Fighting for the first time inside a cage, Frenchman Gael Grimaud used a superior ground game to topple “Ice Viking” Arni Isaksson and claim the vacant Cage Warriors Fighting Championship welterweight title last Thursday in Amman, Jordan.
The main event of CWFC “Fight Night 2” at the Al-Hussein Youth City Boxing Arena saw Grimaud and Isaksson vie for the belt previously held by current UFC signee Pascal Krauss. The pair went back and forth in a topsy-turvy opening round with both men finding back-mount and hunting for submission attempts, but it was the second half of the frame -- when Grimaud secured a body-triangle and fired off hard punches -- which forecasted the ending.
Two minutes into the second period, Grimaud reversed an inside trip attempt from Isaksson and leapt into full mount. As the Icelander tried to roll free, Grimaud cinched up another rear-mounted triangle to bomb away with punches and particularly damaging elbows. When it became clear that Isaksson had no escape, referee Mark Goddard stepped in to halt the contest at the 4:14 point.
“I’m very, very proud and honored to be the Cage Warriors champion, especially in my first fight in the cage,” Grimaud said through a translator after the win. “I saw some of Arni’s previous fights and saw that he’s a very tough guy, good with his hands. I wanted to take him down and work with my ability on the ground.”
The victory moved Grimaud to a perfect 5-0 in 2011, all but one of those wins coming via knockout or submission. The Haute Tension product stated that he plans to fight again in November and expressed a desire to defend his newly won gold shortly thereafter.
Norwegian middleweight Jack Hermansson weathered an early knockdown and a gushing cut from England’s Mike Ling to keep his perfect record intact. Having stained his opponent with blood from top position for the middle part of the first round, a fading Hermansson opted to stand up and lob bombs at Ling, with a straight right hand finding its way through for a knockdown. Ling spent 30 seconds trying to regain his wits and fend off the pouncing “Joker,” but eventually had his lights turned out by Hermansson with vicious punches from above at the 3:30 mark.
“We had some brawling,” an elated Hermansson said after the scrap. “I felt my body was tired, so I couldn’t think. What I usually do when I can’t think is just hit, and that’s what I did.”
Ireland’s Aisling Daly made the most of an extremely short-notice opportunity, besting Coloradoan Angela Hayes in the first women’s bout ever to take place on Jordanian soil. Having agreed to replace the injured Sheila Gaff less than two days prior, Daly wasted no time in charging the karateka Hayes with punches before leaping to guard and peeling off a textbook armbar after only 20 seconds. It was the second consecutive submission win for “Ais the Bash,” having also tapped Bellator talent Jessica Eye in June.
Wild-maned Englishman James “Scraps” Saville spoiled the professional debut of former NCAA Division II All-American Zac Stratton with a 46-second triangle choke, after which Saville used blood from his own nose to draw a peace sign on his chest. In other results of note, England’s Danny Mitchell and Ireland’s Cathal Pendred fought to a draw in their three-round welterweight tilt; Conor McGregor notched his ninth win and ninth knockout with a first-round mauling of Aaron Jahnsen; and Mervyn Mulholland submitted Jordan-based Russian Amir Gerandokov with an armbar at 2:30 of round one.
For the second time in three fights, Shunichi Shimizu deviated from his grappling-based attack and used a devastating left high kick to flatten his opponent on Sunday. This time, the 2010 Sengoku Asia bantamweight grand prix finalist crushed Yoshitaka Abe at 2:18 of their Zst 29 encounter inside Tokyo’s Shinjuku Face, sending Shimizu through to the second round of Zst’s featherweight title tournament. Another Sengoku vet, 21-year-old Tetsuya Yamada, opened up a cut on the eye of Masayuki Hamagishi to force a medical stoppage 21 seconds into round two, while Zst mainstay Masayuki Okude rebounded from his May loss to Shimizu with a first-round armbarring of Isao Kamiya.
Brazilian welterweight Romario Manoel da Silva (a.k.a. “Junior Killer”) outpointed fellow heavy-hitter Jaime Jara in the main event of Shark Fights 19 on Saturday, taking a clean sweep with scores of 30-27 across the board. Other winners at the Independence Events Center in Independence, Mo., included UFC veteran Rob Kimmons (53-second guillotine choke submission of Chuck Parmelee) and featherweight Brian Davidson (three-round unanimous decision over Vincent Eazelle).
Less than a month after his 18th birthday, Sergio Pettis made his professional MMA debut Saturday on the undercard of Canadian Fighting Championship 7 at the Winnipeg Convention Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The 135-pound younger brother of former WEC lightweight titlist Anthony Pettis put forth a strong showing against winless Canadian Kyle Vivian, forcing referee Jerin Valel into action after a head kick knockdown at the 1:46 mark.
Team Nogueira middleweight Thiago Goncalves did not disappoint his hometown fans in the main event of Friday’s Coliseu Extreme Fight. Fighting in Maceio, Alagoas, Brazil, for the first time in his seven-year career, Goncalves mixed varied strikes with well-timed takedowns to earn a unanimous decision over Peruvian Daniel Aspe after three rounds. In a pair of welterweight tilts, 23-year-old Cassiano “Tytschyo” de Freitas upped his record to 22-9 with a second-round guillotining of IFL vet Delson Heleno, and unknown Rodrigo Taigra upset Nova Uniao fighter Amilcar Alves in a four-round snoozer.
In the longest fight of his young career, unbeaten Floridian Raul Amaya needed 33 seconds of the fourth round to render Jesse Lawrence unconscious with a guillotine choke and take the vacant Art of Fighting welterweight title. Headlining his first event -- AOF 13 at the Germain Arena in Estero, Fla. -- the 25-year-old Amaya moved to 9-0 with six submissions and three knockouts.
J.J. Ambrose, a onetime prospect on “The Ultimate Fighter 12” and now wrestling coach at Tiger Muay Thai, recorded his sixth straight finish at Saturday’s Rites of Passage 11 “Onra” in West Beach, Saipan. Ambrose stopped local Robert Palacios with punches after 1:59, while the evening’s featherweight title bout saw Shane Alvarez edge out Derrick Rangamar in a five-round battle.
Five months after suffering his first defeat since 2005, Team Sityodtong’s Greg Rebello got back in the win column Friday with a second-round doctor stoppage of Cody Lightfoot in the 205-pound headliner of Classic Entertainment and Sport’s “Road to Glory” in Lincoln, R.I. On the undercard, Pawtucket-based “Hulk” Todd Chattelle halted Elias Rivera with punches in just 62 seconds, while Massachusetts welterweight James Boran improved to 6-0 with a TKO of Eric Henry at 2:05 of round one.
At Friday’s Rage in the Cage 154 in Chandler, Ariz., middleweight Steve Steinbeiss took 83 seconds to submit Rudy Aguilar with a rear-naked choke. Steinbeiss, who was bounced from the UFC in August 2010 after a pair of losses, has now stopped four straight opponents, three inside the opening round.
Former King of the Cage lightweight champ Tony Hervey continued on his comeback trail Saturday in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, emerging victorious in the headliner of Freedom Fight’s “For Honor and Pride” at Sudbury Community Arena. The Detroit “Lionheart” punched out Calgary’s Brad Cardinal at 3:45 of the third round, earning the Freedom Fight lightweight strap and stringing together his first back-to-back wins since 2009.
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