Results: Cage Warriors 71
Jack Hermansson (9-2) has some power, and the Cage Warriors middleweight champion can clearly deliver it from some odd positions.
In his first title defense, the 26-year-old Swede scored a first-round TKO victory over Bulgaria’s Deyan Topalski (11-3) in the headliner of Cage Warriors 71, which took place at King Hussein Boxing Arena in Amman, Jordan.
After some early exchanges, Hermansson caught a kick, forced the fight to the mat and immediately tried to work his way to Topalski’s back. He struggled to get the needed space while pushed up against the cage, but after some punches and elbows, he locked on a body triangle and delivered some stinging punches from behind.
As the strikes mounted, the ref warned Topalski to fight back or defend himself. Despite having back mount and being restricted while in a seated position, Hermansson somehow delivered some remarkable torque that resulted in some vicious blows.
The punches, which landed clean to the head and face, ultimately forced the referee’s intervention at the 4:09 mark of the opening round. It marked Hermansson’s fourth straight victory and his eighth stoppage in nine career wins.
It wasn’t always pretty, nor was it much of a crowd-pleaser, but Martin Svensson (14-5) earned a hard-fought win over Dave Hill (12-4) in the night’s co-headliner.
The fight, which might have determined Cage Warriors’ next featherweight title challenger, wasn’t exactly a barnburner. Instead, it was a grueling but strategic battle that often played out on the mat as both fighters jockeyed for position and looked for submissions.
After two closely contested rounds, both fighters headed back to their corners while shaking their heads in obvious frustration and disappointment. Perhaps not surprisingly, they both came out in the final frame ready strike and appeared light on their feet. However, Svensson forced a takedown, and the remainder of the fight played out on the ground.
Svensson briefly got some dominant positions and was actively searching for submissions, and Hill was unable to get off his back and was forced to dodge a late rear-naked choke. He survived, but the round belonged to Svensson and helped him wrap up the victory. In the end, Svensson earned the unanimous-decision victory via 30-27 scores across the board.
Jack Mason‘s record sixteenth Cage Warriors appearance proved to be a disappointing one. Swedish welterweight Jonatan Westin (7-2) scored one of his biggest wins yet, though he was aided by an injury to Mason (28-14), who winced and grunted before the ref halted the action at the 1:33 mark of the opening round. The official result was a TKO via injury.
In a 140-pound women’s catchweight bout, Pannie Kianzad (6-0) overcame a poor first round to take control of the bout and ultimately pound out Megan van Houtum (1-2) in the third round. The final ground and pound forced a stoppage at the 2:17 mark of the final frame.
In featherweight action, Arnold Allen (8-1) put on a dominant performance against Gaetano Pirrello (8-3-1), who battered for much of the three-round fight. Arnold eventually the took unanimous decision via lopsided 30-26, 30-26 and 30-25 scores.
In the main-card opener, Lina Akhtar Lansberg (3-1) unloaded a first-round assault that left fellow bantamweight Laura Howarth (2-1) unable to answer the bell for the second round, which resulted in a first-round TKO due to retirement.
Jack Hermansson def. Deyan Topalski via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:09 – to retain middleweight title
Martin Svensson def. Dave Hill via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jonatan Westin def. Jack Mason via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 1:33
Pannie Kianzad def. Megan van Houtum via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:17
Arnold Allen def. Gaetano Pirello via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)
Lina Akhtar Lansberg def. Laura Howarth via TKO (retirement) – Round 1, 5:00
Jarrah Al-Silawi def. Ant Davies via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:22
Nawras Abzakh def. Coner Hignett via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Photo: Dolly Clew | Cage Warriors
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Cage Warriors 72: Review
Event: Cage Warriors 72
Venue: Newport Centre, Newport, Wales
Cage Warriors 71: Review
Event: Cage Warriors 71
Venue: King Hussein Boxing Arena, Amman, Jordan