9 is the new 15. In UK MMA, anyway.
Following in the footsteps of Cage Warriors 75, Warrior Fight Series 6 delivered a card of just nine fights at York Hall on Saturday.
There are those of us (myself included) that welcome an abbreviated night of face punching – 25 fights and five solid hours of violence can do a mischief to one’s mind. Conversely, there’s the idea that 18 fighters pulverising one another for our viewing pleasure simply isn’t value for money.
Regardless of where you sit on this issue, waiting nearly an hour between fights can be excruciating, and this is exactly what the crowd at WFS 6 were treated to following the conclusion of the night’s first amateur bout. As it turned out, the wait was worth it. The reward for the pain my backside endured during the seemingly never ending intermission, was a fantastically entertaining amateur lightweight scrap between Charlie-Boy Howard and Scott Pedersen. Pedersen was the perfect foil for Howard’s Diaz-like perpetual forward motion, and 18 rated potty mouth (referee Dan Movahedi confirming some of the more choice ‘banter’: “You “f***ing p****!”). Originally slated to fight for the amateur featherweight belt, Howard ended up facing welshman Pedersen in something of a switcheroo on the undercard. For all his baiting, Howard never got under the skin of Pedersen, and save for a few moments in the third round, the young Welshman was a picture of composure throughout, picking his spots expertly and controlling the pace of the action. Arguably a highlight of the night, the two were unlucky not to be taking home Fight of the Night honours.
The Welsh continued their run of form at WFS 6, as Aidan James (the other half of the previously announced Charlie-Boy matchup) took home the amateur featherweight title in style. Facing last minute replacement, Gregor Jurcic, James wasted no time once the fight hit the mat, transitioning swiftly to the back before sinking in the fight ending choke.
DANIEL CRAWFORD vs. KAMS EKPOPhotos (c) Fight Photography, do not use or alter without permission.
He might not have taken home the belt, but Daniel Crawford left with the W in a headline worthy back-and-forth with Kams Ekpo.
Having failed to make the championship limit of 145lbs, Crawford vacated his WFS featherweight title prior to the bout, meaning only Ekpo could leave as champion. And it started well for the Frenchman, dropping Crawford early and taking the first round – something the former champion failed to recollect when speaking with The Sprawl‘s Jack Sear at the end of the night. Crawford recovered, upping his game in the second and third rounds and taking a clear, though competitive, decision.
Nobody left with the title, but both men made an impression upon those in attendance at York Hall.
KAMS EKPO via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
DOMINIC WOODING vs. LIONEL MORENO
You’ve got to have sympathy for Lionel Moreno, he may or may not have known what he was getting into when agreed to be a short notice replacement for Samir Faiddine. One thing’s for certain, he knew what he’d agreed to by the time Dominic Wooding was ruining his face with some trademark knees. Wooding threatened early on with yet another flying knee assault (reminiscent of his previous two victories at WFS), and dominated throughout, keeping the hapless Spaniard pinned against the cage. Comparisons to Anderson Silva are obvious, but not unwarranted, Wooding commands the cage with confidence, peppering his opponents as and when he chooses. Perhaps the most Silva-esque of Wooding’s weapons though, is his brutal clinch game – something Moreno encountered over and over.
Quite frankly, Moreno wanted no part of this, and it’s hard to blame him. What else is there to say: BELIEVE THE HYPE.
DOMINIC WOODING def. LIONEL MORENO via TKO (punches) at 1:11 of round two
Flyweight Title Bout
CJ MEEKS vs. KES MAMBA
Let’s get this straight, right from the off: CJ MEEKS IS AN ENEMY OF THE SPORT*. Clearly CJ Meeks hadn’t read the script, the stage had been set for yet another big Kes Mamba win at WFS. Mamba who, until recently, didn’t even train in MMA, has become something of a cult hero among fans and media alike. A man who leaves everything to fate, Mamba took his chances against Meeks but it was never going to be. A few scrambly moments aside, Meeks dominated the fight, dropping Mamba with a murderous right hand early in the second round. Despite modest protestation from Mamba (who appeared to be looking in two directions at once), referee David Swann called an end to the onslaught at 53 seconds of the second round.
Next for Meeks is Danny Mitchell on the UK Bellator card. Next for Mamba? I guess the universe will decide.
*He’s not really, it’s just that there’s a lot of love for Kes Mamba
CJ MEEKS def. KES MAMBA TKO (punches and elbows) at 0:53 of round two
By No Means Least
Luiz Finocchio made short work of Patrick Friary, earning the stoppage in just 76 seconds, Rob McAdam racked up another win on the WFS stage, Aftab Miah took an entertaining decision in a crowd pleasing K1 bout, and Steven Hill opened the card with a hard fought unanimous decision.
And had quite some time to revel in it…
Warrior Fight Series 6 Results:
Featherweight: Daniel Crawford def. Kams Ekpo via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Flyweight Title: Dominic Wooding def. Lionel Moreno via TKO (punches) at 1:11 of round two
Middleweight: CJ Meeks def. Kes Mamba via TKO (punches and elbows) at 0:53 of round two
Amateur Welterweight: Luiz Finocchio def. Patrick Friary via TKO (punches) at 1:16 of round one
Amateur Catchweight (74kg): Rob McAdam def. John Reid via TKO (punches) at 2:19 of round one
Amateur Featherweight Title: Aidan James def. Gregor Jurcic via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:49 of round one
Lightweight K1: Aftab Miah def. Dinko Pehlic via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Amateur Lightweight: Scott Pederson def. Charlie-Boy Howard via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Amateur Middleweight: Steven Hill def. Grzegorz Rejmonczyk via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
See the full Fight Photography galleries HERE.