by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
READING, England – Andre Winner continued his ascent in the lightweight division on Saturday at FX3 “Fight Night 6” by overpowering Mario Staple with a ferocious clinch assault. The win was the first defense of the FX3 lightweight title that he won at “Fight Night 5.”
Winner had looked incredibly sharp with his hands all night exhibiting big-cat like speed. Conscious of this, Staple was moving intelligently to stay out of range, but come the second round, Winner had started to land cleanly opening up cuts on both eyebrow lines, prompting a medics check.
Whenever they clinched, Winner’s superior head movement and distracting clinch techniques allowed him to press the action. His use of the foot stomp to head knee followed by the elbow on the break combo ensured the points kept racking up on the judges’ scorecards.
Round three was much of the same with Staple looking to bring the fight to the ground with increasing frequency, but sticking to a solid game plan from the Rough House squad, Winner backed up and refused to be drawn into the German’s ploy. Staple’s footwork is the reason he avoided serious damage in the bout, because the strikes were vicious at all times and he should be commended on this, but Winner has really come on in leaps and bounds working an effective jab-left hook combo that invariably landed.
When the 15 minutes of action closed there really was only one way the fight was going to go and Winner was clearly ecstatic in his performance chalking up the unanimous decision win.
Peter Angerer withstood the early onslaught of an exuberant Nigel Whitear from the bell, finding himself pressed up against the cage following a series of strikes. Ever composed, he used effective underhooks to setup the takedown, landing in top position. Whitear was looking to use the cage wall to reverse position, but needn’t have bothered, as Angerer setup a slick armbar whilst rolling to his back for the tap at the 1:10 mark.
Brian Adams had to overcome the clearly unorthodox style of German middleweight Sebastian Baron in a bout that was showing signs of becoming a back-and-forth affair. Adams’ advantage in range showed whilst striking and his commitment to punches was way more evident than his opponent who appeared to throw lazy strikes; but as soon as the fight hit the ground Baron appear to light up, applying a rear naked choke and a very crafty heel hook attempt.
Come the second round, it was clear that Baron had blown too hard in the first and this gave Adams all the impetus he needed to press the pace, grounding the fight and applying a relentless barrage of hammerfists to force the referee to intervene at the 1:47 mark.
Glen Johnson made an exciting MMA debut against Gorilla Academy fighter Kev Simms in a bout that had the audience on their feet throughout. An early unintentional low blow in the clinch prompted a break in the action to allow Simms to recover before the two tore into each other again. This time Simms had managed to secure top position and worked quickly to sink the vines in, his low centre of gravity working in his favor while he attempted to pound on his opponent.
Following a furious scramble, they worked back to the feet, Johnson landing heavy strikes, but being driven to the cage wall, whilst looking to pick his legs. Simms unfortunately received an illegal downward elbow strike prompting a medic’s check. Showing massive heart and proving he is a gamer, Simms got the all clear to continue and fired across the cage for revenge. Johnson remained calm and countered with a vicious knee flush to the face, followed by a brutal right uppercut putting Simms out of the contest for good.
Dave Swann had originally been scheduled to square off against Mark Spenna, but with his opponent pulling out due to injury, Jay Gilbey stepped into the fray on short notice to keep the bout on the card, the only concession being a catch-weight contest.
Swann is a local fighter, and a popular one at that, but his hometown audience spent the early part of the fight with their hearts in their mouths, as Gilbey took him down early and secured his back locking onto a rear naked choke. Now usually in this position a fighter would concentrate on escaping, but Swann decided to hammer away with strikes at Gilbey’s exposed head above him, prompting him to re-think his approach. After about 20 shots to the face, Gilbey let go and went looking for something else.
Swann continued his aggressive approach, having reversed position and landed a series of evil elbows to crack open Gilbey’s eyebrow, putting claret on the cage floor. Sensing the kill, Swann continued to hammer away, but a slight over-committal gave his opponent a last chance at victory by slapping on a solid armbar that came dangerously close to finishing the fight. A good 15 seconds passed with Swann holding the submission off before Gilbey waned. Rather than break the hold, Swann showed that the best submission defense is a good offense and proceeded to grind away with strikes to his face, forcing the referee to step in to protect the battered fighter.
Ashleigh Grimshaw made short work of his time in the cage against Billy Harris by flattening him out on the canvas with a brutal big right that connected squarely on the button 46 seconds in. Solid, vicious KO victory from a punch that echoed all around the cage.
Tim Radcliffe impressed immensely with his composure and tenacity in his battle with Lee Ambrose. It’s not often that you get to see this level of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu application in an MMA bout, not the big moves stuff, more the subtle differences that can really change the tide of a fight.
Ambrose appeared to be the stronger of the two fighters and grounded his opponent early on, but Radcliffe was working the butterfly guard well to control his opponents position and avoid the chance of being pounded. His hip work was very fluid and when the moment came, he pushed off using his head for leverage and got back up to his feet.
They circled, a few quick strikes from Ambrose and he again secured the takedown landing in top position. Back working the butterfly, Radcliffe transitioned into a smooth omo plata attempt. It was deflected, so he moved swiftly onto a triangle. Ambrose was in danger, but valiantly tried to defend; working hard to slam his aggressor into the canvas. But it was on too tight and following a second attempt, he was left with the option of tapping out or passing out.
In heavyweight action Lloyd Clarkson defeated Adam Greener, having weathered an early assault from his visibly larger opponent. Having undergone a couple of role reversals on the ground, Clarkson managed to secure the short arm scissors leaving Greener’s head exposed. A series of 20-plus unanswered blows must have landed before it was obvious Greener was stuck, forcing the referee to step in and call time on the bout.
In a bloody contest of wills Greg Knapp and Simon Gill smashed into each other with gusto, for the better part of round one with Gill coming out ahead having continually pushed his jab into his opponents face and turned his leg purple with kicks. The energy expenditure had taken its toll though, with Gill looking considerably more expended than his opponent in the second stanza. Stalking the cage, Knapp took favor of the bout by smashing his opponent’s nose with a big cross and from there on continually making sure it kept bleeding having found his range with the jab. It was clearly a role reversal as the jab was Gill’s advantage point in the first.
The third round is where Knapp clearly took the lead by pushing the pace hard and being the aggressor, but more importantly his use of the left hook as a leading strike was masterful and invariably found its mark. Knapp chalked up the unanimous decision, but Gill is clearly one tough hombre.
In other action, Steve Baggaley submitted Dion Oakes via a swift guillotine choke 1:05 into the first, amid slight confusion as to Oakes’ actually tapping. It appeared that he did, but Baggaley was the consummate sportsman and wanted to make sure that was the case before celebrating.
Guy Hennequin dominated Damon Wright at all stages with a clear striking advantage on his feet and a viciously pointed elbow on the ground to force the referee to intervene at the 3:45 mark of the first
Mixed Martial Arts:
–Andre Winner def Mario Staple by Unanimous Decision, R3
–Peter Angerer def Nigel Whitear by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:10, R1
–Brian Adams def Sebastian Baron by TKO (Strikes) at 1:47, R2
–Glen Johnson def Kev Simms by TKO (Strikes) at 3:31, R1
–Dave Sswann def Jay Gilbey by TKO (Strikes) at 2:15, R1
–Ashleigh Grimshaw def Billy Harris by KO at 0:46, R1
–Tim Radcliffe def Lee Ambrose by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 3:21, R1
–Lloyd Clarkson def Adam Greener by TKO (Strikes) at 3:55, R1
–Greg Knapp def Simon Gill by Unanimous Decision, R3
–Steve Baggaley def Dion Oakes by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:05, R1
–Guy Hennequin def Damon Wright by TKO (Strikes) at 3:45, R1
X1 Cage Kickboxing:
–Damien Hamilton def Matt Harris by Split Decision