The leading European promotion made their debut in Manchester, England and many fighters from the north of the country took advantage of the opportunity to compete in front of a partisan crowd. Of all of the promotions putting on regular shows in the continent, Cage Warriors have the most momentum currently, which is largely attributed to the talent they are producing. A near sell-out audience were in attendance and witnessed some impressive performances from fighters hoping to be future, international stars.
One of those competitors is Jack Cartwright, who continued his unbeaten run to 8-0 but couldn’t keep his 100% finishing streak alive as he defeated Manuel Bilic by unanimous decision. Bilic shot for a takedown not long after the opening horn sounded but Cartwright defended well and ended up in top position himself. However, Cartwright gave that up in order to get Bilic back to his feet so he could continue to throw strikes. When exchanging punches, Cartwright dropped Bilic with a two punch combo but the Austrian was able to survive to see out the round. The second round followed a similar pattern as Cartwright continued to allow Bilic back to his feet despite having the upper hand. A tidy left hand thrown by the champion was one of the most significant strikes in the round.
In the third round, Bilic landed a takedown but Cartwright used butterfly hooks to elevate his opponent to get back to his feet which was the biggest grappling success Bilic had in the whole fight. The pace slightly slowed in the fourth and fifth rounds as Cartwright continued to control the grappling exchanges and landed the more impactful blows on the feet. Cartwright was the clear winner and called for a spot on the upcoming UFC Dublin card because he can’t see any more challenges left in Cage Warriors.
The co-main event saw SBG Manchester’s Adam Proctor get his seventh win in a row as he outpointed Madars Fleminas, consequently handing him his first professional loss. Proctor opened the fight very measured on the feet and kicked out Fleminas’ standing leg to get him to the mat. From there, he passed to mount and landed some significant elbows to see out the first round.
Proctor’s takedowns and top game helped him sustain his lead in the final two rounds where he looked to advance position and do damage. He didn’t get the finish he was after but the performance was dominant nonetheless. The obvious next move for Proctor is to face Rhys McKee in Belfast for the vacant title so the number one welterweight in the company can be established.
In an important middleweight showdown, James Webb used his grappling superiority to see off the challenge of Mick Stanton to get straight back into the win column following the loss of his title. The Team KF fighter looked the physically much bigger competitor and he used that size to overpower Stanton in the clinch. Webb landed a number of takedowns over the three rounds, worked to mount on a couple of occasions and rained down some heavy strikes. He was always a step ahead of Stanton and has likely secured another title shot against the winner of Nathias Frederick and Andreas Michailidis, who fight for the middleweight belt in April.
Elsewhere on the main card, Adam Wilson proved he is ready to compete with higher-level competition as he submitted former bantamweight title challenger, Scott Malone, during the second round. It was Malone who got to the more dominant positions in the opening stanza but Wilson jumped on his back and sunk in the rear-naked choke just eighteen seconds into round number two. At middleweight, George Smith also got a submission victory when he tapped Lukasz Marcinkowski via an armbar in the first round to extend his record to 5-1.
Adam Wilson picks up a SLICK submission win and remains undefeated! 5-0.— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) March 7, 2020
Has this cemented his status as the next big thing out of the Liverpool MMA scene?
Watch #CW112 LIVE on @UFCFightPass
Manchester, England pic.twitter.com/p6htlojzMU
On the evening’s preliminary card, rising Northern Irish talent, Paul Hughes, scored a highlight-reel head kick knockout to remain unbeaten and continue his 100% finishing rate. Hughes started doing damage to his opponent, Youri Panada, towards the end of the first round with a strong leg kick and knee to the body. The stoppage came in the second frame when he took advantage of Panada’s lowering hands to score a left high kick. After the bout, he declared himself as the best featherweight in Cage Warriors and claimed that current champion, Mads Burnell is ‘boring’.
Also on the prelims, Jonas Magard used his superior grappling and top game to earn a dominant decision over Liam Gittins, which may put him into the bantamweight title discussion. Nathan Fletcher, Stephen Hooper and James Sheehan all picked up stoppage victories in the next steps of their careers.
Complete Cage Warriors 112 card:-
Jack Cartwright defeated Manuel Bilic by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47) to retain the Cage Warriors bantamweight title.
Adam Proctor defeated Madars Fleminas by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26).
George Smith defeated Lukasz Marcinkowski by submission (armbar) at 4:47 of round one.
James Webb defeated Mick Stanton by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26).
Adam Wilson defeated Scott Malone by submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:18 of round two.
Jonas Magard defeated Liam Gittins by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25).
Nathan Fletcher defeated Johan Segas by TKO (punches) at 2:36 of round one.
Stephen Hooper defeated Tom Mearns by submission (triangle choke) at 2:11 of round two.
Paul Hughes defeated Youri Panada by knockout (headkick) at 2:33 of round two.
James Sheehan defeated Kyran Sturrock by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:27 of round two.