To the surprise of many, five-time UFC veteranÂ John Maguire was upset by healthy underdogÂ Saul Rogers after three rounds of closely contested action in the Cage Warriors 65 headliner.
Saturdayâ€™s event, which streamed on MMAjunkie from The Helix in Dublin, saw the significantly younger and less experienced Rogers (8-1) hold his own and more against Maguire (19-7) to take a unanimous decision victory, and the most notable win of his young career.
Maguire expected his winning streak and subsequent climb back to the UFCâ€™s octagon to take another positive step forward against Rogers, but that obviously didnâ€™t go as planned.
The 24-year-old Rogers stayed away from the dangerous submissions of â€œThe Oneâ€ when he needed to and patiently waited for his moments to attack.
With the loss, Maguire drops to a dismal 1-4 in his past five fights, while Rogers recorded his second consecutive victory under the Cage Warriors banner.
Alloway edges Mason in Cage Warriors debut
After seeing his UFC career fizzle due to consecutive losses,Â Ben Alloway (13-5) got back on track in his Cage Warriors debut with a decision victory over a gameÂ Jack Mason (26-13) in the co-main event.
It wasnâ€™t the most thrilling contest on the card, but it was a meaningful bout for both men as they are trying to enter the crowded welterweight title picture. That made a victory on Saturday paramount.
Fortunately for Alloway, his striking and grappling were just a little more on point than Mason for two of the three rounds, and thatâ€™s what got him a victory.
There werenâ€™t many memorable moments in the fight, but Alloway has to be satisfied with his performance seeing as it earned him his first victory since December 2012.
Enlund avoids â€œThe Prospect Killerâ€
Artem LobovÂ (8-8) tried to goadÂ Alex Enlund (10-2) into a standup fight with some pre-fight banter, however, once the actual contest began, it was evident no such thing was going to take place.
Enlund relentlessly pursued the takedown from the opening bell and after a brief struggle, the grappling specialist got the fight where he wanted. Once Enlund had an advantageous position over Lobov on the ground it was just a matter of time until the fight-ending submission was locked in.
The 26-year-old got his arm under the neck with relative ease for a rear-naked choke, but instead of tapping out, Lobov opted to go to sleep, giving Enlund the ninth submission victory of his young career.
Rooney hands Creighton first submission loss
Damien RooneyÂ (10-3-1) impressed in his Cage Warriors debut with a second-round submission victory overÂ Bryan Creighton (5-2) that showed a little bit of everything in his game.
The story of the fight was the power of the short and stocky Creighton against the tricky height and length of Rooney. Ultimately, the latter proved more successful as Rooney stayed on the outside and wisely picked his shots from the outside when the fight was on the feet and was always looking to attack on the ground.
Rooney was always doing his best to finish the fight and in the second round he locked in a triangle choke from bottom position that forced Creighton to tap out in MMA competition for the first time.
Redmond excels when pushed to new limits
For the first time in his career,Â Paul Redmond (9-4) was forced to go past the second round and to the final bell when he defeated an extremely gameÂ Damian Brown (10-6) by decision in an entertaining flyweight affair.
It was an extremely high paced, back-and-forth 15-minute affair that would test the endurance of even the most well trained fighter. Redmond proved he able to not only go the distance, but he can do it while going full throttle for the entire fight.
The bout with Brown was contested almost entirely on the ground, as the sweeps, transitions and submission attempts came in waves. While neither man was able to finish the fight, there was nothing to be discouraged about for either after the effort put forth in the cage.
Another knockout for â€œThe Honey Badgerâ€
Philip Mulpeter(7-4) may have come up short in the most high-profile bout of his career against John Maguire last year, but on Saturday â€œThe Honey Badgerâ€ showed that loss has only made him better as he came out and ran throughÂ Aldric Cassata (7-6).
Cassata had nothing to offer his Irish counterpart beyond takedown attempts, and once it was evident Mulpeter could avoid being held on the ground, his confidence bolstered and eventually the finish came. A big knee to the body followed by an assault of ground-and-pound produced the fight-ending stoppage form the referee.
While his record is far from consistent, Mulpeterâ€™s knockout of Cassata was a perfect example of what heâ€™s capable of when heâ€™s at his best.
Complete Cage Warriors 65 results:
MAIN CARD (MMAjunkie, 4 p.m. ET)
- Saul Rogers def. John Maguire via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ben Alloway def. Jack Mason via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Alex Enlund def. Artem Lobov via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:24
- Damien Rooney def. Bryan Creighton via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:10
- Paul Redmond def. Damien Brown via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Philip Mulpeter def. Aldric Cassata via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:13
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 2:45 p.m. ET)
Lee CaersÂ def.Â Merv Mulholland via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:12
Catherine CostiganÂ def.Â Irene Cabello via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Paddy PimblettÂ def.Â Martin Sheridan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised, 2 p.m. ET)
Konrad IwanowskiÂ def.Â Shane Gunfield via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Neil WardÂ def.Â Gavin Kelly via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:58