Disqualifications come in waves, and Cage Warriors Fighting Championship is the latest organization to see one in a title fight.
In the CW 121 main event, Agy Sardari (14-2) notched his first title defense at the expense of Donovan Desmae (14-7) in a razor-close lightweight affair. Sardari and Desmae put on a striking battle for all five rounds, with each showcasing impressive boxing and kickboxing as they went back and forth. For most of the bout, Desmae held the center of the cage and advanced with kicks and punches. The champ waited for the right moment to strike, and he did often, scoring with punches and low kicks to irritate “Vegas.” The first 15 minutes saw very few grappling exchanges, and they separated sooner than later whenever they tied up against the fence.
“The Wolverine” took control of the fight in the championship rounds. Sardari’s kicks left their marks on Desmae, and as the champion continued to land at will, Desmae began to tire. Mixing up his offense in the final round, Sardari scored a takedown in the fifth, where he held his opponent down for a while. Ultimately, judge Ben Cartlidge and Jon Hand scored 48-47 for Sardari, while judge David Lethaby saw a 48-47 score for Desmae to give the champ a split decision victory.
The co-main event featured a championship clash for the bantamweight strap as Jack Cartwright (10-0) put his belt on the line against Sylwester Miller (9-4). From the very beginning of the fight, the unbeaten Cartwright struggled while Miller engaged him with effective strikes and relentless wrestling. The Englishman attempted to prevent Miller’s takedowns but ended up with his back on the mat every time the Polish fighter attempted one. Miller showed that same intensity when attacking his opponent on the ground, even going so far as to land a couple of headbutts at the same time.
While he was clearly winning the fight to that point, Miller could not control himself and landed more headbutts. In the third round, referee Rich Mitchell took a point from the Polish fighter, warning him that another infraction would cost him the fight. A few seconds later, Miller did it again, and Mitchell showed him mercy with one more point deduction instead of something harsher. In the fourth stanza, Miller could not resist, and connected with another headbutt. The referee had no choice but to disqualify the challenger, with the official stoppage time coming at 2:16 of Round 4. While Cartwright scored his third title defense and kept his record unblemished, today’s battle showed that the 135-pound kingpin may not be unbeatable.
Earlier on the main card, Matthew Bonner (9-6-1) smashed former middleweight champion James Webb (8-3-1) with punches with only five seconds left in the second frame.
In the first semifinal of the four-man welterweight tournament, Jack Grant (17-6) submitted Madars Bertholds-Fleminas (7-3) with to a slick anaconda choke that forced “The Latvian Express” to tap at the 2:31 mark in Round 2. A few minutes earlier, Ian Garry (6-0) annihilated Ultimate Fighting Championship vet Rostem Akman (6-3) with a perfectly landed head kick that left the Swedish fighter unconscious at 2:28 into the second round. Grant and Garry will collide for the 170-pound championship in the tournament finals later this year.
Elsewhere, Josh Reed (11-5) mauled Bryan Creighton (11-9) with punches before dropping him with a final knee at 3:59 mark of the opening stanza; Omeil Brown (1-0) started the night with a vicious standing guillotine choke of Joshua Onwordi (2-2, 1 NC) in their welterweight tilt, eliciting the tap at 4:26 of the opening period.
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