Results: Cage Warriors 72
Toni Tauru’s (10-1-1) mix of overwhelming offensive pressure and relentless grappling was the difference-maker en route to a fourth-round submission of Cory Tait (8-3) to capture the vacant Cage Warriors bantamweight championship. It took all of Tauru’s efforts to outwork Tait over the course of the nearly 20-minute contest, which headlined Cage Warriors 72 from the Newport Centre in Newport, Wales.
Tauru, a Finnish athlete whose lone professional loss came in just his second fight, refused to give the diverse Tait much room to breathe as he made a consistent effort to keep the action in close quarters in all areas. He kept Tait against the fence when the action was on its feet and was outright suffocating on the mat during grappling exchanges.
Tait defended well up until the finish, but all it took was a single mistake for Tauru to take the back and lock up a rear-naked choke to win his first championship in a promotion of note. Following his title-winning effort, Tauru called for his first defense to go down in his home country of Finland.
“If someone wants to take it, come to Finland and come take it,” Tauru said in his post-fight interview. “I would love to have Cage Warriors in Finland.”
Wales’ own Jack Marshman (16-5) registered the signature victory of his 21-fight career and sent the crowd into a frenzy with a second-round stoppage of Che Mills (16-8) in the co-main event.
The first round saw high points from both men as they landed heavy strikes on the feet and had moments of success on the ground. It was more of the same to begin the second round, but just over a minute in Marshman connected with the strike that turned the tables in his favor.
Mills went down from a grazing right hand and Marshman put his finish skills on display from there. The 24-year-old poured on a flurry of ground-and-pound, and while Mills did his best to escape danger, Marshman was relentless in his pursuit of the knockout and continue to land blows until the referee halted the contest.
While Marshman’s victory was somewhat overshadowed by the fact he missed weight, he still believes he’s one of the top middleweights on the Cage Warriors roster and called for a title shot after the win.
Mateusz Gamrot (7-0) shined in his Cage Warriors debut with a quick first-round submission of Tim Newman (10-5) to keep his undefeated professional record intact.
Newman had plenty of support going into the cage as he was fighting in front of the fans in his home country of Wales. Unfortunately, Gamrot didn’t give Newman much time to showcase his skills in front of friends and family.
The Polish fighter put Newman in a compromising situation on the ground early and attacked with a heel hook. Newman fought off the submission for a few seconds, but ultimately he succumbed to the technique and tapped out 97 seconds into the first round.
After a rough first round where he was knocked down and nearly stopped, Lewis Long (8-3) came out reinvigorated in the second frame and scored a TKO stoppage of Steven Dinsdale (6-3).
The first round played out mostly on the feet, where Dinsdale got the better of the action by a landslide. In the second round, Long changed forward, landed a takedown and had his way from there.
He took Dinsdale’s back and worked for a submission. “The Foot” was unable to get the tap out, so instead he thumped Dinsdale with strikes and forced the referee to call an end to the bout.
Kris Edwards (8-8) suffered his fifth consecutive defeat when he dropped a unanimous decision to Jordan Desborough (8-5) in the main card opener. Edwards joined Cage Warriors in early 2012 and started his career with the organization with two wins. But since then, he has hit an unfortunate slump.
Desborough managed to control the fight with striking, clinch work against the cage and top control on the ground. Aside from a brief moment in the third round, Edwards lacked the intensity and urgency needed to break out of his losing streak. Because of that, he came out on the wrong end once again.
Cage Warriors 72 results:
Toni Tauru def. Cory Tait via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 4, 4:49 to win vacant bantamweight title
Jack Marshman def. Che Mills via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:32
Mateusz Gamrot def. Tim Newman via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 1:37
Lewis Long def. Steven Dinsdale via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:45
Jordan Desborough def. Kris Edwards via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Mario Saeed def. Azi Thomas via DQ (illegal upkick) – Round 1, 3:52
Nick Nembhard def. Simas Norkus via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Kate Jackson def. Paulina Bonkowska via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 1, 4:05
Phil Raeburn def. Damo Weeden via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:15
L.J. Adams def. Amanda Kelly via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 3:33
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