Cage Warriors put on their first show under the new ownership of 'The MMA Clinic' tonight at the HMV Forum in Kentish Town, London.
The card was a strong one for European standards with the highlights being UFC veteran Matt Veach fighting for the Cage Warriors lightweight title in the main event Kenneth Rosford - the talented Danish kickboxer. Another member of Matt Hughes' HIT Squad, Jake Hecht, also took on the Mark Weir-trained Che Mills.
See after the jump for results of 'Cage Warriors 38: Young Guns'.
Amateur Fights (1x 5 minute round)
Taherul Khan vs. Luke Macauly
Khan advances to 2-3 with a decision victory over Macauly in his amateur MMA debut. Earned a takedown before applying an armbar, but was unable to finish it, despite having the arm extended.
Max Matsuk vs. Wez Lucas
Matsuk wins by unanimous decision. Forced a takedown and established ground control.
Nick Martin vs. John Wainwright
Martin wins by decision. The round ended Wainwright in guillotine choke and was close to finsihing by submission.
Charlie Watts vs. Dan Lucas
Watts becomes to first man of the evening to force a stoppage, at 2:15 via TKO, due to ground and pound. Rudimentary win which started with a big slam and was capitalised on with quick strikes.
Oliver Battell vs. George Tidmarsh
Battell win at 1:59 after a referee stoppage due to ground and pound.
B Class Pro Fights (2x 4 minute rounds)
Cory Tate vs. John Brightwell
Tate picks up the first submission of the night with an armbar at 1:31 of the first round.
Pat Vickers vs. Andre Filas
Vickers wins by unanimous decision. Filas had a point deducted in the first round by referee Marc Goddard. It seemed harsh as it was his first offence and it seemed more as though he was holding his hands out for balance, rather than intentionally grabbing.
Regardless, FIlas went on to win a tight first round after dropping Vickers to one knee with a punch and generally landing the more effective strikes overall. 9-9.
The second round was very close, with a lot of clinching. Filas looked the more accomplished fighter throughout and the second was arguably even at 10-10, but Vickers was given the nod for some top control when the fight went to the mat. Presumably won the round 10-9 and 19-18 overall. Would likely have been a draw but for a dubious point deduction.
Featherweight (3x5 min rounds)
Danny Batten (12-5-3) vs. Ismael Padavia (4-1-0)
Danny Batten wins by unanimous decision, where the scores were not announced, but were likely 29-28 Batten. Another very close fight, which could have gone either way on the judges' scorecards.
Padavia won the first round by knocking Batten down and attempting to sink in an arm triangle. When it was blocked, he moved to side control, where he was inexcusably stood up by an experienced referee in Marc Goddard. After getting it back to the floor, he mounted Batten who, in an attempt to escape, bucked up and landed himself in an armbar. However, it was the end of the round - and a clear-cut one for Padavia.
The second round was more even, but not filled with action. Padavia, sensing his advantage, tried to get the fight to the ground, while Batten was content to stand and throw combinations of straight left and rights. Hard round to judge. Not a lot happened.
The third round was Batten's best, but far from conclusive for either man. Padavia threw an illegal kick to a grounded opponent, accidentally it seemed, but was not docked a point. Batten finished the round in eye-catching style by throwing punches in the last 30 seconds, but a reasonably close fight overall and impressive performance from Padavia, in his sixth pro fight.
Danny Batten was then announced as the winner by unanimous decisions. No individual scorecards have been read out all evening.
Featherweight (3x5 min rounds)
Adam Edwards (1-1) vs. Josh Ramage (3-1)
Edwards quickly won by first round triangle choke submission. Most entertainingly, he came out to Footloose, by Kenny Loggins, which was a refreshing change from the likes of DMX and Jay Sean who accompanied fighters to the ring earlier in the evening.
Catchweight bout set at 79.3 kg / 175 lbs
Che Mills (10-4-0-1nc) vs. Jake “Hitman” Hecht (7-1)
The archetypal 'clash of styles' with the Mark Weir-trained kickboxer taking on the Matt Hughes-trained former wrestler. Traditionally this would spell bad news for the kickboxer, especially a British one, but Che Mills showed good improvements in his game.
Full of energy, Mills showed quick footowork in the first round and was able to move in, strike effectively and get out at a diagonal angle. Hecht was the physically bigger man, but Mills was strong with his back against the cage and an elbow opened up a nasty looking, gushing cut on top of the American's head.
With the fight ready to be called off, it appeared as though Hecht was only granted a reprieve by begging the ringside doctor to let it go on. The sheer amount of blood maybe made the round look more one-sided than it was, but Mills definitely won and rocked Hecht twice with straight punches.
Hecht went back to basics in the second round, winning it comfortably, with a large part of the five minutes seeing him on top of Mills.
With the writing seemingly on the wall, as both men tired slightly, Mills found extra reserves of energy in the third and regained control. A particularly nice combination saw Hecht lose his mouthpice (perhaps deliberately so) and brought him time while official scrambled around the cage looking for it.
The delay may have saved him from being stopped, as he looked very uneasy on his feet, but Mills deservedly took the decision in a big win for an undoubted talented fighter.
After the fight, Mills announced he has signed a deal with M-1, but doesn't know when his first bout will be.
Catchweight Bout set at 67.5kg / 149 lbs
Jason “Shotgun” Young (7-3-0) vs. Sergej Grecicho (8-2-1)
Round one: Grecicho came out with no intention of striking and immediately launched for a takedown. Once there, the Sambo World Championships gold medalist attempted several leglock variations, but was unable to hold on.
Young managed to work his way out of the position and take top position, before referee Marc Goddard stood the pair up and deducted a point from the Brit - without giving an explaination. It was not clear what the reason would have been as, at the time, Young was on top and throwing elbows.
Young finished the round the stronger of the two, landing strikes on top and did enough to negate the point deduction and probably see it scored 9-9.
Round two: Another surprisingly dominant round by Young, given Grecicho went into the bout touted as one of the top featherweights in Europe. The Lithuanian twice attempted takedowns after being out-struck on the feet and ended up on his back on both occasions. Young showed excellent position awareness on the ground, against a superior grappler, and managed to avoid most dangerous. Grecicho threw up a hopeful triangle towards the end of the round, but lost it 10-9
Round three: More of the same from Young, who began to unleash more leg kicks and began to time his sprawls to block the takedowns. Grecicho grew a little desperate as the round went on and began to shoot frequently, but again, Young's positioning was strong and he landed the more effective strikes on the ground. Grecicho's flying guard pull and takedown, combined with his increased work rate from the bottom, made it a closer round - but I would give the nod to Young again.
The judges announced a unanimous decision for Jason Young, in what may be the biggest win of his career so far. After the fight, he announced his intentions to move to drop a little further in weight and be a fully-fledgwed featherweight for is next bout.
CWFC Lightweight World Title Bout (5x5 Min Rounds)
(Champion) Kenneth Rosfort-Nees (14-3-0) vs. Matt Veach (13-2-0)
Round one: Veach began by grabbing Rosfort's body, lifting him and furiously slamming him. After that however, the American was inactive on the ground and the Dane got back to his feet. Once there, neither man landed any effective strikes, before a lightning-quick shot sent Rosfort to him back again.
Referee Marc Goddard stood them after 30 seconds or so of stalling, as the rounds ended with neither man having done much. Quiet round, which was Veach's due to the takedowns.
Round two: After having his first shot stuffed, Veach took down Rosfort and attempted a kimura. The American gave up on it and was content to sit in guard. After a minute or so of stalling, Rosfort wall-walked and immediately landed a knee - knocking Veach backwards. With newfound urgency, the Dane swung aggressively - backing Veach up - before the rounds ended with the HIT Squad student taking a third takedown. Another round for the American, and another unspectacular one, although Rosfort showed more than in the first.
Round three: Rosfort starts the round coming forward aggressively throwing punches, almost asking to be taken down again, which he duly is. Veach is just about active for a couple of minutes, preventing Rosfort wall-walking, before Goddard orders another stand-up. Rosfort's problem in this fight is that he is too static in his movement on the feet and too often is simply standing in front of Veach, moving his shoulders, but not his feet. The round ends with another takedown and, at this stage, there will be a new champion crowned unless something dramatic happens.
Round four: Takedown from Veach within five seconds of the bell for the fourth round. Not attempting to pass the guard and barely landing in the way of ground and pound, Veach is comfortable because Rosfort is so motionless on his back, apart from attempted wall-walking. A stand-up ended the round, but it was another clear one for Veach.
Round five: More of the same from Veach, understandably, as he comfortably achieves a takedown. The fight is not impressing the crowd, some of whom walked out at various stages during the main event. Rosfort appears tired in the last round after nearly four solid rounds of trying to fight off his back and a further takedown, with about two minutes, put the exclamation point on the fight.
For the first time tonight the ring announcer revealed the judges' scores, all of which were 50-45 and confirmed Matt Veach as the new Cage Warriors Lightweight World Champion.
I'll be back tomorrow with a more general review of the event itself, where it succeeded and what can be improved upon.