Michele Martignoni captured the Cage Warriors bantamweight title as Italian fighters completed an incredible clean sweep of the fight card at Cage Warriors 144 in Rome, Italy.

The event represented the promotion’s first event on Italian soil, and Italian fighters stepped up and delivered the goods as they won each and every bout on the card, culminating in Martignoni’s thrilling victory over Dominique Wooding to capture the bantamweight crown.

Roared on by a raucous Rome crowd, Martignoni was a ball of energy early in Round 1, but Wooding grew in confidence as the round progressed and put the exclamation point on a technically sound opening frame with a knockdown in the final 20 seconds via a lightning-fast straight left.

The action turned up a notch at the start of Round 2 as Martignoni came out swinging and stung the champion with a big right hand. Spotting a potential opening for victory, the Italian moved in, looking to land another big shot but was clipped hard by a superb counter by Wooding that sent his man staggering backward. The wild exchanges continued, with Wooding’s cleaner shots seeming to have the greater effect, but the bloodied-up Martignoni continued to swing for the fences, despite clearly being compromised by the champion’s rapier-like strikes. Martignoni then turned the tables as he took the champion to the mat and hammered him with heavy ground and pound as he pushed in vain for a finish.

Martignoni continued his high-pressure approach in Round 3 as he walked down the champion and found Wooding’s chin with big right hands at the end of combinations. But the Brit’s chin stood up superbly to the Italian’s punch power. Wooding still had success with his counter strikes, but the challenger seemed happy to walk through the champion’s strikes in order to land multiple shots of his own as the momentum of the bout shifted toward the Italian.

After a fourth round that was dominated by Martignoni, mostly in the clinch and on the mat, the action went into the final round, and Martignoni’s sheer will to win carried him through as he won the key wrestling exchanges to keep Wooding on the defensive in a round that the champion needed to win. And, with the final seconds of the round counting down, the Italian took Wooding’s back and hammered the champion with strikes as the crowd roared him to the final horn.

The scorecards showed how Martignoni took over the fight after the opening round as he claimed scores of 49-45, 49-46, 49-46 to improve his record to 8-1 and capture the 135-pound title in the process.

Pedersoli halts “The Latvian Express”

In the co-main event, Italy’s Carlo Pedersoli Jr. moved into title contention at 170 pounds with a second-round submission of Cage Warriors veteran Madars Fleminas.

Fleminas started the better of the pair as his jerky, elusive style appeared to confuse Pedersoli a little in the early stages. But the Italian showed his striking needed to be respected as he threatened with left kicks to the body and head.

Things didn’t look great for Pedersoli in Round 2 when Fleminas forced the action to the mat and assumed top position. But a beautiful sweep from Pedersoli saw him take control. He eventually transitioned to the back of “The Latvian Express” and locked up a tight rear-naked choke to force the tap at the 3:37 mark and send the Italian fans into raptures.

Hazan extends undefeated record

Italian bantamweight contender Dylan Hazan quickly dispatched short-notice opponent Jefferson Machado De Filippis, then sent a message to the UFC, telling them he’s ready for his call up to the world stage.

Hazan finished De Filippis with vicious ground and pound mid-way through the first round to extend his perfect professional record to 9-0, then signalled to the cageside camera that he’d won nine in a row and was ready to receive the call.

Favero wows with quickfire submission

In a bout that seemingly had everyone on their feet from the opening bell, Italian women’s bantamweight Jasmine Favero produced a superb submission to halt the charge of French fighter Awa Sow.

Hailing from the same camp as French fan-favourite Morgan Charriere, Sow arrived in the arena to a huge reception from a packed French contingent in the crowd. But even the presence of Charriere in her corner wasn’t enough to help her against Italy’s Favero, who showed some slick skills on the mat to claim a quickfire submission.

Favero grabbed the head and arm before throwing Sow to the mat, then using her legs to lock up Sow’s arm before extending it to force the fast tap just a couple of minutes into the opening round.

Di Segni claims emotional victory

Italy’s Micol Di Segni threw punches and kicks non-stop for three full rounds to outpoint England’s Bryony Tyrell and claim victory on her return to the Cage Warriors cage.

Returning to Cage Warriors for the first time since 2018 – and after a split-decision loss on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019 – Di Segni used her aggression and striking superiority to good effect as she overwhelmed Tyrell with strikes for large parts of the bout to earn scores of 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 for a unanimous decision win.

Cage Warriors 144: Official Results


  • Michele Martignoni def. Dominique Wooding via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-46, 49-46) – for bantamweight title
  • Carlo Pedersoli Jr. def. Madars Fleminas via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2, 3:37
  • Dylan Hazan def. Jefferson Machado De Filippis via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 1, 2:40
  • Jasmine Favero def. Awa Sow via submission (straight armlock) – Round 1, 2:01
  • Micol Di Segni def. Bryony Tyrell via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)


  • Emanuele Zaccaria def. Bogdan Barbu via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 1:04
  • Dario Bellandi def. Joan Arasety via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 0:53
  • Emanuele Sabatino def. Karol Michalak via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Photo credit: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors