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Winner vs Mohammed at the Rough House

16/06/2008

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Who is the UK’s Top Lightweight? It’s been a debate that has been raging on MMA forums for some weeks and on July 12th the answer could be revealed as the Team Rough House fighter Andre Winner (9-2-0) goes head-to-head with the former Cage Rage British Champion Abdul Mohammed (14-6-2) at Cage Warriors: Enter The Rough House 7.

Andre Winner returns to Cage Warriors after losing a razor thin decision to the talented French Shooto Japan veteran Bendy Casimir at Enter The Rough House 6 in April. A team mate of Paul “Semtex” Daley, Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy and Jim Wallhead; Winner has been working his way through the UK Lightweight scene since turning pro in July 2006 at FX 3 Fight Night 3.

Winner started brightly with five straight wins (four of which were inside the distance) which included impressive showings against Paul Cooper, Sami Berik and the highly rated Jeff Lawson. However he came unstuck at Enter The Rough House 2 where he was trapped in a Guillotine choke by the underrated Northern Irish star Greg Loughran, which left the Leicester based fighter in shock.

He bounced back in style at FX3: Fight Night 5 as he captured the FX3 Lightweight World Title with a convincing victory over Loughran’s team mate Aiden Marron. Winner controlled the bout and subdued the Irishman’s takedown attempts and peppered him with strikes to score a clear victory. He repeated this tactic at Enter The Rough House 3 and 4 scoring victories over the rugged Welsh brawler Daniel Thomas and the previously unbeaten Tsunami Gym member AJ Wenn. With the latter fight exploding into life after Winner landed a superb flying knee midway through round 2.

He then faced international opposition at FX3: Fight Night 6 when he took on the Shooto Japan and KOTC veteran Mario Stapel. Yet again Winner was able to punish the German from the outside with his lightening quick strikes and dominated in the clinch. Although he was unable to finish the veteran grappler, he was able to take another unanimous decision victory after 3 rounds.

2008 has been a frustrating year for Winner, as despite getting increased coverage from the MMA Media, he suffered from his bout being cancelled in the USA in March and in April at Enter The Rough House 7 dropped a decision to Bendy Casimir despite a tremendous third round comeback with saw Winner drop his normal counter attacking style in order to chase the French grappler and despite nearly stopping Casimir with some ground and pound as time expired, the Frenchman was able to hang on and claim the win.

Now Winner returns and aims to show his dominance in the domestic ranks against another tough and experienced veteran of the European MMA scene in what should be an explosive striker vs. Grappler bout. As the Leicester based fighter takes on the former Cage Warriors Welterweight Champion Abdul Mohammed, who makes his first appearance in the CWFC since his controversial 5 round draw against Paul Daley in December 2004.

Mohammed first sprung to the attention of UK MMA observers back in 2003 and made his pro debut at Cage Warriors 5 where he overpowered the UK MMA legend Andy Cooper to win by decision. Mohammed followed that up by winning 3 of his next 4 bouts which included wins over former CWFC Welterweight Champion Adrian Degorski at Pride and Glory 1 and a spectacular KO of Paul Jenkins at Cage Warriors 6 in April 2004, where the former Afghan wrestler landed a savage ground strike which won him the vacant CWFC Welterweight Title.

Although Mohammed suffered from a mix of bad results due to cuts and circumstance which included an unfortunate defeat by the journeyman Sami Berik at Cage Rage 9 via cuts. Mohammed managed to end the losing run in December 2004 with a decision win against Phi Macall at House of Pain. However Mohammed was drawn into more controversy the following week when he defended his CWFC Welterweight Title against Paul “Semtex” Daley in a bout marred by controversy inside and outside the cage as a very tactical battle ended in a 5 round draw much to the dismay of many.

However 2005 was very much a banner year for the powerful wrestler as he racked up five straight wins which included three TKO victories over Jess Liaduin, Sami Berik and Alex Sandro before he twice defeated Cage Warriors Lightweight Champion Alexandre “Xandinho” Izidro by decision at Cage Rage 13 and FX3 Battle of Britain. He then took an extended break before defeating the Brazilian Jean Silva by decision at Cage Rage 17 before being outclassed at the following show by the top 10 world ranked Lightweight star Vitor “Shoalin” Ribeiro.

After another lay off Mohammed came back and defeated UFC veteran Ross Pointon with a stunning spinning back fist at Cage Rage 21 before claiming the Ultimate Force Welterweight Title by defeating Jason Ball by decision in 2007. Although his cuts problem came back to haunt him against the now UFC bound Frenchman David Baron he soon showed his dominance at domestic level by defeating the Cage Rage Featherweight Champion Robbie Olivier at Cage Rage 24.

Controversy dogged Mohammed again after being defeated by Pride veteran Luciano Azevedo at Cage Gladiators 7 in April and then found himself stripped of his Cage Rage British Title last month after Cage Rage revealed their new policy to strip their Champion if they lose on rival shows.

This controversial edict sparked furious debate in the UK MMA community and will no doubt be a driving factor when Mohammed faces Winner on July 12th. Mohammed will also be looking to get back into UFC contention after rumours circulated earlier in the year that he was UFC bound. As a result he has signed for the prestigious Wolfslair Academy, home of the UFC TUF 3 season winner Michael Bisping, UFC Welterweight star Paul Kelly and a host of top BJJ and MMA talent.

So who will be crowned the unofficial number 1 UK lightweight? as these two UK stars battle it out inside the CWFC cage to claim the glory in one of Britain’s most competitive divisions. One thing is for sure Nottingham will be the only place to see two of the UK’s top Lightweight fighters go head-to-head and although there may be a “paper” champion crowned elsewhere both Winner and Mohammed will be looking to show why they are really number 1 in the domestic scene.

This show also features the return of the ProElite contracted star Paul “Semtex” Daley as he takes on the unbeaten Slovenian Champion Bojan “Zelva” Kosednar. Whilst it also sees two mouthwatering Welterweight clashes between Matt Thorpe and the unbeaten Norwegian starlet Simeon Thoresen, and ‘Judo’ Jimmy Wallhead squares off against the BJJ Black Belt Fabricio Nascimento and much much more.

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