Siwy Wins FX3 Light Heavyweight Title

By Karl Maple Jun 14, 2009
LONDON -- The Freestyle Fighting Federation ended a nine-month period of inactivity Saturday, as “Rough Justice” came to legendary London fight venue York Hall.

Boasting a card deformed by cancellation and injury, only one of the two intended title fights took place.

In a contest for the vacant FX3 light heavyweight championship, Polish prospect Greg Siwy (3-0) faced off against late replacement Frank Vatan (1-1).

Siwy began the bout as the aggressor, quickly commanding the center of the cage and forcing his opponent to skirt against the perimeter. Unfortunately for Vatan, the constrictive 24-foot FX3 cage doesn’t lend itself to evasion, and Siwy quickly delivered a powerful right that the Frenchman did well to survive.

The pair then traded knees from the clinch before separating and returning to their original positions of hunter and hunted. Vatan, a judo specialist, was successful with a pair of takedowns. He lacked the strength to consolidate them, though, allowing the powerful Pole to stand each time.

The tale of the first round was told in the posture of the two fighters at the break. Siwy paced menacingly, eyes fixed upon his opponent. Meanwhile Vatan, visibly tired, was bent double with his stomach inflating frantically, desperate for air.

The second round would not last long. Siwy raced toward Vatan, tying him up against his corner and manufacturing a takedown into side control. After several unanswered elbows and hammerfists, the referee mercifully intervened and Siwy was announced the new champion.

Earlier in the evening, much vaunted Polish heavyweight Damian Grabowski (9-0) made his FX3 debut against another late replacement, Kiril Handzhiyski . The enormous Grabowski dominated from the outset, quickly securing a rear-naked choke on the plucky Bulgarian, who was forced to tap after just 1:27 in round one.

Grabowski now moves to 10-0 and must surely have an eye intently cast stateside.

An air of inevitability surrounded the bout between one-time Pride competitor Jean Silva and British fight favorite Sami Berik. Silva, a BJJ expert who has secured 10 of his 15 victories via submission, appeared to be perfectly suited to Berik, who has suffered 21 of his 28 defeats the same way.

After a frantic opening exchange involving attempted flying knees and spinning back-fists, Silva methodically dissected Berik on the ground, transitioning virtually uncontested from mount to an armbar after just 2:21.

Elsewhere on the card, London Shootfighter newcomer Michael Johnson earned a somewhat fortuitous victory against Jacob Lewis Williams after a tussle ended with Williams landing awkwardly and dislocating his elbow after 1:33 of the first round. There would be further first-round success for London Shootfighter products Giorgio Andrews and Jack Toczydlowski via TKO and submission respectively.

In a night of quick stoppages, the longest conflict of the night took place among the plastic, unfixed chairs of the crowd. In a scene becoming all too familiar in British MMA, proceedings were halted for 15 minutes until order was restored.

It would only prove a minor blip, however, and FX3 can feel pleased with their long-awaited return.

MMA Results

Greg Siwy def. Frank Vatan -- Stoppage (Strikes) 1:37 R2
Giorgio Andrews def. Mark Handley -- TKO (Strikes) 1:34 R1
Damian Grabowski def. Kiril Handzhiyski -- Submission (RNC) 1:27 R1
Michael Johnson def. Jacob Lewis Williams -- TKO (Injury) 1:33 R1
Jean Silva def. Sami Berik -- Submission (Armbar) 2:21 R1
Ben Smith def. Steve Day -- TKO (Strikes) 2:56 R1
Ryan White def. Earl Brown -- Stoppage (Cuts) 2:29 R1

Jack Toczydlowski def. Arunas Klicius -- Submission (Keylock) 1:57 R1

UK-1 (Kickboxing) Results

Adam Grew def. Marius Buzinskas -- TKO (Kick) 1:17 R2
Glen Reid def. Dave Rintall -- Stoppage (Cuts) 0:54 R2

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