Hard-hitting lightweight champion George Hardwick retained his 155-pound title in style in the main event of Cage Warriors 155 in Manchester.
Hardwick knocked out Luxembourg’s Yann Liasse with a barrage of strikes as he unloaded 10 unanswered strikes to finish the challenger in the final minute of the first round at the BEC Arena.
Liasse started faster and put his combinations together well early on as he offered the higher output in the early stages. But, after half a round, Hardwick had seen enough, and started to fire back with interest.
A beautiful two-punch combination dropped Liasse hard, and Hardwick followed the Luxembourger to the mat and attempted to lock up a high-elbow guillotine. But, seemingly not happy with his position, Hardwick gave up the choke and returned to his feet. But any thought that Liasse had escaped unscathed were erased as the Englishman resumed his attack on the feet catching Liasse with a host of big punches that eventually forced his man back against the fence. With Liasse looking in big trouble, Hardwick unloaded another barrage of punches to knock out the challenger as the BEC Arena exploded in celebration.
It gave Hardwick another highlight-reel finish as he registered the second successful defense of his lightweight title
The co-main event also saw a first-round finish as Nathan Fletcher produced a big win as he finished Dutch contender Daan Duijs via first-round triangle choke to put himself firmly in the championship picture at 135 pounds.
James Power picked up a second-round TKO of Poland’s Lukasz Kopera, who was stopped on his stool at the end of the round, while Italian Dumitru Girlean sprung a shock on his Cage Warriors debut with a huge one-punch knockout of surging lightweight contender Adam Cullen to Englishman the first defeat of his professional career. The pair had battled back and forth over two highly competitive rounds. But, after a strong finish to the second round by Cullen, Girlean came out at the start of Round 3 and unloaded a sledgehammer of a right hand to instantly knock out Cullen just four seconds into the round.
The opening main card bout of the night saw Luke Riley pick up a unanimous decision victory over Kallum Parker to extend his unbeaten pro record to 6-0.
Cage Warriors 152: Official results
- George Hardwick def. Yann Liasse via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 4:12
- Nathan Fletcher def. Daan Duijs via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:50
- James Power def. Lukasz Kopera via TKO (retirement) – Round 2, 5:00
- Dumitru Girlean def. Adam Cullen via knockout (punch) Round 3, 0:04
- Luke Riley def. Kallum Parker via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Madars Fleminas def. Aleksi Mantykivi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Ieuan Davies def. Dec Dean via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 3:27
- Chris Bungard def. Gavin Hughes via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Michal Folc def. Chris Price via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 1, 3:58
- Liam Gittins def. Rory Evans via TKO (knees and elbows) – Round 2, 4:23
- Orlando Wilson Prins def. Antonio Sheldon via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)
Photos: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors