UFC and Bellator veteran Paul Daley made a successful return to Cage Warriors Fighting Championship on Saturday night, scoring a first-round technical knockout over Lukasz Chlewicki in the CWFC 57 main event.
Though the Polish talent landed several solid counter punches during his brief encounter with Daley (Pictured, file photo) at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, it was “Semtex” who delivered the serious damage in the opening frame by grabbing a Thai plum and working Chlewicki over with knees and elbows. Battered and bloodied as the round came to a close, Chlewicki saw his night ended by the cageside physician, who advised referee Marc Goddard to stop the contest due to a laceration.
“We knew he was a scrappy, tough fighter, and some of the stuff we were trying to do would be difficult,” said Daley during his post-fight interview. “I knew if I could get him into the clinch I could bring my elbows and knees into the fire, and it worked out from there.”
The evening’s co-main event featured once-beaten English prospect Danny Roberts, who snatched a third-round submission from 12-fight pro Henry Fadipe in a back-and-forth 180-pound affair. Though Roberts took the initiative early on with kicks to the legs and body, Fadipe fired back with powerful strikes and forced the Brit to put the fight on the floor.
Fadipe’s mat skills were on full display, however, as the Irishman attempted a pair of kneebars and an arm-triangle choke off his back. In the second frame, “Herculeez” opened a nasty cut over Roberts’ eye, though the leaking wound only seemed to motivate the prospect to increase his work rate. The final round saw Roberts take total control of the bout, slamming his man to the canvas before taking his back and sinking in a fight-ending rear-naked choke.
Bantamweight talent Ronnie Mann wasted little time in putting away 36-year-old Spaniard Jose Luis Zapater, cracking the 27-fight pro with crisp jabs and straights virtually at will in the bout’s opening minutes. Midway through the frame, the ex-Bellator talent caught his foe with a well-timed knee to the face and pounced for the finish, taking Zapater to the ground and pounding away with punches and elbows to force the stoppage at 3:19.
“I just thought I’d come out and be aggressive,” said Mann. “I wanted to prove I can finish fights in the first round if need be. I was willing to go wherever [the fight] went, but it just happened to stay on the feet.”
Also on the evening’s main card, Frenchman Norman Paraisy took home a unanimous decision over Leeroy Barnes, despite receiving several stern warnings from the referee for rule infringements. The seesaw middleweight affair proceeded predictably, with Paraisy trying to time takedowns as Barnes attempted to shuck them off and strike. While Barnes appeared to connect a tad cleaner in the standup, he ultimately could not stay off his back in any of three rounds. In the end, Paraisy’s top control secured him the victory via scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
English welterweight Ali Arish extended his current winning streak to nine fights in his main-card confrontation with Jack Mason, taking a unanimous verdict from his countryman after 15 hard-fought minutes. Arish made his game plan known in the early going, dumping Mason to the mat in an effort to negate his foe’s standup attack. Though Mason found his range in the second frame by working a stiff double jab, it was Arish who looked fresher in the final frame, as the man from Manchester walked through Mason’s punches to land clean shots of his own en route to a unanimous judges’ verdict.
Earlier in the evening, Chris Fishgold kicked off the event’s main card with a second-round technical knockout over fellow featherweight Marcin Wrzosek, taking his opponent’s back and continually flattening him out while delivering a steady stream of ground-and-pound. Just prior, three undercard bouts streamed live on Facebook, with Matt Inman, Saul Rogers and Steven Dinsdale besting Mohsen Bahari, Jason Cooledge and Dan Rushworth, respectively.