Finnish lightweight Juha-Pekka Vainikainen (19-5-1) downed his second-straight UFC veteran, earning a second-round TKO over Kyle Watson (13-8-1) at Saturday’s Cage Warriors Fight Night 3 event.
Vainikainen avoided Watson’s grappling attack and used occasional standup flurries to control the action before a cut forced the end of the fight.
The bout served as the featured matchup of the event, which took place at The Habtoor Grand Hotel Convention Center & Spa in Beirut, Lebanon, and streamed on MMAjunkie.com(www.mmajunkie.com).
Watson continually pushed in from the outside, grinding away in the clinch and looking to work the fight to the floor. However, Vainikainen remained upright on each occasion and began to show a little disdain in his posture when they would break. Watson finally scored a trip in the closing minutes but landed on bottom and had to work himself back to his feet. Once there, it was Vainikainen who scored his own takedown and then landed several crisp punches during an ensuing scramble.
Watson looked to open up the striking game a bit in the second frame, but Vainikainen answered with straight punches down the pipe. Watson struggled to get inside, and when he finally did get a clinch, a deep gash on his forehead saw blood pour over both competitors. A quick doctor’s inspection revealed a nasty cut, suffered at some point when Watson pushed into the clinch, and the fight was waved off.
Vainikainen, who is now unbeaten in his past nine fights, admitted it wasn’t the way he wanted to win the fight but was still thankful for the win.
“Kyle Watson is a really tough guy,” Vainikainen said. “Every fighter hates a fight stopped due a cut, so I don’t like that, but I’m very happy for the win.”
In the night’s middleweight co-feature, Swedish prospect Mats Nilsson (8-1-1) overwhelmed “The Ultimate Fighter 6” finalist Tom Speer (19-6)
Speer worked hard for a takedown in the early going and then avoided a few triangle-choke attempts while on top. As Speer continued to drive forward, Nilsson slipped out to the side and swept to top position, where he controlled the action through the first frame.
Nilsson again took top position in the second, but he did little in terms of offense and focused more on positioning. It wasn’t enough for the referee, who brought the fight back to the feet.
On the restart, Nilsson avoided a few lumbering strikes on the feet before working into the clinch and tripping Speer to his back again. Nilsson instantly worked into an arm-triangle choke position, and after a few technical adjustments to the position, he was able to finish the fight from the mount.
The once-beaten Nilsson now boasts a four-fight win streak. Speer sees a four-fight win streak snapped.
In featherweight action, Finland’s Matteus Lahdesmaki (12-8-3) earned an impressive submission win over the favored Graham Turner (18-7).
After some initial kickboxing exchanges, Lahdesmaki earned a trip takedown and them immediately attacked for a kimura. While the move looked like it had potential, Lahdesmaki used it as more of a setup, transitioning deftly around to the back and locking in a rear-naked choke. The smooth finish came at the 2:19 mark of the opening round.
In the night’s second middleweight tournament fight, Faycal Hussin (7-2) advanced to the semifinal round with a brutal finish of Gareth Joseph (9-5).
Joseph brought the fight to the floor with a bodylock and looked to be in a dominant position on the floor. But Hussin scrambled back to his feet and unloaded a striking assault that left Jospeh completely out of it and yet somehow standing on his feet. As he swayed helplessly near the fence, the fight was mercifully waved off in just 74 seconds.
In the evening’s first middleweight-tourney fight, Swedish prospect Victor Cheng (8-2) advanced to the semifinals with an exciting win over over Matt Gabel (7-3) in a bout that featured a few odd moments.
The oddities began in the first round, with an inadvertent cup shot from Cheng. They got stranger when the bout referee stopped the match mid-Gabel guillotine to warn of heel kicks to the spine and then restarted the fight back in the choke. The round then finished with a deducted point, as Gabel landed an upkick to Cheng at the bell while he was still on a knee.
Despite the odd opener, Cheng earned a decisive win in the second. Cheng rocked Gabel on the feet with a vicious barrage of punches and then worked to the back when the fight hit the floor, sinking in the rear-naked choke.
In the night’s main-card opening bout, welterweight John Donnelly (7-5) had difficulty dealing with the controlling grappling game of Portugal’sDomingos Mestre (9-4). Donnelly started as the aggressor looking first to strike and then for a first-round choke, but Mestre quickly reversed and settled into top position. He’d spend most of the remainder of the three-round bout there and cruised to a unanimous-decision win. Mestre turned up the heat in the final few minutes, opening a gash on his opponent’s forehead with his ground-and-pound attack, but he was unable to earn a stop against the gritty Donnelly.
Article courtesy of MMAJunkie.com.