Here are the results of the fights that took place earlier today in Bahrain:
Position before submission.
Well-traveled veteran Jesse Taylor learned that lesson in painful detail after failing to choke out Cage Warriors welterweight champ Gael Grimaud and then succumbing to an armbar.
The title fight headlined "Cage Warriors Fight Night 6: Grimaud vs. Taylor," which took place Thursday at Khalifa Sports City in Isa Town, Bahrain. The main card streamed live on MMAjunkie.com.
Taylor, a wrestling specialist, largely had his way with Grimaud on the mat. But while he spent the bulk of his time on the French fighter's back, he failed time after time to secure the position needed to stay there.
Consequently, Grimaud reversed with regularity, and Taylor was forced to reestablish the position again after again.
By just the second frame, the environment had conspired against both fighters. Drenched in sweat, Taylor's task became even harder as Grimaud was able to slither out of danger. When Taylor seemingly had a choke locked up, he kept his chin elusive and fought free.
The high-intensity grappling match and heat were apparently too much for Taylor, whose offense collapsed in an instant in the third round. Sloppy takedown attempts were capitalized upon by Grimaud, who worked his way to the back and then adjusted his legs to secure an arm from a near-inverted-triangle position. At the 0:55 mark of the third round, Taylor tapped.
"It was my first title defense, and I had a lot of pressure," Grimaud said via a translator afterward. "I'm really honored to fight a guy like Jesse Taylor because he's done a lot of very good and tough fights."
Grimaud (15-5) improves his current win streak to six while Taylor (20-9), who dropped from middleweight to welterweight in hopes of reinventing himself, drops to 1-3 in his past four outings.
"Beast" Alers picks up another TKO against Lahdesmak
Jim Alers said his favorite thing to do was to end a fight with strikes, and against Matteus Lahdesmak, he did it again.
Granted, the TKO he earned at the 3:01 mark of the second round came on the mat. But it ended in a flurry of elbows that forced referee intervention.
"I told you guys I wasn't a one-trick pony," he said afterward. "I have heavy hands, as you saw tonight."
The fans saw it, but Lahdesmak felt it when Alers unloaded early with punches and took the fight down. He retorted with a heel hook, which forced Alers to scramble and then scramble again after another attempt. A triangle choke and omaplata followed from the Finnish fighter, but Alers escaped and unloaded punches from top position.
When the fight returned to its feet, the American took it back down.
After another flurry of punches put him on the defense early in the second, Lahdesmak initiated the clinch and was rejected. Free to continue his pursuit of a TKO, Alers landed several hard right hands that grounded Lahdesmak. On the mat, he explored a series of submissions from the top, but again found better luck on his feet, where his right hand set up top position.
This time, he cinched in a crucifix and unloaded elbows that were interrupted only when the referee decided Lahdesmak had enough.
Alers (8-1) now enjoys a four-fight win streak while Lahdesmak (12-8-3) has hopscotched between wins and losses in his past four outings.
Submission specialist surprises with strikes
Coming into Cage Warriors Fight Night 6, lightweight Ivan Buchinger had earned 12 of his career wins by submission.
Against Diego Gonzalez, however, he was all striking. By the 1:30 mark of the second round, Buchinger left him in a heap.
The beginnings of that were evident in the high volume of punches and kicks thrown by the Slovakian fighter. Buchinger chased Gonzalez across the cage with an explosive spinning-backfist and flurry of fists that ended with a front kick. A few found their way through, but it was a stiff one-two that dropped Gonzalez at the end of the first round.
It seemed a matter of time before Buchinger connected again, and as it turned out, it wouldn't be long. Again charging forward, he found Gonzalez's jaw with a right hand and forced the referee to wave off the fight.
Buchinger (20-3) now enjoys back-to-back wins while Gonzalez (15-7) drops to 2-4 in his past six outings.
Bengtsson smothers Mortimore for submission
Fear the bosom of Eddy Bengtsson.
The Swede heavyweight ran roughshod over Jay Mortimore while dominating on the mat before earning a tap-out at the 2:46 mark of the first round with the rarely seen smother choke.
In other words, Bengtsson used a big handful of chest to coax the finish.
"Jay's an extremely strong fighter," he said afterward. "But I felt if I was going to submit him, I have to be tight on his head, and today, I had to be on top."
Brit Mortimor never had much of a chance. He was taken down in short order and soon found himself scrambling to escape the mount. He did, but it wasn't long before Bengtsson retook the position against the cage.
Then Bengtsson pitched foward, pressed his weight on Mortimor, and with two hands, Mortimor frantically tapped.
Bengtsson (6-3) has won his past two engagements while Mortimor (6-3) has done the opposite.
Phillips stops first opponent with submission
"The White Mike Tyson" is apparently also an escape artist.
Early on, middleweight John Phillips' hard punches forced Tomas Penz to take him down on several occasions. But each time Phillips managed to turn the tables, and at the 3:21 of the second frame, he cinched a triangle choke for his first submission win.
Penz worked ground and pound and took back mount in the first round and then forced Phillips to scramble. He lost the position, but took the fight back to the ground and likely took the first round on points.
Phillips continued to swing in the second frame, but he again got dumped to the mat by a crafty sweep from Penz. Taking mount, Penz again looked dominant. But Phillips escaped once again and managed to take his own mount, where he threatened to end the fight with elbows.
Sloppy control allowed Penz to reverse and escape. But he found no advantage with top position, and then, the improbable triangle choke forced him to tap.
Phillips (15-5) gets back on the winning track after a quick submission loss in his previous Cage Warriors outing. Penz (8-6), meanwhile, sees a three-fight streak snapped.
The full Cage Warriors Fight Night 6 results included:
MAIN CARD (MMAjunkie.com)
Champ Gael Grimaud def. Jesse Taylor via submission (armbar) - Round 3, 0:55
Jim Alers def. Matteus Lahdesmak via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 3:01
Ivan Buchinger def. Diego Gonzalez via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 1:30
Eddy Bengtsson def. Jay Mortimore via submission (smother choke)
John Phillips def. Tomas Penz via submission (triangle choke) - Round 2, 3:21
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
Alan Carlos def. Mike Ling via unanimous decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Olivier Pastor def. Dino Gambatesa via KO (punch) - Round 1, 0:52
Allan Love def. Ignas Petkus via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 3:03