Cage Warriors middleweight champion Mick Stanton produced one of the biggest comebacks of 2023 to stop former champ James Webb and retain his 185 title at Cage Warriors 157.
The event, which took place at the Indigo at The O2 in London, saw Stanton face Webb in the main event, with “The Huyton Hammer” putting his title on the line for the first time since he captured the vacant belt with victory over Will Currie at Cage Warriors 151 in March.
Webb won the first meeting between the pair back in 2020, and the former champion looked on top early. Many of Webb’s prior performances have seen him use his size, strength and dominant top game to overwhelm his opponents, but, in a perhaps slightly surprising approach, he opted to stand and strike with Stanton.
Webb appeared to hurt Stanton with a short left hook, then later had Stanton in trouble after connecting with a crushing body shot. But, urged on by his corner, Stanton recovered well and worked his way out of trouble.
Webb continued to press forward, and hurt Stanton again with another body shot. But, once again, the defending champion moved out of trouble. He then had to smartly get back to his feet after Webb landed a big takedown.
But, with Webb looking comfortably on top, Stanton struck. A big left hook stunned Webb, and a follow-up right uppercut sent the former champion to the mat. Stanton then followed up with ground strikes as he kept Webb grounded, then continued to hammer him with punches until referee Marc Goddard stepped in to end the fight with just 39 seconds remaining in the opening round.
After weathering an early storm, a comeback late in the round secured the TKO win for Mick Stanton. He retains the CW Middleweight Title 🏆 what an incredible fight by both competitors 👏#CW157 pic.twitter.com/xIqxgm55It
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) July 21, 2023
Former featherweight champs claim stoppage wins
The night also saw two former Cage Warriors featherweight champions return to action, and both Jordan Vucenic and Morgan Charriere added another finish to their respective records as the pair moved towards a shot at the 145-pound strap currently held by Paul Hughes.
In the co-main event, Vucenic looked comfortable throughout as he picked apart Brice Picaud before finishing him with a rear-naked choke, while Charriere stayed patient to earn a TKO finish of Brazil’s former LFA bantamweight title challenger Diego Silva.
In a bout that featured two men who preferred to counter-strike, there was a lot of feinting and cagey approach work as both men looked to create an opening for their explosive strikes. And, with Charriere proving the more successful on the feet early, Silva looked to take the action to the mat. But Charriere stayed diligent and avoided any trouble on the ground, showcasing some impressive sprawl technique to stifle Silva’s grappling attack at source.
Eventually, Charriere managed to find the finish as he hammered his man with ground strikes to claim a third-round stoppage and send his raucous band of fans into raptures at cageside.
‘The Latvian Express’ rolls on
Welterweight contender Madars Fleminas continued his impressive form in 2023 by claiming an eye-catching second-round knockout of Daniel Skibinski.
Skibinski pushed the pace early, but as the opening round wore on, Fleminas started to take control. By the start of Round 2, “The Latvian Express” was the one pushing forward and, after a good shot knocked out Skibinski’s mouthguard, Fleminas closed in and loaded up with a huge uppercut and follow-up right hook to knock out the Pole and claim a statement win in the Cage Warriors welterweight division.
Madars Fleminas comes out swinging in the second round to score a huge KO finish. He calls for a shot at the belt 🏆
Who can argue with that… 😳
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) July 21, 2023
The main card also saw rising featherweight prospect Luke Riley claim a hard-earned unanimous decision victory over Brazil’s Matheus Malta, while another 145er, Harry Hardwick, locked up a rear-naked choke to earn a second-round submission victory over another Brazilian, Vitor Estevam.
Cage Warriors 157: Official results
- Mick Stanton def. James Webb via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:21 – for middleweight title
- Jordan Vucenic def. Brice Picaud via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:38
- Morgan Charriere def. Diego Silva via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:13
- Madars Fleminas def. Daniel Skibibski via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 0:44
- Luke Riley def. Matheus Malta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Harry Hardwick def. Vitor Estavam via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 0:33
- Will Currie def. Jorge Bueno via TKO (elbows) – Round 2, 2:59
- Angus Hewett def. Connor Hayes via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 2, 3:52
- Omeil Brown def. Jesse Urholin via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 3:47
- Taka Mhandu def. Grant Ogborne via standing TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:05
- Weslley Maia def. Ohirzah Qadrian via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Liam Gittins def. Janne Elonen-Kulmala via TKO (elbows) – Round 1, 3:17
- Tom Mearns def. Bailey Gilbert via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- George Tanasa def. Wesley Machado via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)
- Tom Creasey def. Ander Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)