Cage Warriors 64: Report & Results!
Monday, 17 February 2014 | Carl
James Pennington may have had the right idea against Cory Tait (pictured) early in their Cage Warriors 64 main event. But Tait had other plans. He fought through Pennington’s early takedown, then managed to latch on to his neck midway through the fight. That was all Tait needed for a guillotine-choke win that seemed to have Pennington in shock.
Cage Warriors 64 took place at The Forum in London and was the promotion’s first card of 2014. The main card streamed on MMAjunkie following prelims on Cage Warriors’ Facebook page.
Pennington landed a takedown quickly in the first and went to work with Tait up against the fence. Tait got back to his feet, though, and staved off an armbar attempt before the two clinched back up on the feet.
Tait landed a couple of good knees there, and then, right in front of his corner, after a short stalemate, he went after a guillotine choke. It didn’t look at the start like it was more than a tight headlock. But Tait got his grip under the chin, then started to torque back. Pennington had no choice but to tap.
The end came at the 2:35 mark of the first round and was one of just three finishes in nine fights that streamed on MMAjunkie and Facebook.
Tait (8-2) stretched his winning streak to four and now has won six of his past seven fights. Pennington (9-2) had a three-fight winning streak snapped and lost for the first time under the Cage Warriors banner.
Jake Bostwick and Boubacar Balde made a major case for “Fight of the Night,” eventually engaging in a bloodbath of a slugfest after slow early going. It was Bostwick who was cut open the deepest, but he still took home a trio of 30-27 scores to stay on a roll.
Bostwick got in Balde’s face right away, pushing him to the fence. He landed a few big punches after a takedown before going back to control along the fence in the clinch, and that was the story of the round – two powerful strikers tied up and only throwing short shots.
Bostwick landed a solid slam in the second and went to work on top of Balde from half-guard. Bostwick popped up to full mount with three minutes to work. He had to pop to side control, where he seemed to have more striking opportunities. He didn’t do much there, but he jumped back to mount once again and began to work ground-and-pound. But Balde nicely survived and escaped and landed some crazy shots that opened Bostwick up in a major way.
The two came out slugging in the third, and Bostwick clipped Balde, dropping the Frenchman to his knees. But it was Balde who recovered quickly and put Bostwick on his back – with his cut again opened up and starting to gush. Balde wanted a takedown, but Bostwick held him off and eventually reversed position on the fence. The two traded again with a flurry, with Bostwick hoping to land the home-run finish. A Bostwick takedown with two minutes left had him right into mount, and he dropped punches and elbows as the blood continued to pour out of his forehead onto Balde.
Bostwick (14-8) won for the seventh straight time and 11th time in 12 fights after a 3-7 start to his career. Balde (9-8), making his Cage Warriors debut, suffered his third straight loss and fourth in five fights.
Danny Roberts never thought better about playing in the guard of Juan Manuel Suarez, and somehow he managed to make it work out. Roberts survived some bad spots, but was largely in control on his way to a unanimous decision.
Roberts looked for an early takedown and pressed Suarez to the fence. But Suarez stayed strong, and he eventually earned a good throw takedown to put some pressure on Roberts. He looked for a kimura, but Roberts defended and when Suarez returned to his feet, Roberts threatened with upkicks. But when Suarez got through, Roberts had to give his back. Suarez threatened with a triangle choke, then an omoplata. But Roberts survived, despite a grimace on his face. Seconds later, though, Suarez took Roberts’ back and had a brief calf crusher, but couldn’t get the finish.
In the second round, Roberts landed an early takedown. But not wanting to sit in Suarez’s guard, he went back to his feet and kicked at Suarez’s legs. But Suarez again eventually kept some control until Roberts got the fight back to the ground. Roberts let him back to the feet with a minute left in the round, then got a nice takedown into side control for a strong finish to the round.
In the third, Suarez wanted Roberts to play in his guard. When he did, he found himself in precarious positions. He was better with the ground-and-pound, but Suarez continued to threaten with submissions. Suarez kept after it till the end, and with 40 seconds left he had an armbar, but Roberts slammed out of it.
Roberts (10-1) won for the fourth straight time and stayed perfect under the Cage Warriors banner at 5-0. Suarez (13-6) lost for the third straight time and now has setbacks in six of his past seven.
Nad Narimani was relentless chasing after a finish of Benjamin Brander, and in the process he earned Cage Warriors’ first finish bonus of 2014 under a newly instated rewards policy.
Narimani worked well on the ground in the first round, but Brander defended by giving his back and controlling Narimani’s hands. Midway through, Narimani dumped Brander back down and worked short ground-and-pound. With about a minute left, Narimani took Brander’s back and went to work on a rear-naked choke. It looked as if Brander might survive with Narimani tight on the fence. But Narimani stayed after it, and in the waning seconds, after briefly having mount, he adjusted his grip to get the finish with the RNC with just seven seconds left in the first round.
Narimani (7-1) won for the second straight time after a submission win at Cage Warriors 60 this past October. Brander (6-1), fighting for Cage Warriors for the first time, suffered the first loss of his pro career.
Laura Howarth’s gameplan was crystal clear from the outset. She worked to take Amanda Kelly down. When she had that accomplished, she kept Kelly’s offense at bay. And when she couldn’t, working for it mostly kept Kelly at bay, as well.
The first two rounds were largely Howarth thanks to her takedowns and control. In the third, Kelly tried to open up her striking game, but Howarth shut that down early by clinching her up again. It looked as if Howarth was tiring midway in the third, and Kelly did her best to go after a finish with knees and elbows that opened Howarth up. But they all were too little, too late.
Howarth (2-0) stayed perfect in her young MMA career after a win at Cage Warriors 62 in December. Kelly (1-1), after winning her debut at Cage Warriors 60, suffers her first pro loss.
Matt Inman made things look relatively easy against Gregor Weibel to open up the main card.
Inman controlled the standup game in the first round, and late in the frame he sat back for an ankle lock, then a heel hook. He was close, but couldn’t get the finish. Still, it was a decisive round for him. The second was more of the same. Weibel worked hard for a takedown and got one, but when he tried to take Inman’s back, he was reversed, and that kept Inman in charge. In the third, Weibel landed an early takedown, but Inman again reversed him and stayed dominant.
Inman (13-5) won for the fourth straight time, all for Cage Warriors. Weibel (8-2), making his promotional debut, had a three-fight streak snapped.
In preliminary-card action, David Howell opened up Brad Wheeler, who bled all over the canvas. But Wheeler persevered, locked in a body triangle and had Howell in all kinds of trouble for the second half of the first round. When it looked as if Howell was going to survived Wheeler’s rear-naked choke attempts, late in the first round, Wheeler transitioned to an arm-triangle choke and forced the tap with just 14 seconds left in the first. Wheeler (12-9) has won two straight and improves to 6-3 under the Cage Warriors banner. Howell (5-5) now has dropped for of his past five fights.
Spencer Hewitt (11-7) snapped a four-fight skid with a dominant unanimous decision win over Cameron Else (2-2). And to open up the prelims stream, welterweights Charlie Watts (5-1) and Andy Kerr (4-4) battled back and forth for 15 minutes with Watts taking a unanimous decision.
Cory Tait def. James Pennington via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:35
Brad Wheeler def. David Howell via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:46