by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, Essex, England – The sixth instalment of the Ultimate Warrior Challenge played out to a near full house at the Tennis and Leisure Centre, underlying the appeal of mixed martial arts in this area and providing an excellent springboard for the local talent pool and the Italian connections of the promoters.
Headlining the card, local heavyweight hero Stav Economou weathered the early storm of opponent Tommy Rasmussen before fighting back and unleashing a ground and pound assault on his gassed opponent. With the win Economou secures the UWC world heavyweight strap and looked mature in doing so. It would have been easy to crumble under the initial pressure, but he persevered before the referee halted the bout at the 4:10 mark.
In light heavyweight action, Storm Gym standout Arunas Andriuskevicius stamped his mark all over Team Sure Grip fighter Tam Khan and stopped the bout 2:12 seconds into the second round via ground and pound. The majority of the first round was fought on the feet with both fighters content to chop away at each other’s legs with kicks. The writing was on the wall as the bell sounded to signal the end of the first round, just as Andriuskevicius had secured mount on his visibly tired opponent. Khan was literally saved by the bell.
The second round started in messy fashion with Khan dropping his mouth piece forcing a referee time out to find the offending object, three attempts to put the item back in and they resume. Khan still hadn’t recovered from his previous exertions and dropped the bout to the determined Lithuanian.
Norwegian fighter Simeon Thorenson added the name of tough U.K. veteran Paul Jenkins to his list of wins via armbar at 1:06 of round one. Thorenson looked to have a major reach advantage over Jenkins, but never got to use it as Jenkins closed early and executed a beautiful outside leg trip/body throw takedown and into guard. Working fast, and capitalizing on being stacked against the cage, Thorenson worked his legs up and over to latch on the submission. Although visibly disappointed at recording a loss, Jenkins acknowledged the slick move and gave props to his opponent on the win; Pure class.
Team SSJ fighter Kevin Porter and Sure Grip fighter Chris Richardson had an entertaining scrap at a catch weight of 79kg following the withdrawal of both their respective opponents due to injury. Porter closed the distance shortly after the bell, bringing Richardson down and trying to position himself for attack. Richardson took some heavy blows on the ground, but maintained composure enabling him to sneak his legs up for the armbar at 2:53 into the opening round.
Heavyweight fighter Luke Blyth absolutely annihilated opponent Tim Wise by landing a vicious overhand right to put him on his back before stepping in to throw down hard with his fists. Wise was so dazed following the referee stopping the fight that he continued to attack even after Blyth stepped back. A tough fight for his debut and it highlighted the need for a weight class drop before he fights again. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see too much of what he had to offer as he only spent 22 seconds in the cage.
Italian import fighter and owner of some of the best tattoos in MMA, Mateo Piran made a successful debut at middleweight looking crisp and lean. The move appeared to suit him well as evidenced by his armbar win over the enigmatic Lola Bambagla at 3:12 into the opening round. Bambagla looked rangy on the feet and ploughed a high kick into the head of Piran early on. Undeterred, the Italian pursued the takedown and started to get off his strikes. Bambagla showcased his ever-improving ground game, but ultimately fell foul of a step over the back armbar for the tap.
Special mention goes to Total Dojo fighter Lynton Vassell who literally picked up and slammed down Italian fighter Marco Motta like a rag doll before working position to setup the rear naked choke. Motta came out for this fight considerably more aggressive than we have seen him previously and immediately put his hands into Vassell’s face. The strategy didn’t pay off and only served to anger his opponent. Vassell is clearly one to watch and will be a force to reckon with when me makes the cut to 205.
In an exciting featherweight bout, Christian Binda of Italy stopped opponent Phil San via ground and pound assault at 2:20 into the second round. San had looked pretty handy in the first and was fairing remarkably well considering it was a return to action following a three-year layoff, but Binda’s superior transitions and work rate proved to be the deciding factors in the bout as he picked up the win.
In other action, Stuart Davies overcame adversity to record an excellent win over Daniel George via ground and pound. Lee Wieczorek also recorded a ground and pound win over Kevin Maddox who appeared skittish and full of nervous energy in their bout. Alex Evans finished of middleweight Jamie Banks via rear naked choke and Giacomo Amabili submitted Lee Mayo via Guillotine choke.
UWC 6 Full Results:
Stav Economou def. Tommy Rasmussen via TKO at 4:10, R1
Arunas Andriuskevicius def. Tam Khan via TKO at 2:12, R2
Simeon Thorenson def. Paul Jenkins via Submission (Armbar) at 1:06, R1
Alex Evans def. Jamie Banks via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:23, R1
Luke Blyth def. Tim Wise via TKO at 0:22, R1
Chris Richardson def. Kevin Porter via Submission (Armbar) at 2:53, R1
Giacomo Amabili def. Lee Mayo via Submission (Guillotine) at 4:34, R1
Matteo Piran def. Lola Bamgbala via Submission (Armbar) at 3:12, R1
Linton Vassell def. Marco Motta via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:57, R1
Lee Wieczorek def. Kevin Maddox via TKO at 3:32, R1
Stuart Davies def. Daniel George via TKO at 4:39, R2
Daniel Thomas def. Jay Woodham via Decision 3:00, R2