools he has in his arsenal to great effect when he can get them going. The question is whether he can implement them against the upper class opponents in Cage Warriors. Who would you like to see him fight next?