by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, ESSEX, England – British promotion Ultimate Warrior Challenge (UWC) hosted its fourth event this past Saturday night, showing continued advances in the production and matchmaking for a smooth, flowing show.
Valentino Petrescu dominated Arunas Andrius en route to becoming the new light heavyweight UWC champion. His pace was controlled and precise. Sensing that his ground skills were better than his opponent, he planted Andrius on his back for the majority of the bout securing the judges decision. The win was not without incident though, as he received a nasty cut on the top of his head from a stray downward elbow strike. Come the end, his badly swollen right eye couldn’t hide Petrescu’s elation at the victory.
Stav Economou versus Ronny Gill was a white wash with the big man charging forward and sticking it to Gill early. Don’t let Economou’s build fool you, he is all business in the cage and hauled Gill up over his shoulder and brought him crashing into the matt quickly. Economou followed the takedown up with a stifling stacking session punctuated with strikes. Gill attempted to scramble back to his feet, eating a perfectly timed right cross to put the lights out.
Ivan Serati returned to the cage following his demolishing at the hands of Vitor Belfort back at Cage Rage 21. He looked much more confident in this bout taking his opponent down at will, but unable to offer much by the way of damage once grounded. There is clearly an opening in his game for hammerfists and I think it will suit his style really well. All said and done, he grounded out a decision victory over Sergej Masbolojev, who was game, but didn’t have the wrestling background to be able to spoil the party.
Przemyslaw Mysiala looked to be having his toughest fight in recent bouts with Matteo Piran. Piran looked calm during the opening minutes, cutting the ring off well and putting him on the defensive. Mysiala attempted a couple of high kicks during the bout whilst trying to keep the range, but Piran remained unfazed at the strikes. Once the fight hit the ground it appeared to be in favor of the Italian, but Mysiala worked diligently for the Kimura, cracking it on for the tap. The lock looked to be seriously extended, but fortunately Piran appeared to be ok and is one flexible chap indeed!
Tommy McGuire is the type of fighter who looks like the kid who always got beat up at school, but is extremely resilient and able to overcome adversity to chalk up the win. That is exactly what he did in this fight with Chris Richardson. Having started a little slower than usual, he found himself on the back-foot and being controlled from top position, but he persevered and managed to switch places. Shortly after doing so, he dropped some vicious strikes, which opened up an inch-long cut above Richardson’s right eye to force the stoppage – his second win inside a month.
Well-liked U.K. veteran Sami Berik will be disappointed with his performance having succumbed to a deft rear naked choke from Joakim Engberg at the 0:37 mark of the first. Berik usually takes a few minutes to get into the flow of a fight as his style is very unorthodox, but in this match he just never had the chance to get started, thus, the Norwegians return home having chalked up two wins in sunny England.
Francesco Ligato was always viewed as a step up in competition level for Jason Kubiak, who has gone 3-0 as a professional, but the Italian fighter offered little resistance to the BTT upstart (aside from a disgraceful cage grabbing session to thwart a massive takedown slam).
Kubiak pretty much had his way, securing his opponents back quickly and opting to strike rather than go for the rear naked choke. Ligato seemed more concerned with blocking a possible submission attempt (his last two losses were via rear naked choke) than trying to improve his position and took close to 40 mainly blocked shots to the side of the head before the referee finally stopped the action due to inactivity by Ligato. Kubiak will be understandably disappointed his opponent didn’t want to engage, but a win is a win and Ligato is a good scalp to claim.
Simeon Thorenson started his fight with Soli Klichko at a blistering pace, quickly securing the takedown and working superior positioning to setup a few strikes. Despite being game, the only highlight Klichko had in the fight was a reversal to switch places with the Norwegian. It was short-lived though as he succumbed to a beautiful armbar from the bottom shortly afterwards.
Dean Jones and Christian Binda tore into each other during a first round that resembled a cartoon fight with arms and legs in a ball of smoke. They really put everything on the line in an attempt to finish the fight quick, but Jones chalked up the scores for the first round with superior ground skills and was the more effective in his aggression. Such was the pace of the first that both fighters were starting to slow down come the second making the round judging difficult to pick. Effectively a moot point, when at the 1:27 mark of the third Jones found a flailing appendage and slapped on a solid Kimura for the tap. It was a welcome return for the London Pancrase fighter following a two-year cage layoff.
Rounding out the card, Jack Mason secured the win via a solid rear naked choke forcing Fernando Saucedo to tap or pass out. In semi-pro action, Reza Meldavian seemed content to ignore his corner’s advice and do his own thing, teasing and taunting Andrew Tate who was suffering from the after effects of a chest infection, culminating in decision victory for the Iranian. Lee Weizorek submitted Danny Warr with a guillotine midway through the first round for the tap. And finally, Kevin Porter found his second wind between rounds, monstering his way to victory with a determined guillotine choke.
Valentino Petrescu def Arunas Andrius via Unanimous decision (wins British LHW Title)
Stav Economou def Ronny Gill 2:51 R1 via KO
Ivan Serati def Sergej Masbolojev via Unanimous decision
Przemyslaw Mysiala def Matteo Piran 2:52 R1 via Kimura
Tommy McGuire def Chris Richardson 4:11 R1 via Cut (Doctor stoppage)
Joakim Engberg def Sami Berik 0:37 sec R1 via RNC
Jason Kubiak def Francesco Ligato 3:35 R1 via GNP (Referee stoppage)
Simeon Thorensen def Soli Klichko 1:33 R1 via Armbar
Jack Mason def Fernando Saucedo 3:58 R1 via RNC
Dean Jones def Christian Binda 1:27 R3 via Kimura
Reza Meldavian def Andrew Tate via Unanimous decision
Lee Wiezorek def Danny Warr 2:22 R1 via Guillotine choke
Kevin Porter def Stuart Davies 2:00 R3 via Guillotine choke