Jack Mason (left) made it a happy Easter with a dominant win at CWFC 41. | David Lethaby/Sherdog.com
LONDON -- It was a happy Easter for Jack Mason, who outpointed Allan Love in the middleweight main event of Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 41 at the HMV Forum on Sunday.
The fight played out mainly on the feet, with the fighters throwing tit-for-tat shots from range. Mason put forth the strongest offense of the fight, dropping his Scottish opponent with an overhand right late in the first round. That, combined with the fact that Mason’s punches appeared the weightier of the two, earned him a unanimous nod with scores of 29-28 and 30-28, twice.
“The heat was incredible,” Mason explained after the bout. “The canvas was so hot, the skin has come off the soles of my feet. It definitely affected my performance. I deserved the win. Allan is highly ranked, so this should give me a boost.”
Female standout Aisling Daly was a strong favorite heading into her 125-pound co-main event, but someone forgot to tell Germany’s Sheila Gaff. “Ais the Bash” clinched up early, but couldn’t manage to get her trademark takedown. Gaff stayed upright, found some distance and unloaded increasingly malicious strikes, eventually collapsing Daly with knees and punches at 1:34 of the opening frame.
“Aisling is my toughest fight yet,” Gaff enthused after the fight. “I knew she would try to get me to the floor, so I trained for it every day. Now, I want to fight for Strikeforce. It’s always been my dream and this proves I am ready.”
Welterweights John Quinn and Warren Kee fought to a unanimous draw after three rounds. Quinn’s submission attempts pocketed him the first round, while Kee’s knees in the clinch clearly had him up in the second until he was penalized one point for fence-grabbing. The Englishman Kee kept up the pressure in the third round to force 28-28 scorecards across the board and remain unbeaten.
Ian Entwistle started brightly, but was under the cosh after Brad Wheeler landed blows to the back of Entwistle’s head four minutes into their lightweight tilt. Referee Marc Goddard first deducted a point and later disqualified Wheeler when Entwistle was unable to continue. Entwistle, a controversial character on UK MMA Internet forums, was flipped the bird by sections of the crowd as he was helped from the cage.
Total Dojo representative Linton Vassell stayed on top for three rounds against Dane Simon Carlsen. Vassell did little damage over 15 minutes, but his control was enough for a clean sweep on the judges’ cards, which read 30-27 and 30-26, twice.
Ali Arish’s lack of head movement cost him dearly in his middleweight showdown with the Joachim Hansen-trained Jack Hermansson. The Manchester-based wrestler Arish ate a left-right combination from the Team Hellboy fighter which sent him reeling. Hermansson sealed the deal with a shin to the skull, knocking his man out and handing Arish the first loss of his 12-fight career.
Croatian Patrick Peresa came out with his hands down and clowned in front of Team Titan featherweight Ashleigh Grimshaw. The “Ash Cream Man” responded with a huge, fight-ending overhand right that floored the showman 98 seconds into the first.
On the undercard, another Naseem Hamed wannabe had a fat more fruitful night. SBG Ireland’s Artem Lobov was drafted as a late replacement against highly touted English featherweight Dave Hill. Lobov preened and posed, but neat footwork kept him out of harm’s way and allowed him to score with some awkward, winging punches.
The second round was contested on the floor -- Hill’s territory -- but Lobov more than held his own. In the final round, it was Lobov trying for a kimura while the submission prodigy floundered. The judges all went for the underdog, submitting scores of 30-26, 30-27 and 28-27 to confirm one of the biggest UK MMA upsets in many a moon.