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