England’s Christian Leroy Duncan produced a highlight-reel knockout to capture the Cage Warriors middleweight title at Cage Warriors 136 in Manchester.

On an event that saw all 13 bouts on the card finished inside the distance, Duncan delivered one of the best finishes of the night to finish defending champion Djati Melan 48 seconds into the third round of their title clash at the BEC Arena.

Melan put his wrestling advantage to good use in Round 1 as he successfully completed his first takedown attempt. But the Ivorian was unable to land any significant offense on the mat as he spent most of his time trying to prevent Duncan from scrambling back to his feet.

At the end of the round, Melan looked noticeably more fatigued than the challenger as they returned to their corners.

Duncan then came out quickly for Round 2 and pushed the pace on Melan, who looked decidedly uncomfortable dealing with Duncan’s forward pressure and striking.

After Melan’s prolonged attempt to drag Duncan to the mat ended in failure, the challenger let his strikes go as he connected repeatedly on the tiring champion.

Then, in Round 3, Duncan dug into his box of tricks and produced a spectacular finish to end the night in style. After finding his range with an axe kick, Duncan then launched into a stunning flying knee that sent Melan face-first into the canvas.

It meant that Gloucester’s Duncan improved his pro record to 6-0 as he claimed the Cage Warriors 185-pound title.

In the co-main event, Wales’ Aaron Aby underlined his flyweight championship credentials with a submission win over Dutch contender and former bantamweight title challenger Gerardo Fanny.

Aby used his wrestling and solid top game to completely shut down Fanny in the first two rounds, but in the third, Fanny threatened to turn the tables when he snatched an armbar during a scramble.

Aby did superbly to escape the hold and then, after another scramble, locked up a rear-naked choke and forced the top to secure the biggest win of his career.

The rest of the card served up a highlight reel of finishes, with Adam Cullen needing just 14 seconds to demolish El Hadji Ndiaye, who engaged in a firefight with Cullen in the opening seconds and paid for it with his consciousness.

Reece McEwan’s win over Sam Spencer was much more of a battle, as he went back and forth with his opponent for almost the full three-round distance before he finally locked up a rear-naked choke with just 27 seconds of the bout remaining.

And, in the opening bout of the night, 22-year-old Luke Riley won the battle of 2-0 bantamweights after a breathless battle with Jack Eglin.

Eglin started the faster of the two as he pushed the pace on the Next Generation MMA fighter, but Riley defended Eglin’s wrestle-heavy attack well before finding his mark with his strikes to turn the fight in his favour.

Eventually, a salvo of punches and knees forced Eglin back against the fence, and Riley applied the finishing touches to score a huge win.

Preliminary Card

The preliminary card delivered even more finishes, with all eight bouts ending inside the distance, either via knockout or TKO.

The most spectacular finish on the undercard came via Manny Akpan, who unleashed a stunning spinning heel kick to knock out Connor Hitchens and finish a fight that Hitchens looked to be winning comfortably. But he was betting without Akpan’s spectacular spinning technique, which produced one of the knockouts of 2022 so far.

There was also a highlight-reel finish from Finland’s Aleksi Mantykivi, who stunned, then knocked out Jeanderson Castro with a three-piece combination that was a thing of beauty.

Cage Warriors 136: Official Results


  • Christian Leroy Duncan def. Djati Melan via knockout (flying knee) – Round 3 0:48 (wins middleweight title)
  • Aaron Aby def. Gerardo Fanny via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 2:25
  • Adam Cullen def. El Hadji Ndiaye via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:14
  • Reece McEwan def. Sam Spencer via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:33
  • Luke Riley def. Jack Eglin via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 4:54


  • Mick Stanton def. Alexis Fontes via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:28
  • Aleksi Mantykivi def. Jeanderson Castro via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 2:27
  • Liam Molloy def. Ben Rees via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:26
  • Manny Akpan def. Connor Hitchens via knockout (spinning heel kick) – Round 2, 4:36
  • Dylan Hazan def. Raymison Bruno via TKO (retirement) – Round 1, 5:00
  • Jan Quaeyhaegans def. Kieran Lister via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 3, 3:08
  • Chasen Blair def Rickie Moore via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 1, 2:47
  • Michael Tchamou def. Piotr Chmielecki via knockout (ground strikes) Round 1, 1:35

Photo: Dolly Clew / Cage Warriors