Bantamweight world champion went toe-to-toe with Welshman Josh Reed in one of the most thrilling title fights in Cage Warriors history
Cage Warriors 86 delivered a stunning night of fights at Indigo at The O2 in London, as bantamweight world champion Nathaniel Wood made good on his promise to defend his title on home soil.
Wood took on undefeated Welsh challenger Josh Reed in the night’s main event, and the pair went toe to toe in a battle that will long be remembered as one of the very best ever staged under the Cage Warriors banner.
Reed started fast and had the champion in trouble as he poured forward with heavy-handed strikes. But champion Wood - a protege of UFC and WEC legend Brad ‘One Punch’ Pickett - kept his composure under fire and remarkably turned the tables on the Welshman.
After soaking up a barrage of punches from Reed, Wood worked his way off the cage and hurt Reed before finishing him with a standing TKO up against the cage, with referee Marc Goddard stepping in to halt the contest late in the opening round.
In the co-main event, Jamie ‘Young Gun’ Richardson produced one of the best performances of his young career as he came back from a bad first round to stop Norwegian grappler Hakon Foss in emphatic style.
Foss quickly went to his grappling in the opening frame, taking Richardson to the mat and looking for submissions. He also scored a high amplitude suplex in a dominant first round display. But in the second round it was all Richardson.
The young Brit poured on the pressure, hurting Foss with strikes and walking down his tiring opponent. And eventually, after a sustained attack from Richardson referee Rich Mitchell stepped in to spare the Norwegian any further punishment and hand the ‘Young Gun’ his sixth career win - and fourth in a row.
Flyweights Sam Creasey and Paul Marin put on a one-round slugfest that finished with Creasey earning an impressive comeback victory.
Marin looked to have the better of the opening exchanges, landing an eye-catching throw and knocking Creasey’s gum shield out with a big shot.
But Creasey kept his composure, hurt Marin to the body then knocked out his man to complete an impressive come-from-behind win.
Lightweights Joe McColgan and Sean Carter delivered one of the fights of the night with a three-round battle that went all the way to the scorecards.
Carter went at his opponent from the off and McColgan had to fight on the back foot, looking to counter-strike. But the Irishman soon found a home for his slick strikes as the fight quickly turned into a toe-to-toe war.
And when the judges totalled their scores they were split in their assessment, with McColgan edging it via split decision with scores of 29-28, 28-29 and 30-27 giving ‘The SBG Hunter’ the victory.
And the opening fight of the main card saw heavyweight prospect Junior ‘Fatty’ Karanta deliver the fastest finish of the night as he dropped, then finished Adel Ghaddou in just 11 seconds.
The preliminary card also delivered action aplenty, with finishes in all four bouts. Marcus Paul, Arvydas Just and Mehdi Saadi all scored first-round submissions, while Brian Bouland earned his win via second-round knockout.
CAGE WARRIORS 86 RESULTS
Nathaniel Wood def Josh Reed via TKO, Round 1
Jamie Richardson def Hakon Foss via TKO, Round 2
Sam Creasey def Paul Marin via KO, Round 1
Joe McColgan def Sean Carter via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Junior Karanta def Adel Ghaddou via KO, Round 1
Brian Bouland def Darren O’Gorman via knockout (punches), Round 2
Marcus Paul def Maciej Gierszewski via submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1
Arvydas Juska def Alex Thorne via submission (guillotine), Round 1
Mehdi Saadi def Eric Nolan via submission (armbar), Round 1