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Cage Warriors 116: Mason Jones vs Adam Proctor

Undefeated Welshman Mason Jones (9-0) is looking to secure his second Cage Warriors belt in this blinder of a main event to cap off Cage Warriors’ trilogy of fight cards. “The Dragon” got his first taste of gold earlier this year, finishing Joe McColgan in the first round to seize the vacant Lightweight belt.

Now he’s moving up to Welterweight to have a crack at a second, but to get it, he has to get through England’s own Adam “The Love Doctor” Proctor (12-1), who is himself coming off a lengthy 7-long win streak, and who is a natural 170lb fighter. While Adam hasn’t yet had a belt around his waist, his record proves he’s not one to ignore, and could be Mason’s toughest challenge yet.

Mason Jones Background

Mason Jones, in no uncertain terms, has been on a tear. Since his pro debut in 2017, the 25 year-old has beaten every man put in front of him, with more than half of his victories being finishes of some description.

Mason Jones

In his last, title-securing bout against McColgan, The Dragon wasted no time messing about, swinging with a fury within seconds of the first round. He showed his eclectic striking chops, in part from boxing – shown as he led each combo and controlled distance with sharp, precise jabs – and also in part from Kickboxing – as his pitch-perfect spinning side-kicks hit the bullseye every time.

It’s no secret that Mason has his eyes on that coveted UFC contract. Speaking to our own Cameron in a recent interview, The Dragon made his lofty ambitions clear, declaring that he wants the most challenging fights he can get his hands on, both to improve his own ability, and prove to the world just what he’s made of.

At 9-0 with a belt to his name already, a victory over a top contender like Adam Proctor (and a second belt to show for it) wold almost certainly be the last thing Jones needs to shake Dana White’s hand. Considering this, I expect Mason to show up and put on the performance of his lifetime.

Adam Proctor Background

While he may not be undefeated, Adam “The Love Doctor” Proctor is nobody’s fool. Hailing from South Shields just under Newcastle, this English prospect hasn’t lost a bout since 2016.

Adam Proctor

After winning his first five professional bouts, he got submitted by one Aaron Khalid, and has gone on since to take out 7 guys in a row on his road to gold. Now that opportunity is right in front of him, with one hell of a mountain to climb to seize it. Just like Proctor is Mason’s biggest challenge thus far, I think Mason is similarly going to be Proctor’s biggest test.

Proctor comes off a unanimous decision victory over Grimsby’s Madars Fleminas. It’s his fourth UD in a row, but The Love Doctor’s real preference is for BJJ, something he will surely look to utilise against the strike-heavy Mason Jones.

Proctor, like many Cage Warriors fighters, is also singularly focused on gaining entry to the UFC. To do that, it’s basically a given that he needs to win a belt in his home promotion first. I can think of no more convincing victory than Mason Jones to beat for it. With both men looking to catch Dana White’s attention, this fight has everything to play for.

Mason Jones Breakdown

Mason, first and foremost, likes to throw down. After all, he’s good at it. The man was 3-0 in his pro boxing career before MMA, and has a lifetime of kickboxing training behind him. Plus it’s exciting to watch, and what a lot of fans like to see. So why not?

That said, it’s a bit trickier than that to properly nail Jones down. It doesn’t take much digging to unearth the breadth of martial arts disciplines Mason has been training since young. Alongside kickboxing and boxing, he was a national Judoka champion in his early years. And at only 25 years old he’s already a brown belt in BJJ. Mixed Martial Arts was unequivocally the best sport for such a wide array of skills.

We’ve seen these skills in action in a number of Mason’s fights. Strong clinch game, some beautiful throws, and a submission or two show that these talents are not just for show. But because of his penchant for finishes, and tendency to throw heat, I feel like there are facets of The Dragon’s skillset that we haven’t really seen yet. As much as I like some good old fashioned fisticuffs, I would love to see some more grappling in this fight so we can see just where Mason stands (sits?) on the ground.

After all, there’s no shortage of excellent grapplers in the UFC.  The reigning undefeated UFC champ of Mason’s home division of 155lbs, Mr. Nurmagomedov, is going to force it out of Mason should he climb that far. Thinking short-term, he may even need it against Proctor, considering The Love Doctor’s lethality on the mats.

Adam Proctor Breakdown

A quick look at Adam Proctor’s record shows what he’s all about. Of his twelve victories, five come by way of submission. Proctor has three rear-naked chokes and two different triangles to his name. The Love Doctor clearly likes it up close and personal.

To buttress his excellent ground game Proctor has spent a lot of time developing his offensive and defensive wrestling so that exchanges go his way. He showed this in his bout against another great grappler in Nathan Jones. A shoot from Jones was short-lived as Proctor reversed the position, shot a strong double, and sent Jones plummeting to the mats. From there, a handy blend of ground and pound and positional advances all but guaranteed access to Jones’ back. Before long, Proctor earned the third rear-naked choke of his career.

The Englishman looks comfortable enough on the feet, but welcomes any opportunity to grapple instead. His strikes seem by and large a means of creating opportunities for takedowns so he can go to work where he wants to be. His record reflects this, as all his wins outside submissions are unanimous decisions. I think we can expect to see Adam’s full grappling prowess thrown at Mason in their bout, and it will be up to the Welshman’s defence to prevent his backside hitting the canvas.

The Fight

On the feet, I think this is Mason’s match to win. The Welshman will simply have too many tricks up his sleeve from his years of kickboxing and his brief pro boxing career. His flashy kicks, creative combos and deadly elbows from the clinch are not something I think Proctor will want to have much to do with. Honestly, I struggle to see what Proctor could offer in this department other than a flash knockout. Which is always possible of course, but unlikely if you ask me.

Mason Jones, Donovan Desmae

It’s in the grappling that things get a tad more interesting. I think where this fight ends up really depends on how well Mason can defend from The Love Doctor’s speedy offensive wrestling. If Adam can ground The Dragon, I’d be extremely interested to see if he can work his magic and find The Dragon’s back or otherwise tie him up elsewhere. It’ll be no easy task, as Mason has done some great work in the clinch, shooting out short elbows and knees that could give any man something to think about.

But should he pull it off, Mason will have some work to do to get out of it. It’s worth noting too that Proctor is actually a belt below Jones in BJJ. Proctor is a purple belt while Mason is somehow already a brown belt at just 25. But belts aren’t everything, and Proctor is a specialist.

Adam’s also a natural welterweight, but curiously stands at the same height as Mason at 5’10”. Add to this the fairly similar builds of both gentlemen, and it’s unclear just how much of an advantage in strength the larger division will confer to The Love Doctor.

Prediction

Ultimately, I have to go with Mason, and I’m not just saying that because I’m Welsh (I promise). With the striking chops to his credit, and enough ground game to potentially defend whatever Proctor has to offer him, I think Mason may have another finish on his hands if he plays his cards right. We’ll soon find out, as it’s only just over a week left until Cage Warriors grace our screens once more, and I for one cannot wait.


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