Cage Warriors 94 Results/Clips: Undefeated BJJ ace Ilia Topuria Squeezes out a Main Event Sub, Tough Night for the Home Belgians

Antwerp, Belgium – Cage Warriors’ latest journey south to Belgium at CW 94 featured a bantamweight title fight in the main event, as Brussels-based slugger Brian Bouland sought to claim the vacant CW belt versus Spanish/Georgian grappler Ilia Topuria. Topuria was ineligible to go home with the title due to missing the mark at the Cage Warriors 94 weighins, and that proved to be an important point as he used power grappling to absolutely blow through the striker Bouland (7-2, #224 World).  Topuria had no problem slamming Bouland to the mat, and once there he found an opportunistic anaconda choke 90 seconds in that forced the academic tapout.  Ilia Topuria (6-0, #416 World) may not be going home to Spain with the Cage Warriors belt, but the 21 year old completely outclassed his foe and set himself up for plenty more major opportunities at 135 or 145 pounds going forward.


Cage Warriors 94 Co-Main @155 lb:

W: Jai Herbert (6-1)
Unanimous Decision
L: Erdi Karatas (9-5, #441 World)


In the biggest spot of his developing MMA career, Jai Herbert came out super aggressive in the CW 94 main event versus Belgian regional star Erdi Karatas. Herbert landed the first damaging punch of the fight 45 seconds in and tried to finish with a flurry of multiple head kicks and standing knees. Karatas clung on and managed to recover, and back at range he started timing the rangier Herbert to land shots of his own. A pair of short left hooks noticeably rung the Brit’s bell with about a minute left in the opening stanza, and Karatas chose to take his man down and possibly steal back round 1 from top control.

The Muay Thai violence continued early in round 2, with both men landing shots but showing a bit more respect for their foe than they did in the wild opening round. After Herbert landed a sneaky left head kick, he circled to Karatas’ back and tried for the Mata Leon (RNC) submission. When that try didn’t bear fruit, Herbert wisely latched a body triangle and controlled position to ensure a 10-9 second frame in his favor. Herbert had yet to see a round 3 prior to this bout, but he seemed the fresher party as he attacked with kicks and punches in the final frame. In case the judges were thinking about rendering a sketchy decision, the former BAMMA title challenger decided to reassert his grappling dominance and work to back mount for the last two minutes of the fight. Jai Herbert didn’t manage to stop the hide-tough Karatas, but he did do enough to secure a clear unanimous decision victory – his most substantial win yet in just over three years of pro competition.


Cage Warriors 94 Pro Undercard Highlights

145: Poland’s Krzysztof Klaczek (11-5, #549 World) came in to this CW 94 main card bout with Belgium’s Samir Alakozai (7-2) as a late replacement for Dean Trueman. Short notice or no, Klaczek owned a massive advantage in the grappling game that he used to control Alakozai throughout round 1. Klaczek upped the ante when he reversed a counter single leg from the Belgian into back mount with three minutes to work in round 2. The traveling fighter swapped between back, side, and mount control – whatever the position, Klaczek spent much of the frame scoring with short ground shots. Alakozai enjoyed a brief momentum of hope courtesy of a standing knee to the face at the start of round 3. But much to the dismay of the crowd, Klaczek gathered himself and used his superior jiu-jitsu skills to work to mount and ride the fight out as the Antwerp crowd grumbled. When you’re a short notice replacement fighting on the road, an unhappy crowd is as good a crowd as you can hope for – great job by Krysztof Klaczek, who got the job done in a tough spot and picked up the dominant decision win in the process.

155: This clash started as a mild mannered grappling contest, with home favorite Donovan Desmae (11-5, #293 World) working patiently from top control against Dutch talent Hubert Geven (12-3, #646 World). But once the two men started trading on the feet this CW 94 clash turned into an all-out, rock’em sock’em brawl for the short time that it lasted. Desmae threw caution to the wind, offering an array of powerful crosses, uppercuts and knees that had Geven briefly rocked. But the Netherlander quickly steadied himself and issued more calculated, technical offense that turned Desmae’s blond hair a shade of dark pink by the end of round 1. The source of the blood was a fairly mild cut on Desmae’s left eye, but the Belgian apparently asserted that he couldn’t see when asked by the ringside doctor. That was enough to cause the fight to be waved off prior to round 2 in favor of Hubert Geven.

155: Home soil competitor Jan Quayhaegens (6-4, #566 World) found himself on top but in trouble early in round one, as undersized welterweight Philip Mulpeter (9-5, #289 World) wrapped him up in a potentially dangerous triangle choke. Mulpeter nailed the Belgian with plenty of elbows from bottom but never properly adjusted the choke to narrow the squeeze. Quayhaegens ended up spending much of round 1 on top after fighting off the triangle, though he might not have done anything notable enough to mitigate Mulpeter’s early offense. Both men exchanged top control early in round 2 with Quayhaegens coming out on top of the SBG Ireland rep. This time the Belgian posted Mulpeter against the cage and dropped solid ground strikes as the could-be Conor McGregor impersonator threw more elbows from bottom. Mulpeter eventually scrambled and reclaimed top position in the second half of round 2, but before long Quayhaegens muscled back on top to end another razor close round. After Quayhaegens landed a nice head kick to start round 3, Mulpeter easily fended off an ill-conceived armbar try and managed to secure top position. The Irishman worked to mount before taking back triangle and choking out Quayhaegens with just under two minutes left on the clock! Great cardio and finishing instincts from Philip Mulpeter, who showed tenacity worthy of his “Honey Badger” nickname and may well have come back from a two round deficit on his opponent’s home turf.

170: In a welterweight scrap on the Facebook prelims stream, streaking Italian Angelo Rubino (8-3, #407 World) made the great Bas Rutten proud with a nasty round 1 liver kick KO of Belgian regional champ Maarten Wouters (10-6). The finish marked a fourth straight win for Rubino in his Cage Warriors debut.

170: Tonny van Dijk (2-2) demonstrated abundant skill in the first round of this entertaining prelims scrap, as he pieced up debuting Tomek Langowski (1-0) on the feet and showed a timely takedown game. But van Dijk became overconfident and ended up leaping facefirst into a KO punch shortly after the round 2 bell tolled. Oops! Great punch from Langowski, who did a nice job of weathering the storm and waiting for an opening despite a rough experience in round 1.

W115: Highly touted 18 year old Team Alpha Male trainee Cory McKenna (2-0) threw down with Frenchwoman Eva Dourthe (3-1, #89 World) for three rounds of hard fought action and emerged with a split decision victory. The BCMMA amateur champ had some trouble with Dourthe’s takedown game, but managed to score the bulk of the damage on the feet.

150: The first pro competitor representing Belgium got the live crowd off to a hot start, as Salvatore Liga (2-0) earned a first round GNP TKO at the expense of Hasan Gulmez (0-1).

W138: The Cage Warriors 94 pro undercard kicked off with a close tussle between Northern Ireland’s Leah McCourt (1-1) and France’s Manon Fiorot (0-1). The bout saw McCourt claim a split decision on the strength of her superior grappling skills, despite spurts of of strong offense from Fiorot.

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