MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for September: A bloody, all-Brazil slugfest

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Filed under: Cage Warriors, Featured, News, UFC

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best fights from September. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for September.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Alexander Volkov def. Stefan Struve at UFC Fight Night 115

In a much-hyped heavyweight contest between two of the sport’s tallest competitors, Russia’s Alexander Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC) brushed aside a nasty cut and some eye pokes to rally for a third-round TKO over Stefan Struve (28-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC).

Bloodied and battered, Volkov just walked through the strikes of his opponent to land flush with a right and topple Struve. More punches on the floor landed clean as Struve’s tried to cover, and the fight was called to an end with 90 seconds left in the third.

Instagram Photo

Nathaniel Wood def. Josh Reed at Cage Warriors 86

After looking all but finished in the first round of his headliner against challenger Josh Reed (7-1), Cage Warriors bantamweight champ Nathaniel Wood (12-3) managed to keep his composure and land the left hand that changed it all.

After a few tentative exchanges, Reed charged forward with a series of haymakers. While somewhat careless, the blows landed – and, with Wood wobbling around the cage, it seemed like a matter of seconds before the referee intervened and the belt switched hands. Wood, however, weathered the storm and saw the opening to land a hard left that set up a dazzling comeback win.

Uriah Hall def. Krzysztof Jotko at UFC Fight Night 116

Uriah Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC) has been plagued with inconsistency in his UFC career, sometimes looking unbeatable, other times not so much. Against Krzysztof Jotko (19-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), he was both.

After taking a massive beating in the first round of the middleweight bout, a devastating straight right landed for Hall and changed the game. He sent Jotko crashing to the canvas and that’s when “Primetime” jumped on top with additional punches to seal the incredible comeback knockout win and snap an ugly three-fight losing skid.

Gregor Gillespie def. Jason Gonzalez at UFC Fight Night 116

Rising lightweight Gregor Gillespie (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) kept his career record perfect, but Jason Gonzalez (11-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) certainly didn’t make it easy on him in barnburner of a bout.

After slugging it out on the feet for a good portion of the fight, Gillespie reverted to his wrestling pedigree as the clock ticked on. Gillespie eventually worked himself into an arm-triangle choke from mount and committed to the squeeze, pressing forward and tightening the hold until Gonzalez was forced to tap in the second round.

Jessica Andrade def. Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night 117

The crucial matchup of UFC women’s strawweight contenders could only result in one winner, and Jessica Andrade (17-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) was able to get the job done against Claudia Gadelha (15-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) in one of the most highly-praised female bouts in company history.

In a clash of two fighters looking to get another crack at 115-pound champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Andrade took a lopsided unanimous decision victory over fellow Brazilian Gadelha in a blood-and-guts type of battle which will revered for quite some time going forward.

* * * *

The Winner: Jessica Andrade vs. Claudia Gadelha

Gadelha only had lost to strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk before her trip to Japan for UFC Fight Night 117. Then Andrade came into her life.

Andrade took a unanimous decision from Gadelha, her fellow Brazilian, with a mostly dominant performance that had both fighters bloody through most of the fight. Andrade won with scores of 30-25, 30-26 and 30-27.

Gadelha got her hands going a minute in. Andrade tried to work her head out of the way, but Gadelha got her strikes through. Andrade tried to lead the charge not long after that with punches, but Gadelha countered wht an elbow. Two minutes in, the two slugged it out, and Gadelha opened a cut on Andrade’s forehead.

With blood pouring from her opponent, Gadelha kept her striking going until Andrade pressed her against the fence. There, Andrade picked Gadelha up for a massive body slam that seemed to take Gadelha by surprise. Gadelha went after a guillotine choke, but couldn’t hold it, and that allowed Andrade to get on top to work ground-and-pound for the final 90 seconds of the round.

After some more slugging early in the second, and a clinch, Gadelha tried to take the fight to the ground – but it was Andrade who again got on top and landed big ground-and-pound with Gadelha against the fence. When Gadelha got back up, Andrade landed heavy knees.

The two went back to standing midway through, then slugged it out again. With both fighters bleeding, Andrade started to pour on the punishment with two minutes left. Gadelha backed up and looked wiped out while Andrade landed low kicks, then punches. Gadelha went after a takedown that was weak to say the least. And Andrade made her pay for it up against the fence, landing a barrage of punches.

With a minute left, they broke apart and traded again, and Gadelha landed a solid counter. But Andrade kept swinging for the finish. She couldn’t get it, and instead tried to pick Gadelha up for a slam. It didn’t come, but what came instead was the need to defend a deep guillotine choke from Andrade for the final 15 seconds of the round.

Andrade easily defended a takedown attempt 30 seconds into the final frame, then ate a knee to the midsection. And seconds later, Andrade easily picked Gadelha up for another massive slam. She quickly went into side control, then worked ground-and-pound. Gadelha recovered to partial guard, but it didn’t keep Andrade’s punishment at bay. Gadelha tried to answer when she got back to full guard, but there wasn’t much there.

With 90 seconds left, Andrade easily passed to side control, then Gadelha gave her back trying to get back to her feet. Gadelha got back to her feet late, but just before the horn Andrade landed another big slam in a near perfect performance.

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Filed under: Cage Warriors, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Cage Warriors 86 results: Still-champ Nathaniel Wood pulls off major comeback in wild night

Cage Warriors 86 was a night of wild comebacks, but champ Nathaniel Wood managed to pull off the most impressive one.

After looking all but finished in the first round of the headliner against challenger Josh Reed (7-1), Wood (12-3) managed to keep his composure and land the left hand that changed it all the Indigo at The O2 in London. Thewas a night of wild comebacks, but champ Nathaniel Wood managed to pull off the most impressive one main card streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.

The first-round knockout added a fourth win to Wood’s current streak – made up of three knockouts and one submission win. Reed, in turn, suffered the first setback of his professional MMA career.

Reed immediately showed that he was not playing around; after a few tentative exchanges, he charged forward with a series of haymakers. While somewhat careless, the blows landed – and, with Wood wobbling around the cage, it seemed like a matter of seconds before the referee intervened and the belt switched hands.

Wood, however, weathered the storm and saw the opening to land a hard left that dazzled the challenger. Soon, it was Reed who looked to be in serious trouble against the cage. At 2:19 of the first round, the ref had seen enough and intervened.

In light of recent events, it might be time for Wood to graduate from his “Prospect” moniker.

Jamie Richardson survives trip to suplex city in route to knockout win

The night’s co-headlining affair also featured a brawl and a comeback. After surviving Hakon Foss’ (8-5) tight takedown game and ground pressure throughout a rough first round, Jamie Richardson (6-3) capitalized on his opponent’s exhaustion and turned the tide in his favor in the second.

After some sloppy but fun exchanges, it was Richardson who managed to land big, punishing a wobbly Foss with punches en route to a second-round knockout. At 22, he’s on a four-fight winning streak. Foss, in turn, adds a second loss to his skid.

Foss made his intentions clear early, quickly scoring a takedown to get the fight where he wanted. Richardson managed to get back up, but Foss wasn’t having it and soon was in top position again. Richardson managed to get up a few times, but Foss kept finding ways to get him back to the mat – including a beautiful suplex halfway through the first round. While Richardson remained active in his attempts to escape, Foss kept the pressure at all times.

A strike thrown by Foss after the bell had Richardson lifting a rather expressive middle finger between rounds.

Perhaps thanks to that added incentive, Richardson returned with a vengeance, getting the better off his opponent in early exchanges on the feet. Probably aware of the danger, Foss charged and tried to control Richardson against the cage. The two, however, were soon trading blows again – and that’s when the tides started turning.

After an ill-fated attempt to charge against Richardson, an exhausted Foss became a still target for heavy blows. By the end of the round, the two exhausted men were going punch-to-punch and wasting very little energy in actually defending their faces. Foss, however, was the one who caved to the pressure and prompted the ref to step in.

Eight-second knockout and gritty displays set the pace

As far as MMA careers go, Junior Karanta’s (2-0) is certainly off to a solid start. The heavyweight – and his destructive right hand – put a quick end to a main card opener against Adel Ghaddou (4-7). Karanta needed only eight seconds to dispatch Ghaddou – and even managed to squeeze in some vicious ground and pound in the short window.

It was a tough act to follow, but lightweights Joe McColgan (4-1) and Sean Carter (12-6) were up to the task. In what seemed like an unlikely outcome in light of the sheer amount of punishment absorbed by Carter in the initial round, the bloody brawl went the distance and ended in a split call on the scorecards.

Flyweight Sam Creasey (9-1) was the victor of yet another comeback affair in the third bout at the Indigo at The O2 in London. Hurt early by Paul Marin (12-7), Creasy used his right hand to deliver some serious facial punishment before a few hammerfists finally sent his opponent spiraling down to the mat.

Full Cage Warriors 86 results include:

  • Nathaniel Wood def. Josh Reed via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:19
  • Jamie Richardson def. Hakon Foss via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:28
  • Sam Creasey def. Paul Marin via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:38
  • Joe McColgan def. Sean Carter via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
  • Junior Karanta def. Adel Ghaddou via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:08
  • Marcus Paul def. Maciej Gierszewski via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:19
  • Brian Bouland def. Darren O’Gorman via knockout – Round 2,1:33
  • Arvydas Juska def. Alex Thorne via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:13
  • Mehdi Saadi def. Eric Nolan via submission (armbar)  – Round 1, 2:05

For more on Cage Warriors 86, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Cage Warriors, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Video: Watch this Swedish 'Fatty' crush a man in 8 seconds

His name is Junior Karanta, but apparently you can just call him “Fatty.”

It doesn’t make much sense for a hulking 6-foot-6 Swedish heavyweight, but after watching Karanta (2-0) destroy Adel Ghaddou (3-7) in just eight seconds at Cage Warriors 86, I’m sure not going to try and explain the fault in his logic.

Karanta’s scintillating performance kicked off the main card of today’s UFC Fight Pass-streamed event at the Indigo at The O2 in London. “Fatty” walked forward at the opening bell, landed a huge right hand to send opponent Adel Ghaddou to the canvas and then finished the job with a few more shots on the floor before referee Marc Goddard called a merciful end to the one-sided shellacking.

For the record, Karanta is now 2-0 with just 58 seconds of total cage time between the two victories. No shame needed for this “Fatty,” and Karanta’s name might be one to remember.

For more on Cage Warriors 86, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Cage Warriors, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC vet Brad Pickett slaps Cage Warriors champ Nathaniel Wood because his dad doesn't

Although UFC and WEC vet Brad Pickett has officially retired from fighting, he isn’t past hitting other men in the face.

But don’t worry: It’s for a noble cause.

As Cage Warriors bantamweight champ’s Nathaniel Wood’s cornerman, Pickett has a few jobs. One of them is, basically, slapping the British prospect before he steps in the cage.

While that might seem a bit excessive for someone whose facial area is going to get targeted soon enough, Pickett has his reasons.

“His dad used to always do that to him before every fight going in,” Pickett said in a Cage Warriors social media clip. “It’s just like tradition. I’ve just filled his dad’s shoes.”

Thankfully, there’s no tragic reason for this. Wood’s father, Pickett explained, is still a big part of his son’s training camps. But, since he just no longer sits in his corner during his scraps, someone needed to step up for the vital face-slapping assignment.

In comes the generous Pickett. But just because he’s taking over someone’s job doesn’t meant he doesn’t get to enjoy it.

“To be honest, it’s one of my favorite things,” Pickett said.

Pickett will most likely be seen on face-slapping duty for Sept. 16’s headliner, when Wood (11-3) meets challenger Josh Reed (7-0) for the promotion’s 135-pound title. Cage Warriors 86 takes place Sept. 16 at Indigo at The O2 in London, and the card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

For more on Cage Warriors 86, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Lewis Long vs. Gael Grimaud among additions to Cage Warriors 86 in London

Cage Warriors’ fall return to its London home base continues to build with the addition of four new fights.

Leading the pack, Lewis Long (15-4), who previously was announced for a spot at Cage Warriors 86, now has an opponent. He’ll take on French veteran Gael Grimaud (20-7) in a welterweight fight on the card.

Cage Warriors 86 takes place Sept. 16 at Indigo at The O2 in London. The card streams on UFC Fight Pass. In the main event, bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood meets challenger Josh Reed.

Additionally, the promotion today announced Miro Jurkovic (4-0) vs. Warren Kee (8-5); Brian Bouland (5-1) vs. Darren O’Gorman (5-2) at bantamweight; and Arvydas Juska (1-3) vs. James Webb (1-1) at middleweight.

Wales’ Long is coming off arguably the biggest win of his career. At Cage Warriors 83 in May, he got a TKO win over UFC veteran Che Mills in just 18 seconds thanks to a Mills knee injury sustained when Long drove him to the canvas for an early takedown. The victory was Long’s seventh in eight fights, and he called for a spot on the UFC’s July show in Scotland. Absent that shot – for now – he’ll take on Grimaud in London.

Gael Grimaud

The 37-year-old Grimaud will try to bounce back from a March submission loss to Abdoul Abdouraguimov in France. That snapped a three-fight skid that came in a run that saw him win 11 of 12 fights. Included in that stretch was a 2012 win at Cage Warriors Fight Night 6 over Jesse Taylor, who recently won Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” to get back into the UFC.

With the additions, the Cage Warriors 86 card now includes:

  • Nathaniel Wood vs. Josh Reed – for bantamweight title
  • Corrin Eaton vs. Dean Truman
  • Gael Grimaud vs. Lew Long
  • Sam Creasey vs. Paul Marin
  • Miro Jurkovic vs. Warren Kee
  • Brian Bouland vs. Darren O’Gorman
  • Arvydas Juska vs. James Webb

For more on Cage Warriors 86, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Cage Warriors, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Cage Warriors 86 features champ Nathaniel Wood vs. Josh Reed in London

Cage Warriors officials previously announced that bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood was set to headline Cage Warriors 86 on Sept. 16 at Indigo at The O2 in London. Now, he has an opponent.

Promotion official recently announced that “The Prospect” Wood (11-3) will meet undefeated challenger Josh Reed (7-0) in the Cage Warriors 86 main event.

“After two sell-out shows at our London home in February and June, we’re delighted to head back to the Indigo at The O2 in September,” Cage Warriors President Graham Boylan stated. “Nathaniel has said the belt will not leave his home town, but Josh will bring a lot of support from Wales and is unbeaten as a professional, so I’m anticipating a strong, competitive fight.”

Wood captured the Cage Warriors title earlier this month with a first-round knockout of Marko Kovacevic at Cage Warriors 84. He’ll now look to defend the belt for the first time when he faces Reed, who is undefeated seven fights in to his professional run, including three wins under the Cage Warriors banner.

Cage Warriors officials also announced Corrin Eaton (9-2) vs. Dean Trueman (7-4), as well as Lewis Long (15-4) against an opponent to be determined for Cage Warriors 86.

For more on Cage Warriors 86, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Cage Warriors, News
Source: MMA Junkie