High Fives: A Brutal Bandit, Danish Delight and Japanese Necktie

By Guy Portman Mar 11, 2019
UFC Fight Night 146 did not have a monopoly on the mixed martial arts scene during the weekend of March 8-10. One Championship “Reign of Valor” on Friday at Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar, featured a violent welterweight title fight among its emphatic finishes, and Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 103 on Saturday in Copenhagen, Denmark, played host to a thrilling clash for the promotion’s interim welterweight crown, along with a rarely seen submission.

BRUTAL BANDIT … The One Championship main event saw Sweden’s Zebaztian Kadestam defend his welterweight title for the first time against Kazakhstan’s Georgy Kichigin. From the get go, the challenger was intent on making it a grappling-heavy affair, but Kadestamn denied his advances with strong takedown defense and a patient clinch game. The champion brutalized Kichigin in the clinch against the cage with a left hand and a barrage of left elbows to the head late in the second round, and at the start of Round 3, Kichigin was unable to get off of his stool, giving Kadestam the victory by technical knockout. “The Bandit” retained his title with the 10th knockout win of his career and in doing so improved to 12-4. Michigan dipped to 20-6 in defeat.

HEAVYWEIGHT HAMMERING … Italy’s Mauro Cerilli met Cameroon’s Alain Ngalani in a heavyweight showcase at “Reign of Valor.” In the first round, Cerilli picked up and dumped Ngalani to the mat. From there, he transitioned to north-south top position on his kneeling opponent. With his weight pressed down on his hapless counterpart, Cerilli laid into him with heavy knees to the head until the referee jumped in to wave it off. The official time was 2:30 of Round One. With his first One Championship win, “The Hammer” upped his record to 13-3. Meanwhile, Ngalani fell below .500 at 4-5 with one no-contest.

A CHALLENGER EMERGES … In other One Championship action, Filipino strawweight Rene Catalan clashed with Japan’s Yoshitaka Naito. Late in the first round, Naito attempted to force a takedown against the cage but was met with a barrage of left hammerfists to the side of his head. Naito clung to his adversary’s left leg and desperately tried to drag him to the ground, to no avail. Hammerfists continued to rain, and with 28-seconds remaining in Round 1, the referee deemed the discombobulated Naito unfit to continue. In becoming the first person to stop the Japanese pugilist, the 40-year-old Catalan extended his winning streak to six fights and in the process moved to 6-2 with one no-contest. Meanwhile, “Nobita” slipped to 13-3 in defeat.

DANISH DELIGHT … Cage Warriors 103 was headlined by an interim welterweight title fight between Denmark’s own Nicolas Dalby and France’s Alex Lohore. Dalby set a fast pace, utilizing a variety of kick and punch combinations. Early in the third round, the two men were trading punches when Dalby connected with a left hook to the head and staggered the Frenchman. Three further right hands ensued before the referee waved off the contest at the 1:47 mark of Round 3. In seizing the interim welterweight strap by TKO, “Lokomotivo” rose to 17-3-1. The setback pushed Lohore to 17-4.

JAPANESE NECKTIE … The Cage Warriors Fighting Championship event also featured a featherweight encounter that pitted Mads Burnell against Bosnia’s Ahmed Vila. The fight was in its infancy when Burnell found himself in north-south position on top of his kneeling rival. From there, the Dane secured a grip around Vila’s neck and right arm. Having moved to his side, Burnell drove his hips forward and kept tightening the choke until Vila succumbed 50 seconds into Round 1. With the third Japanese necktie submission win of his career, Burnell improved to 11-3. The loss saw Vila slide to 6-2-1 with one no-contest.
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