Results: Cage Warriors 60
It was another odd single-night tournament for Cage Warriors Fighting Championship, but that’s what makes such things always interesting.
With the lightweight title vacated by Conor McGregor’s move to the UFC earlier this year, Cage Warriors 60 in London on Saturday crowned a new 155-pound champion when Stevie Ray submitted Sean Carter in the first round of the finals of a four-man, single-night tournament.
Carter stepped in to fight Ray in the main event after semi-final winner Ivan Buchinger couldn’t fight a second time due to an injury. So Carter was elevated from his win in a tournament reserve bout.
Carter took the center of the cage early, but Ray let loose with a kick to the body. The two tied up 30 seconds in. Some big shots from Ray created a solid mouse under Carter’s left eye, and Ray tried to go to work on it from up top on the ground.
Ray moved to side control nicely, and then dropped a big elbow down. Carter got back to half-guard, but Ray stayed active and got to full mount with 90 seconds left. Ray just overpowered him from there and landed big left hands, then big right hands. Carter tried to recover to defend himself, but Ray took his back and locked up a body triangle. Then with just 25 seconds left in the round, he locked up a rear-naked choke and cinched it in. Carter had to tap with 20 seconds left in the first.
“It was really hard, because I had the possibility of doing eight rounds tonight,” Ray said after getting his new belt strapped around his waist. “Do you pace yourself for the first fight so you have energy for the second one? It doesn’t matter who I was getting. I was preparing for this moment for nine weeks. I was going to kill myself to get this belt.”
Ray (14-4) went 2-0 on the card and now has won five of his past six fights. Just a decision loss to UFC vet Curt Warburton earlier this year for BAMMA stands between him and a 6-0 mark over that stretch. Carter (7-1) lost for the first time in his pro career.
In the co-main event, fans in London still may be trying to figure out just what happened with heavy favorite Bola Omoyele, who was stopped early in the second round by Aaron Wilkinson.
Omoyele pumped his jab early, but Wilkinson shot for a takedown. Omoyele, an American Top Team product, nicely shrugged him off, though. Ninety seconds in, Omoyele got the fight to the ground and forced Wilkinson to scramble away from ground-and-pound, then choke attempts.
Wilkinson got back to his feet midway through the frame, then swung wildly and missed. Waiting back, Omoyele landed a pair of big punches, but moments later, Wilkinson landed some heavy hands of his own before looking for a takedown of his own. Wilkinson did good work on the ground, and when the round ended, Omoyele looked exhausted in his corner.
There was some confusion before the second round started, as referee Marc Goddard twice asked if Omoyele could continue and urged his cornermen to leave the cage. Eventually, Omoyele made it known he would still fight, but Wilkinson certainly saw something was amiss and knew to try to take advantage.
Wilkinson came forward quickly, and when the fight hit the ground he sank in an easy choke. Omoyele fended it off, but it wasn’t long before Wilkinson started teeing off on him. Omoyele was given several warnings from Goddard to improve his position, and he never did.
Wilkinson (11-6), a one-fight UFC veteran, got back in the win column after a loss at Cage Warriors 50 this past December. Omoyele (7-2) had his six-fight win streak – all stoppages – snapped with the loss. The main card was filled with stoppages beyond Wilkinson’s shocker in the co-main event.
To open the main card, Arnold Allen (5-0) used a Superman punch to set up a takedown and tried to go to work on the ground. Declan Williams (8-7-3) was able to turn things around late in the round, but probably too little, too late. In the second, Allen went after a kimura, but Williams survived it on his back. He had to eat some elbows afterward, though. Allen went after a guillotine late in the frame, then adjusted and got a triangle choke near the end of the frame that forced Williams to tap.
Amanda Kelly (1-0) and Hannah Stephens (2-2) swung early, but it was Kelly who put on a striking clinic. The fight briefly had to be stopped for Kelly to be warned for 12-to-6 elbows. But late in the round, she landed a giant right knee to the head that quickly floored Stephens for the stoppage.
Spencer Hewitt (10-6) looked to be doing well early, but on a takedown, Bryan Creighton (5-1) reversed things and locked in a guillotine choke, all in one roll. It was an impressive and sudden turnaround for the Liverpudlian, who got the tap at the 2:48 mark of the first.
Leeroy Barnes (12-12) landed a good combination early, but Kacper Karski (5-1) had some nice knees in response. With the fight on the ground, he went after a guillotine and didn’t let up on it. He had to transition several times with the choke close, using several grips. When Barnes got back to his feet, he maintained his grip, and then dragged things back to the ground to get the finish with a D’Arce choke just 95 seconds into the fight.
In the lightweight tournament semifinals, Ivan Buchiger (24-4) was in all kinds of trouble against Mick Sinclair (12-4) early in their fight. Kicks from Sinclair forced Buchinger to tie him up. Sinclair got double underhooks and dragged Buchinger to the ground. He landed an elbow, and when Buchinger got back up, he landed another takedown. A final takedown late in the round may have been most important as it appeared to injure Buchinger near his right ribs.
Sinclair didn’t help matters for Buchinger in the second by picking him up and slamming him again. But 90 seconds in, Buchinger reversed things and managed to throw Sinclair to the ground. In side control, Buchinger locked onto Sinclair’s right arm and shoulder and with an arm triangle choke also available, he torqued and forced the Brit to tap from the armbar.
But despite the win, it was revealed later that Buchinger would not be able to compete in the finals due to the injury. Instead, Sean Carter, who submitted Richard Griffin (5-10) in a tournament reserve bout, moved up to meet Steven Ray in the finals.
Three minutes into the second semifinal fight, Ray got a good single-leg takedown against Jason Ball (20-13), and then took Ball’s back. With plenty of time left, Ball had to focus in on choke defense. But throughout the two rounds (there was a third “overtime” round set up in case of a tie on the scorecards), Ray dominated to take a 20-18 sweep into the final.
Stevie Ray def. Sean Carter via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 4:40 - lightweight tourney final
Aaron Wilkinson def. Bola Omoyele via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 1:08
Kacper Karski def. Leeroy Barnes via submission (D’Arce choke) - Round 1, 1:35
Bryan Creighton def. Spencer Hewitt via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 1, 2:48
Amanda Kelly def. Hannah Stephens via KO (knee) - Round 1, 3:40
Arnold Allen def. Declan Williams via submission (triangle choke) - Round 2, 4:50
Nad Narimani def. Athinodoros Michailidis via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 3:42
Stevie Ray def. Jason Ball via unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18) - lightweight tourney opening round
Ivan Buchinger def. Mick Sinclair via submission (Americana) - Round 2, 1;59 - lightweight tourney opening round
Aaron Blackwell def. Kris Edwards via split decision
Sean Carter def. Richard Griffin via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 2, 4:38 - lightweight tourney reserve bout
Charlie Watts def. Ben Constantine via split decision
Cameron Else def. Paddy Pimblett via submission (D’Arce choke) - Round 1, 0:35
Photo: Dolly Clew | Cage Warriors
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