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Cage Warriors 120 Recap: A Thrilling Start to the Trilogy

It was a glorious first showing at York Hall, with Cage Warriors 120 being a huge success on the first night of the trilogy. We had nine bouts, which came with five knockouts and even a draw was awarded by the judges. It’s possible that from the results of Cage Warriors 120, it will be making the fighters wary on the next two cards that they need to impress like these guys did last night.

Cage Warriors 120: The Results

Main Event: Kent Kauppinen def. Jamie Richardson (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

A perfect promotional debut for Kent Kauppinen, as he came away victorious over middleweight title challenger Jamie Richardson. Kauppinen came out the blocks in the first round, showing what he was about with a natural boxing stance.

In the second round, Richardson seemed to get back to his normal self, catching Kauppinen with a few clean punches. It was a strong finish from the newcomer that made it an assurance he’d win this fight on a decision. In the final minute, Kauppinen caught Richardson with a clean right hook to knock him onto the canvas. Kauppinen waved Richardson back up, so they could scrap it out in the final seconds, it was clear he didn’t want the fight on the ground throughout the bout.

The judges awarded Kauppinen a unanimous decision victory in his Cage Warriors debut. A solid win for the Englishman and it seems we have a new contender in the middleweight division, with Kauppinen putting in one of the most impressive performances at Cage Warriors 120.

Co-Main Event: Paul Hughes def. James Hendin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

After losing to Jordan Vucenic on a split decision, Paul Hughes was desperate to bounce back, but he faced a tough challenge in undefeated James Hendin at Cage Warriors 120.

The pair traded some powerful leg-strikes inside the first round. Hughes started to take control before the calf-kicks from Hendin But the damage led Hughes to switch stances. A beauty of a right-hand from Hughes knocked down Hendin. Although Hendin was able to recover well, Hughes forced him onto the cage.

The second round saw more of the same action, with Hendin coming in hard with the calf-kicks. In the final minutes of the last round, Hughes was targeting a Kimura on Hendin, you could see he wanted to finish the fight. Hughes won via a unanimous decision and he had shouted a message down the camera seemingly calling out featherweight Champion Morgan Charriere who faces Vucenic at Cage Warriors 122.

Christian Duncan def. Will Currie via TKO (flying knee and punches) at 0:18 of round 2

Two of the hottest prospects in the promotion fought on Cage Warriors 120, with Christian Duncan coming away with a stunning victory over Will Currie.

The first round was mostly a clinch battle between the pair, but Duncan came out of the blocks in the second-round, replicating the one and only Jorge Masvidal in his win against Ben Askren.

Duncan came in with a flying knee, which seemed to have shaken the core of Currie. Duncan saw he was hurt, and started hammering Currie with all of his power. Currie seemed to be recovering slightly as he was looking for the take-down. As he grabbed the legs of Duncan, the referee called the fight with Currie still taking heavy punches.

Currie seemed bemused by the decision, in a way he might have a case on his hands that the stoppage could’ve potentially been too early. But at the same time, he looked really hurt from the flying knee. Duncan has made himself a big prospect in this middleweight division.

Kieran Lister draws with Decky McAleenan via split draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)

The judges were unable to split this one, with each judge scoring the fight differently to commence the battle as a draw.

Decky McAleenan came out of the blocks with some high knees to the face, Kieran Lister seemed to be eating them inside the first round. Lister tried to force McAleenan to the ground, but Decky wasn’t having it at times as it was clear he wanted the fight on the feet, but Lister was too strong to defend against.

McAleenan came with a huge knockdown in the second round, as he forced the gum-shield of Lister to fly out. The final round was back and forth, exactly how the whole fight went.

Michal Figlak def. Steven Hooper via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) after round 2

Michael Figlak opened Cage Warriors 120 in style and he’s proving to be one to watch in the lightweight division. After vicious strikes from Figlak inside the first round, the doctors were unsure whether Steven Hooper should’ve continued due to a nasty cut on his head expanding and pouring with blood.

In the second round, Figlak continued to dominate Hooper and the cut on Hooper’s head got worse as the fight went along. They didn’t get a chance to fight in the third round as the referee stopped the fight due to the doctor’s orders. A correct decision as the cut was simply awful. Figlak will be fighting for that lightweight belt soon enough if he carries on demolishing his opponents.

Connor Hignett def. Leigh Mitchell via TKO (punches and knee) at 3:03 of round 2

One of the fights of the night came in the final bout of the preliminary card on Cage Warriors 120. Connor Hignett put on a stunning performance in the second round to knockout Leigh Mitchell.

Inside the first round, Mitchell nearly ended the fight after catching Hignett with a sweet right hook. Hignett fell to the ground but recovered excellently to stop himself from facing any more damage.

Hignett came out a completely different fighter in the second round, as he fought as his life depended on it. He caught Mitchell with a perfect knee to the face, which you could see, hurt Mitchell a lot! Hignett went all guns blazing with the punches to make sure the referee had seen enough.

Manny Akpan def. Ben Ellis via TKO (spinning kick and punches) at 4:22 of round 1

Probably knockout of the night at Cage Warriors 120 came for Manny Akpan, who came up with a stunning KO over Ben Ellis.

Ellis was dominating the majority of the first round, but a spinning back-kick from Akpan seemed to catch Ellis on the face, with Akpan noticing he was hurt from the impact.

Akpan was swinging the punches, and he was hammering the Welshman, if he didn’t drop from the impact, the referee was surely stopping the fight anyway. It shows in a fight you sometimes need only one punch to win it. It was exactly the case with Ellis winning the first-round before being knocked out.

Mateusz Figlak def. Josh Plant via TKO (body shots) at 2:36 of round 1

A double-dominant display from the Figlak brothers, with Mateusz defeating Josh Plant with some fierce body shots inside the first round.

Figlak has put a case for himself in the welterweight division, he’s now on a three-fight unbeaten streak. It’s unsure what’s next for Plant, who now has a record of 2-4.

Matthew Elliott def. Scott Pedersen via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

A fight full of determination and heart came in the opening bout at Cage Warriors 120, with Matthew Elliott defeating Scott Pedersen on unanimous decision.

Both fighters were making their professional debuts, and they both showed exactly why they deserved to be in the promotion. With it being one apiece going into the final round, Elliott came out stronger in the final round to secure the decision. It’s safe to say Pedersen will be back after a strong debut despite losing.

What was your favourite bout on Cage Warriors 120?

Follow me on Twitter @JakeBroderick98 for more combat sports news and discussions. Also, make sure to follow @OT_Heroics for all of your sporting needs. Don’t forget OTHeroicsMMA for all things MMA.

Featured Image Credits to Cage Warriors

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