Nad Narimani Upsets Prospect Paddy Pimblett, Captures Featherweight Crown at CWFC 82

By Tristen Critchfield Apr 1, 2017
Nad Narimani wasn’t about to be another footnote in Paddy Pimblett’s rise to stardom.

Fighting in Pimblett’s hometown of Liverpool, Narimani stymied the 22-year-old prospect at every turn, winning a unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 50-45) in the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 82 headliner at the Echo Arena on Saturday. In addition to claiming featherweight gold, Narimani halted Pimblett’s nine-bout winning streak.

“The guy is tough. I’ve got to take my hat off to him. He’s 22 years old. When I was 21 years old I wasn’t doing this s—t,” the 29-year-old Narimani said.

“I’m not here to get famous. I’m here to fight the best people and prove that I’m the best. I think I did that tonight.”

Narimani (10-2) kept the pressure on Pimblett (13-2) throughout the 25-minute affair. While he didn’t land in great volume, Narimani’s superior power was evident when he was able to connect with his right hand. Meanwhile, the taller Pimblett struggled to control the range with jabs and kicks.

When Pimblett attempted to shift gears and take the fight to the canvas, Narimani punished him by sprawling and landing punches to the side of the head. In what was often a slow-paced bout, Narimani’s grinding style and superior physical strength proved to be the difference. Even when Pimblett was able to land a takedown, he was usually reversed by his opponent.

“I’ve worked f—-ing hard. I don’t take a day off,” Narimani said. “When you put hard work in you get results.”

In the co-main event, Nathaniel Wood secured a shot at the vacant Cage Warriors bantamweight crown with a second-round stoppage of eight-time UFC veteran Vaughan Lee. A flurry of punches near the fence brought a halt to the contest 4:22 into the second round.

Wood (10-3) had some trouble adjusting to Lee’s multi-faceted offensive arsenal in the opening period, but he turned the tide in round two when he dropped his opponent with a right hand in an early exchange. While Lee (14-13-1) quickly returned to his feet, it was Wood who assumed the role of aggressor for the remainder of the fight. “The Prospect” appeared to hurt Lee with an elbow followed by a right hand before teeing off on his dazed opponent near the fence. A final right hand sent Lee slumping to the canvas and referee Rich Mitchell stepped in to halt the assault. After the bout, Wood confirmed that he was offered a chance to fight for the 135-pound title on June 2 in London.

Elsewhere, Lee Chadwick made short work of Tommy Quinn in a middleweight affair, winning via guillotine choke 58 seconds into the opening round of their bout. Chadwick dropped Quinn with a looping right hand to the temple, and when the Irishman attempted to shoot out of desperation, Chadwick locked in the choke.

From there, Chadwick (22-13-1) stood, tightened the hold and drove Quinn (6-4) into the fence. While Quinn initially gave referee Marc Goddard a thumbs up, he eventually succumbed to the squeeze of the powerful Liverpool native. Chadwick has won three of his last four fights, while Quinn has dropped three straight bouts.

Frantz Slioa needed some composure to keep his unbeaten record intact in a featured featherweight showdown against Dean Trueman. The Stockholm native survived a couple precarious moments early in the bout and rallied to submit his opponent with a rear-naked choke 2:53 into round one.

Slioa (5-0) shot for a takedown early in the contest, but found himself trapped in a triangle choke after slamming Trueman to the canvas. As Slioa stood, Trueman (7-4) hammered away with elbows and transitioned to an armbar. While Slioa’s arm appeared to be hyperextended on a couple occasions, the Allstars Training Center representative was able to eventually escape the predicament. From there, he transitioned to Trueman’s back, where he locked in a body triangle and gradually secured the fight-ending maneuver.

In the evening’s opening main card bout, Molly McCann took a unanimous decision over Lacey Schuckman in a flyweight affair. All three cageside judges scored the contest 29-28 in favor of McCann (5-1), who was making her Cage Warriors debut.

McCann was at her best when the action was standing. She consistently backed Schuckman (11-10) into the fence, where she landed multi-punch combinations. The England native dropped Schuckman with a counter right hand in an exchange in round one and appeared to stun the Invicta FC veteran with a series of blows near the fence in the final minute of the bout. Schuckman had her best moments on the mat, taking McCann down late in round two and assuming full mount briefly in the final stanza, but it wasn’t enough to offset McCann’s striking superiority.

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