It was an unexpectedly short night at the office for Lewis Long.
The Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 83 headliner ended in premature fashion when Che Mills suffered a knee injury 18 seconds into the opening round of his matchup with Long. Long shot for a double leg takedown early in the contest at Newport Centre, in Newport, Wales, on Saturday, and drove his opponent to the mat. Mills began to tap out as soon as his back hit the canvas, and referee Marc Goddard quickly intervened to wave off the welterweight tilt.
Mills was eventually helped off the canvas and out of the cage. The four-time UFC veteran has now lost five of his last seven bouts, including three straight under the CWFC banner. Long, meanwhile, has won eight of his last nine fights, with each of those victories ending inside of two rounds. After the victory, Long lobbied to make his Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 113 in Glasgow this summer.
“UFC Scotland [is what I hope to have next],” Long said. “I want to get back quick and have another big fight there.”
In the co-main event, Soren Bak earned a unanimous decision triumph over Gavin Kelly in his Cage Warriors debut at lightweight. Thanks to large amounts of time spent in top position, “The True Viking” battered his way to a trio of lopsided scorecards: 30-25, 30-25 and 30-24.
Clist began each round aggressively, hunting for the knockout. However, that approach left him vulnerable to be taken down with relative ease by his opponent. Clist (9-4) was virtually helpless once Bak (8-1) achieved top position, and he spent the majority of the bout’s 15 minutes simply surviving a barrage of ground-and-pound.
Elsewhere, Josh Reed (7-0) knocked out Gavin Kelly 3:10 into the opening round of their featured bantamweight tilt. After a somewhat tentative beginning, Reed dazed his foe with a punch and swarmed with a furious follow-up salvo of blows. Reed backed Kelly up against the cage before his opponent slumped to the canvas and the bout was halted.
After the victory, Reed called for a bantamweight title shot against the winner of the Nathaniel Wood-Marko Kovacevic bout set for Cage Warriors 84 on June 2.
In earlier main card action: Giovanni Melillo (8-1) knocked out Mohsen Bahari (9-4) 2:42 into the opening stanza of their welterweight bout, while Jack Shore submitted Konmon Deh with an armbar 2:42 into the first round at featherweight.