Middleweight Norman Paraisy continued an impressive win streak with a third round TKO of a gritty Jack Mason, but the Frenchman waited until the third round to impress.
"The Ultimate Fighter 11" cast member and Mason met in the main event of Saturday's Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 43 event, which took place at London's HMV Forum.
The third-round TKO result capped off a night of entertaining scraps that aired on numerous outlets, including MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
The opening round was contested at a moderate pace. Mason looked for a takedown on several occasions, but Paraisy shrugged off each attempt with ease. Neither fighter scored many strikes of consequence, but Paraisy often taunted his foe with dropped hands.
The second saw more of the same, as both fighters looked hesitant to overcommit. Paraisy did find success with one flurry late in the frame, but Mason answered moments later by leaping into a guillotine-choke attempt. The hold looked tight, but Mason could not earn the finish.
As the third opened, neither fighter could make a real claim to a lead, and Paraisy did come out with a few stern strikes. Mason remained composed in the pocket, but he was consistently slower to attack. Paraisy earned a takedown, but he was given very little time to ride the position.
On the restart, Mason began to fire heavy leather. Paraisy stepped up his output, as well. A flying knee scored the first direct hit of the bout, and Mason (15-8) was dropped to the floor. Paraisy (10-1-1) pounced with finishing blows, and the fight was waved off.
In an all-Irish co-headliner, "The Ultimate Fighter 12" veteran Joseph Duffy outlasted game opponent Francis Heagley in an entertaining three-round scrap.
Heagney shot in quickly, and Duffy looked to have a shot at a guillotine choke. However, Heagney pulled his head free and set up on top. Duffy threatened with kimura attempts on both sides of his opponent, and it allowed him to sweep to top. A few big right hands followed as the pair moved back to the feet.
As the two worked from the clinch, Heagney jumped up and locked in an impressive guillotine choke. Duffy somehow battled through the hold, even as the two hit the deck. Duffy looked strong in the standup as he popped up from the missed hold, and Heagney looked to be tiring slightly.
Duffy came out firing punches and kicks in the second, and Heagney continued to focus on the takedown. He got it 90 seconds into the round and fended off a few submissions from the bottom. Duffy's temple began to trickle blood, but he continued to remain active from the floor. A late sweep left Duffy on top. He gave up the position in favor of a guillotine that didn't come, and the bell sounded to end the back-and-forth frame.
With the fight likely up for grabs in the final frame, Duffy came out swinging and then scored an early takedown. Duffy nearly took the back in an ensuing scramble, but he eventually returned to his feet at the halfway mark. Heagley was slow to rise, and Duffy took advantage of the fatigue with some crisp punches and kicks.
Heagley (8-5) stalled out in the closing minute with a halfhearted guillotine choke, but referee Marc Goddard called for a standup. Duffy (10-0) finished with a final assault of strikes and ultimately earned a unanimous decision that was much closer than the 30-26, 29-27 and 30-27 would seem to indicate.
In a lightweight grudge match, Brad Wheeler earned some payback in a rematch with the previously unbeaten Ian Entwhistle. After controversy surrounded the initial disqualification encounter, Wheeler made sure there was no such issue the second time around.
Entwhistle opened with a few low kicks, but Wheeler caught one of the blows and pushed the action to the floor. The two returned to the feet, where the longer Wheeler scored with straight punches on top of Entwhistle's snapping leg kicks.
Working from the clinch, Wheeler blasted his opponent with short punches and elbows, leaving Entwhistle (4-1) no choice but to shoot in for a takedown. Wheeler snuffed it out, controlled the action on the mat and patiently shifted into a back-mount triangle choke. Entwhistle's face instantly reddened, and he was forced to tap. Wheeler (6-5) jumped to his feet and launched into a Tito Ortiz "gravedigger" routine.
In heavyweight action, Dean Lister blue belt Andreas Kraniotakes defeated 6-foot-10 Englishman Dave Keeley with a bit of nifty matwork.
After a few early low kicks, Kraniotakes scored a successful takedown and settled into Keeley's guard. However, the lengthy Keeley made a brilliant attempt at first an armbar and then an omo plata. Kraniotakes remained patient in defense and quickly returned to top position after a few tense moments.
As Keeley continued to search for submissions from the bottom, Kraniotakes made a swift transition to mount and slipped to the side and attacked his opponent's left arm. It appeared Kraniotakes (11-4) might have shifted too far, but before Keeley (4-3) could wiggle free, his opponent re-adjusted the grip and forced the tapout.
In the night's first main-card matchup, middleweight Brett Sizeland bounced back from the lone loss of his career with an impressive win over Craig White.
An early overhand right led directly into a powerful takedown for Sizeland. White remained active from his back, firing up his legs for submission attempts and actually opening up a cut over Sizeland's right eye. Still, Sizeland pounded away for the duration of the round.
After controlling the action throughout the frame, Sizeland (4-1) transitioned to the back in the final minute and began looking for a rear-naked choke. With the arm around the neck, seemingly cranking the neck, as well, White (5-3) had no choice but to tap.
Featherweights Steve O'Keefe and Artem Lobov combined for an entertaining scrap that featured some impressive grappling transitions punctuated by one well-placed punch.
O'Keefe wasted little time bringing the fight to the floor at the opening bell. Lobov was game, but O'Keefe nailed a sweep into an inverted triangle. However, he didn't secure the arm in the transition, and Lobov pulled free and set up on top. A second inverted triangle also fell short, but O'Keefe transitioned back to the top in an entertaining round of scrambling sweeps.
In the second, O'Keefe opened with a few acrobatic kicks before looking for another takedown. However, Lobov snuffed out the attempt and did major damage with a series of body blows. O'Keefe shot in desperately, and Lobov looked for the finish. However, the scrappy O'Keefe continue to work from his back, and after a referee restart, it was Lobov who rose to reveal a severely bloodied nose.
On the restart, Lobov sought a rear-naked choke, but he ran out of time, and O'Keefe survived.
Lobov opened the third like a man possessed, moving forward looking for a finish. However, it was O'Keefe who landed a straight to the chin and sent his opponent crashing to the canvas. O'Keefe rushed in and locked in a rear-naked choke. Lobov (2-2) tried to fight off the hold, but O'Keefe (4-1) kept on the squeeze and put his opponent to sleep.
In bantamweight action, Adam Edwards made an early bid for "Submission of the Night" with a slick tapout of Ben Crook.
After a few snapping Thai kicks on the feet, Edwards took the fight to the floor and moved quickly into mount. After rolling for an armbar on the right-hand side, Edwards transitioned beautifully to S-mount and over to the left arm for another shot at popping the elbow. Rolling with the submission hold, Edwards (4-2) forced an immediate tap from Crook (5-6) just 67 seconds into the bout.
In featherweight action, Frenchman Olivier Pastor utilized pinpoint striking to bloody up opponent Niko Gjoka.
Pastor picked apart his opponent with powerful leg kicks, immobilizing his shorter foe. Knees in the clinch busted up Gjoka's face, and Olivier seized the momentum from the opening bell.
In the second, Gjoka looked to change the course of the fight by bringing the fight to the floor. Unfortunately, he found himself fighting off a guillotine choke and absorbing elbows to the dome. Pastor (12-7) worked well off his back and even transitioned to top position in the final minute while delivering more damage.
Gjoka (5-6) threatened in the final frame with an armbar attempt, but it was the lone bright spot, as that match was waved off at the 2:14 mark due to an accumulation of blows on the floor.
The evening's first professional bout saw a high-paced welterweight affair that opened with frantic standup attacks but ultimately was decided in the clinch.
After scoring a few takedowns but finding himself unable to capitalize on the position, Danny Roberts (3-0) blasted David Howell (2-1) with powerful knees to the gut that left his opponent doubled over in pain. The end came at the 2:26 mark of the second frame.
* Norman Paraisy def. Jack Mason via TKO (strikes) - Round 3, 3:50
* Joseph Duffy def. Francis Heagney via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 30-27)
* Brad Wheeler def. Ian Entwhistle via submission (back-mount triangle choke) - Round 1, 3:22
* Dave Keeley def. Andreas Kraniotakes via submission (armbar) - Round 1, 3:48
* Brett Sizeland def. Craig White via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 4:15
* Steve O'Keefe def. Artem Lobov via technical submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 3, 1:24
* Adam Edwards def. Ben Crook via submission (armbar) - Round 1, 1:07
* Olivier Pastor def. Niko Gjoka via TKO (punches) - Round 2, 2:14
* Danny Roberts def. David Howell via TKO (knees) - Round 2, 2:26