By Jake Smith
There were mixed results for IMMAF alumni at the fourth installment of Cage Warriors: The Trilogy, with a dominant performance from an IMMAF vet, two securing their first victories in the professional ranks & two gold medalists finding themselves on the wrong side of results.
Christian Leeroy Duncan faced Will ‘Drago’ Currie in a rematch between two of the promotion’s brightest talents. Last time out, Duncan had his hand raised following a second round stoppage over Currie. However, the feeling from both parties was that the referee stepped in too soon so they agreed to a rematch.
45 seconds into the round following Duncan slipping after looking to land a kick, a short scramble ensued and Currie looked to tie up a leg lock, a wincing Duncan managed to remain cool and calm, ultimately getting out of the submission attempt. Currie kept the submission positions coming but Duncan used the experience he’s had to stay composed and systematically work through transitions in order to take himself away from any solid submission attacks. A dominant round from Currie left Duncan with some work to do.
After a back and forth second round, Duncan landed a spinning elbow to the crown of Currie’s head, with less than a minute to go, which appeared to hurt ‘Drago’. There was not enough of the round left for Duncan to capitalise fully on the impactful shot but left it all to play for going in to the third.
The gas tank of Ducan seemed still fully intact in the third, constantly threatening with his ground game, using his smooth movement to capitalise on a tiring Currie. Dominating the third as Currie did the first, Ducan’s high output and strong work ethic earned him a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
The decision to move to Flyweight paid dividends for Ciaran Mulholland. Living up to his nickname of ‘The Dark Horse’, had to come from behind, against Connor Wilson, to have his hand raised for the first time as a professional.
It was far from a dream start for Mulholland when 10 seconds into the bout, Wilson landed a flush 1-2 on the chin of Mullholland, sending him to the mat. Mulholland was immediately looking for a leg lock as Wilson looked to capitalise on the knockdown. Mulholland found some success pushing his opponent up against the cage but Wilson continued to land the better strikes throughout the round and as the two headed back to their stools, Wilson looked the happier of the two.
Towards the end of the second round, Wilson shot in for a takedown with which Mullholland sank a guillotine under Wilson’s chin on the entry. Landing on his back in half guard, Mulholland recognised he needed to make and adjustment in order to finish the submission attempt and after transitioning to full guard, and as his team mate, and new Cage Warriors Lightweight champion Joe McColgan had managed the night previous, he tightened the guillotine on and got the tap!
Although taking the bout on short notice and at a division higher than his preferred competition weight, Scott Pedersen secured his first win since turning over to the professional game.
In what ended up being a quick night of work, the Welshman faced talented striker Marcus Lewis at 155lbs. After backing Lewis up to the fence with strikes, Pedersen shot in for a double leg takedown and after landing it, worked his way straight onto the back of Lewis, locking in a body triangle. Lewis took the fight towards his corner, with Pedersen mounted on his back continually landing clinical strikes. It wasn’t long before Pedersend saw the opening to whip his forearm around the jaw of Lewis and crank on a Rear Naked Choke/Neck Crank, forcing Lewis to tap.
Both Tobias Harila and Sedar Altas found themselves on the wrong side of unanimous decisions. Harila faced Cage Warriors newcomer, William Gomis at 145lbs. Although never taking a step back and methodically stalking Gomis around the cage, inadvertently played into the Frenchman’s game. Although always on the back foot, Gomis looked extremely comfortable picking shots while being pressured and thus ultimately lead to him taking the unanimous decision over Harila.
Sedar Altas was hoping for a standout performance in his Cage Warriors debut against Adam Amarasinghe. Unfortunately, Amarasinghe had to withdraw from the contest due to covid so Altas ended up with a last minute change in opponent, facing Scott ‘Boom Boom’ Malone at a 130lbs catchweight.
In the first round, Malone came in and showed his wrestling prowess early on, shutting out Altas’ striking with constant takedown attempts. However, Altas grew into the round and although not securing dominant positions, he was landing clean shots as and when the opportunities presented themselves.
Malone started the second as he did the first, with full dominance and using his expansive grappling skillset to nullify Altas. After securing a top side crucifix position, Lamone rained down elbows on the Swedishman; the referee had seen enough and waved the contest off.
Unfortunately George McManus, Liam Shotbolt, Jack Tucker and Abdul Choudhury all had their bouts scrapped prior to the event taking place.