11 February 2008
The two Southwark fighters who entered the ‘Cage Rage Contenders’ octagon on Saturday night came away disappointed after both losing their contests.
The ‘Punching Preacher of Peckham’ Jason Barrett lasted five minutes with debutant Scott Jansen before his corner threw in the towel but Bermondsey fighter Mark ‘Baby Face’ Smith had the quickest fight of the night, being subjected to a brutal nine second knock out by the enigmatic north Londoner Sami Berik.
After entering the cage to the strains of ‘Gertcha’ by Chas ‘n’ Dave, Bermondsey fighter Mark Smith (right) was never quite sure which version of his opponent would show up.
Mixed Martial Arts fans know two versions of Sami Berik – the brutal unorthodox striker and the uninterested and frequently beaten loafer. Sadly for Smith, it was the former who showed up, aggressively eyeballing him and posing on the cage before the contest even started.
After approximately six seconds of stalking, Berik launched himself at Smith, aiming a high kick straight at the Bermondsey man’s face. The Wood Green fighter’s shin seemed to make contact with Smith’s nose but speaking after the fight ‘Baby Face’ said he largely blocked that shot, it was the brutal left hook immediately afterwards that switched his lights out.
Smith was felled and lay prone, convulsing on the canvas – apparently a good sign because it showed there was still brain activity.
After ten minutes of rapid paramedic activity Smith was able to groggily regain his feet and leave the ring, arm raised to acknowledge the respect he was shown by the concerned crowd.
Speaking to the ‘News’ four days later Smith was sanguine about the loss, saying: “I got caught, it’s one of those things. I did nothing wrong and just caught on the button.
“Right now I’m sweet as a nut. I think it’s karma to be honest – I knocked a bloke out last year and now I’m getting knocked out by someone else.
“People are always talking to me about it like they’re expecting me to be bothered but I’m not!”
Walworth's 'Punching Preacher' Jason Barrett (pictured below) lost the best encounter of the night, when Scott Jansen managed to open up a nasty cut under his left eye.
From the opening bell both men were keen to stay on their feet and avoid any clinches on the deck. Barrett, who started slowly, frequently came under a barrage of punches and kicks from his Croydon opponent, but managed to fend him off and counter attacked more and more effectively as the first round progressed.
However when the bell came the well supported Jansen was clearly on top as both men returned to their corners.
Having inspected the cut Barrett's trainers decided to pull him out of the fight, much to the disappointment of the Walworth man and the crowd who were royally entertained by the closely matched fighters.
Speaking after the fight Barrett said: "At the end of the day I like to have a tear up, I could have carried on but I had a little cut under my left eye. You will here a lot more of me from now on."
Jansen acknowledged just how tough the contest was and was keen to praise his opponent. He said: "He took a lot and how he didn't drop I don't know. I stand up and that is what it is all about, you have to give Jason a lot of respect as that was the hardest fight I have had so far."
Barrett, who is a pastor at the Greater Grace Ministries based on the Aylesbury Estate, now has a record of three wins and five losses, and is likely to fight next at the Contenders nine event on April 12.
1. At 10:33 AM on 31 May 2011, Jay wrote:
Jason Barrett fights very good. Finishes his opponents very fast.
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