Sheffield Octagon Centre, 18th December
Tengiz Express gets halted in his tracks by skilful Monson
Tengiz Tedoradze (GEO) (Champion) vs. Jeff Monson (USA)
CWFC Heavyweight Title Match
CageWarriors 9 Xtreme Xmas - American submission wrestling champion Jeff Monson made light work of Tengiz Tedoradze in what many expected to be a hard fought bout. Finding himself victim of a trademark huge Tengiz-style suplex, the Florida based grappler suffered no damage and calmly reversed the two time Greco-Roman wrestling champ and choked him to submission at 3.51 of the first round.
Tengiz suplexing Monson
Showing great technique, he put Tengiz in a position where no-one in the UK scene had ever seen him. Tengiz seemed not to know what a guard was, but Monson passed it with ease and took a brief mount. Exposing his back, Tengiz gave Monson an early Xmas present in the shape of a rear naked choke
Monson setting up the RNC
The American Top Team member Monson suffered badly with jibes from the partisan home crowd, but stated his intentions to return to defend his new crown of Heavyweight Champion of CageWarriors. Signing off his victory speech with the statement “Fuck George Bush” he earned himself kudos not only by dismantling Tengiz with such ease, but with his respectful and modest attitude to his fellow competitor.
Winner: Monson by Submission (RNC) 3.51 Rd 1
Controversy shadows fight of night as Daley suffers doubtful draw
Abdul Mohammed (AFG) (Champion) vs. Paul “Semtex” Daley (UK)
CWFC Welterweight Title Match
A questionable judges decision left challenger Paul Daley and his supporters unsatisfied in the only blemish upon the evening’s proceedings.
A classic striker vs. wrestler match, each fighter had a clear strategy- Daley wanted to stay on his feet and pick apart his foe, whereas Mohammed clearly preferred to use his formidable wrestling skills and be in control on the mat.
The first round saw excellent footwork and striking from Daley as he repeatedly avoided the takedowns of Mohammed, but a throw near the fence midway through round one badly twisted Daley’s knee under him. While he carried on regardless, his game clearly suffered as his mobility was reduced to attacking in flurries in mostly straight lines. Becoming more vulnerable to the takedowns and consistent GnP of Mohammed, he was put on his back repeatedly throughout the latter half of the first and the majority of the second.
Round three was uneventful, with both fighters stalking each other but refusing to engage with any commitment. The fourth and fifth were different stories and Daley changed tactics by bringing out an until-now unused leg kick to good effect.
It proved to be a clever strategy for Daley, as the tiring Mohammed lacked the reflexes to counter the kicks with a takedown, and suffered a large number of stinging shots to both the inside and outside of his thigh.
Daley firing a leg kick at Abdul
Managing to get the slippery Daley back to the mat a few times in the latter half of the fight and even securing a brief mount, it seemed fairly even at the final bell, but looking at my unofficial tally Daley had edged it by one point.
The judges had it one for Abdul, one for Daley and one even, making the decision a draw. Abdul seemed relieved but somewhat uncomfortable- Daley looked plain pissed off.
Mohamed and Daley as the draw is announced
The belt remains in the hands of Abdul, and cries of rematch are being heard already. Daley is unconcerned and already looking onward and upward, preferring to take the moral victory in this case. Manager and trainer Ian Freeman has said he would prefer to start taking Abdul abroad to face international competition. If he does and the CW WW belt becomes vacant, there is a strong indication as to who could pick up the vacant title.
Mohammed and Daley draw after 5 rounds.
Calvacanti scores the win in dying seconds of the third
Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante (BRA) vs. Cengiz Dana (TUR)
International Lightweight Superfight
With both fighters set to face other opponents, pullouts led to this last minute bout being put on. A Brazilian fighting out of the ATT met a Turk fighting out of Germany, but this multicultural match-up left the Sheffield fans somewhat cold due to its grappling bias.
Cengiz Dana firing a leg kick at “JZ”
Coming out with the obvious strategy of keeping the fight on the floor Cavalcante repeatedly shot in on Dana, but his submission attempts were repeatedly nullified and his striking none-too-effective.
Cengiz and “JZ” exchanging kicks
The pattern of takedown-stalling-minimum amount of work-restart continued throughout the fight till it got to the point where people were leaving for the bar. Those who felt it an opportune moment to refill their pint-pots missed out on Cavalcante finally finding his finish with a guillotine choke with only five seconds to spare in the final round.
Winner: Cavalcante by Submission (Guillotine Choke) 3.55 Rd 3
Mongoose wins battle of the middleweights
Ian “Mongoose” Jones vs. Michael Hobbs
Anyone following the MW scene as of late will have heard great things about both these guys- Jones is a local boy who trains with welterweight legend Andy Cooper in MMA, and Hobbs is a street fighter turned athlete coming out of the North East and cornered by the equally legendary Geoff Oughton.
Jones got a wake up call from a Hobbs straight away, catching a big right hook on his chin, but managed to limit further damage by controlling a clinch and landing several knees to the body. A trip from Hobbs put Jones on his back, and Hobbs began dropping very accurate and big power shots from inside Jones guard.
Jones looking to strike down on Hobbs
To his credit, Jones didn’t seem fazed, and calmly defended both a heelhook and triangle submission from the versatile Hobbs before deftly catching a guillotine in the scramble. Jones fans went wild and their cries of “Goose!” rang out loud and long.
Winner: Jones by Submission (Guillotine) 3.10 Rd 1.
Soares gets shut down by strong Niinimaki
Tom Niinimaki (FIN) vs. Andres Soares (BRA)
International Featherweight Superfight
Another Brazilian representing the American Top Team, Soares was tipped to be an exciting grappler who had unorthodox attacks. Indeed he did, but they had little affect upon the impassive Finn Niinimaki, who brushed off many of Soares takedowns and totally nullified his ground attacks.
Tom Niinimaki (standing) kicking “Gigetto” (on the floor)
Literally throwing Soares around the cage, he manhandled him with his superior wrestling skills and used noticeable size advantage well. Even the desperate leg lock attacks and little seen X-guard had no effect on the member of Team Scandinavia.
Dominating the ground game Niinimaki continually pounded Soares throughout the fight. While the brave little Brazilian kept attacking over and over, he would have had more success running into a brick wall, for Niinimaki was relentless and unyielding. A decision could only go one way, and did.
Winner: Niinimaki by Unanimous Decision
Owen scratches wins over Fernandez in sluggish snoozefest
Alex Owen (UK) vs. Frederic Fernandez (FRA)
International Featherweight Superfight
BJJ brown belt Fernandez and notable UK grappler Owen met in what turned out to be the only really bad fight of the night.
Neither man had any striking skills of worth, and the only excitement came when Owen seemed to have a triangle locked in tight for practically the whole of round one.
Alex Owen keeping Fernandez away with a kick
The inactivity that passed while he vainly tried to finish the submission was nothing in comparison to the following two rounds, which were two of the most uneventful I have ever seen in UK MMA. Owen would fall to his rear if so much as touched with a jab, and for a BJJ brown belt and Judo black belt, Fernandez seemed to have no idea how to counter takedowns.
Winner: Owen by Unanimous Decision
Hardly a sweat broken for Hardy in shortest fight of the night
Aaron Barrow vs. Dan Hardy
Handy Dan Hardy has just come back from a lengthy trip to stay with the American Top Team- if it was expected that he win with some newly acquired funky submission from those master grapplers, then it was an incorrect supposition.
Dan Hardy looking to finish the fight
Using probably the greatest yet most unusual set-up for a KO shot I have ever seen, Hardy dropped his hands to taunt Barrow, telling him to bring it on. Barrow responded, but as his guard came down Hardy used his longs legs to wrap a foot around the side of Barrows skull that sent the Washington powerhouse crashing to the mat. Following it up with a barrage of punches, Hardy was dragged off and declared the winner in no less than 13 seconds.
Winner: Hardy by TKO (Punches) 13 secs Rd 1
The huge cage, the blaring sound system, an exhibition Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu match and the tailor made venue all contributed to an entertaining event that only just pulled itself back from the brink of failure.
With only days and hours to spare the card seemed to be falling apart around them, but the CageWarriors staff performed admirably and some hasty reorganisation saw a 7-fight bill that while not quite as explosive as the original planned roster of fighters, was solid and well rounded.
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