Hayes clinches CWFC crown
PRIOR to Friday, heavyweight Mike “300” Hayes was considering a drop to the light heavyweight division. Now, he’s Cage Warriors Fighting Championship’s heavyweight champion.
Hayes scored a nifty third-round submission over Andreas Kraniotakes in the main event of Cage Warriors Fight Night 4, which took place at the Dubai World Trade Centre in the United Arab Emirates and aired on MMAjunkie.com.
The opening round took place at a moderate pace, with much of the frame playing out as a stalemate in the clinch against the cage. However, as the round wore on, Kraniotakes landed a crisp right hand and immediately shot in to bring a stunned Hayes to the floor. Hayes scrambled underneath to gain guard, but he finished the round on his back.
Kraniotakes continued to stalk in the second frame, but Hayes did a good job of staying away from any heavy leather and eventually brought the fight to the floor with a well-timed trip. Kraniotakes briefly threatened with an armbar, but Hayes pulled free and delivered a bit of ground and pound before the bell.
In the third, Hayes caught an early kick from Kraniotakes and pushed him on to his back. However, Hayes wasn’t able to do much with the position before Kraniotakes scrambled up to his feet. That said, Hayes immediately brought the fight back to the floor.
It was Kraniotakes who looked to threaten from his back, bucking and shifting as he looked to secure an arm. Perhaps surprisingly, it was Hayes who showed the deft jiu-jitsu from the top, setting up an inverted triangle before transitioning to a kimura, quickly earning the tap and Cage Warriors’ vacant heavyweight title.
With the win, Hayes (17-4) is now riding a five-fight win streak and is 9-1 in his past 10 fights. Kraniotakes (13-6) falls to 1-2 in his past three outings.
In the night’s co-feature, Swedish prospect Assan Njie looked impressive in a submission win over Steven Ray, dominating the action from start to finish.
Njie worked inside early, dragging the fight to the floor in rapid fashion. Njie threatened with an arm-triangle from the top but instead stepped over into mount, where he spent several minutes. Ray did a decent job of avoiding any real damage while on his back, but Njie was in complete control of the frame.
Njie gave up the position in the final minute, turning over while looking for a guillotine choke. Njie squeezed tight around the neck but could not finish before the bell sounded.
Ray came out firing punches and kicks in the second round, but Njie again brought him to the floor. Again, it was quickly into mount for “The Black Attack” before again switching over to a guillotine choke. The second was deeper than the first, and Njie earned the tap just before the halfway mark of the fight.
With the win, the Swedish prospect Njie (12-2) is now riding a five-fight win streak. Ray (9-3) sees a two-fight win streak snapped.
UFC veteran Lucio Linhares was a heavy favourite in his middleweight matchup with Kyle Baker, and while “Spartan” would eventually earn victory, it certainly didn’t come in simple fashion.
Baker did a good job in the early going of negating the reach disadvantage by working in tight and looking to throw from the clinch. Linhares tried his best to back away and create space, but Baker pressed in with big overhand shots and landed knees while in tight.
Linhares looked as if he was ready to end the fight early in the second, unleashing a barrage of punches on the feet that stunned Baker and left him covering against the cage. Baker survived the onslaught and took the fight to the floor. Linhares scrambled free and returned to the feet, and the two tiring middleweights grinded away in the standup game.
Linhares had a few shining moments in the closing minutes of the second frame, and he again had Baker covering against the cage as the bell rang.
Baker continued to move forward in the third, but Linhares was able to keep his distance and score from the outside. Both fighters were obviously fatigued, but Linhares was the more effective striker. Baker nailed a takedown in the final minute, but Linhares quickly swept his opponent and returned to the feet.
In the end, Linhares (17-7) earned a unanimous-decision win, 29-28 on all three cards, and is now 4-1 in his past five fights. Baker (10-6) has dropped two of three.
In a 125-pound female tournament bout, German prospect Sheila Gaff made quick work of Jennifer Maia, earning a devastating knockout in rapid fashion.
Gaff passed on an initial touch of gloves, deciding to instead swarm her opponent with punches and knees. While she slipped on the initial attack, she came back with a devastating attack in the pocket.
A right hand landed flush, and Maia crumpled to the floor. Gaff went to the floor to follow, but the damage had been done, and the fight was called off via knockout in just 10 seconds.
Gaff (10-4), who is now 3-0 at 125 pounds, now faces the winner of a summer semi-final bout between Aisling Daly and Rosi Sexton. Maia (5-2-1) falls to 1-2-1 in her past four fights.
In an intriguing flyweight affair, the 6-foot-1 Casey Dyer towered over the 5-foot-4 Phil Harris. However, when the action played out in the cage, it wasn’t exactly height over might.
Harris shot in for an early takedown in the opening round, but the lanky Dyer immediately brought his legs high and began to search for submissions from his back. Harris didn’t earn much damage from top, but he did defend the early submissions well and remain in a dominant position.
In the second, Harris dealt well with the length while on the feet and then looked as if he might finish the fight with a deft arm-triangle choke attempt. Dyer defended well but quickly found himself trapped in a dangerous-looking guillotine choke. The taller fighter again pulled free before the end of the round, but the best work in the round certainly came from Harris.
Dyer went willingly to his back in the third, but he would do his best damage when they returned to the feet, cutting Harris open with a few well-timed knees. Harris immediately took the fight to the floor and kept his head low to avoid detection of a serious cut. With less than a minute remaining, there was a brief break to check the wound, and while it was a nasty wound, Harris was allowed to continue.
The fight was alertly restarted with Harris on top, and he survived a desperation gogo plata attempt to take home a unanimous decision. With the win, Harris (21-9) now has a five-fight win streak. Dyer (6-3) has now dropped three-straight official contests.
In the evening’s first main-card matchup, lightweights Mansour Barnaoui and Brad Wheeler combined for an entertaining scrap, even if the action was mostly one way.
Wheeler looked dangerous early, nearly scoring a scrambling hip toss before leaping the back into an armbar attempt, but Barnaoui easily pulled free and jumped his opponent’s back.
Barnaoui was unable to finish the fight in the opening round, but he controlled from the back for almost the entirety of the round before returning to the feet and staggering Wheeler with a short straight.
In the second, Barnaoui quickly tripped Wheeler to the floor and set up on top with some vicious ground and pound. A bloodied Wheeler continued to defend capably, but he was never able to offer anything in terms of a counter-attack.
A tiring Wheeler did his best to turn the tide in the third frame, firing heavy shots on the feet, but Barnaoui again took the fight to the floor, worked immediately to the back and finally earned the tapout with 34 seconds left in the fight.
Barnaoui (7-0) remains undefeated with the win. Wheeler’s record drops to 7-7 with his second-consecutive defeat.
CWFC Fight Night 4 results:
Mike Hayes defeated Andreas Kraniotakes by submission (kimura) after 4:21 of Round 3
Assan Njie defeated Stevie Ray by submission (guillotine) after 2:29 of Round 2
Lucio Linhares defeated Kyle Baker by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sheila Gaff defeated Jennifer Maia by KO after 0:10 of Round 1
Phil Harris defeated Casey Dyer by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mansour Barnaoui defeated Brad Wheeler by submisssion (rear-naked choke) after 4:26 of Round 3
Bradley Scott defeated Mok Rahman by TKO (strikes) after 2:45 of Round 3
Cyril Asker defeated Adam Brearley by TKO (strikes) after 4:30 of Round 1
Fight of the Night - Bradley Scott v Mok Rahman
KO of the Night - Bradley Scott
Submission of the Night - Mike Hayes
Report from MMAJunkie.com
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