DUBLIN -- D.J.
Linderman was crowned the new Cage Warriors heavyweight
champion after a unanimous decision victory (49-46, 49-47, 48-47)
over rival Mike Hayes in
the main event of
Cage Warriors 47 inside The Helix in Dublin, moving to 2-0
against his fellow Bellator veteran.
The two had a deep personal dislike of each other that almost
boiled over at the weigh-in, but it was the cooler head that
prevailed on the night, the same head that prevailed in their first
meeting in May 2009.
Hayes is a great standup fighter, you saw that when he tagged
me. My plan was to take him down and use my ground game,”
Linderman, now 12-3, told Sherdog.com. “He’s tough. I knew it would
be a hard night, but now I’m the champion it was all worth it.”
Hayes connected on a number of occasions, but was reluctant to
follow in after success with single shots. Linderman stayed calm,
showed a willingness to engage and closed the distance for the
takedown whenever possible. Although he never came close to
submitting Hayes, his clear dominance was enough to convince all
three judges after five rounds.
The headline fight rounded off a night of passion and high drama.
In the co-feature, 23-year-old Dubliner Conor
McGregor sparked anarchic celebrations and an attempted cage
invasion when he claimed the featherweight belt with a second-round
submission win over Dave Hill,
moving to 11-2.
“Notorious” McGregor channeled the crowd’s fervor, marching forward
with his hands held high. Early in round two, McGregor landed a
head kick. Hill went to the canvas. Although he weathered the
immediate storm, McGregor would not be denied and eventually snared
his man in a rear-naked choke at 4:10 of the second frame to blow
the roof off the joint.
Dublin's McGregor got the locals
In the much-anticipated semifinal of Cage Warriors’ women’s
125-pound tournament, Rosi Sexton
returned from a 15-month layoff to progress at the expense of
Daly, in front of her home crowd, no less.
Sexton pushed the pace from the start, repeatedly backing Daly
against the fence and looking to turn her clinch work into
takedowns. Daly got close with an armbar attempt, but never got the
chance to unleash the fearsome arsenal that earned her the nickname
“Ais the Bash.” Daly rallied in the final round, but still found
herself on the wrong end of three scores of 29-28.
“No fight ever goes totally to plan, but I was happy with my
performance. I knew Aisling’s strengths and I knew what I had to do
to win,” Sexton told Sherdog.com on her mission accomplished.
Sexton, now 13-2, will meet Germany's Sheila Gaff
in the tournament final later this year.
In the “Fight of the Night,” 24-year-old Dublin favorite Cathal
Pendred put on a career-best performance to overcome
experienced Swedish UFC and Pride veteran David
Bielkheden. Pendred had too much firepower, dropping his
opponent repeatedly. Despite the onslaught, Bielkheden was always
in the fight, with his kimura a threat throughout. In the third
round, Pendred hit the canvas himself, but he came back and
reapplied the pressure to see out an impressive unanimous decision
win with scores of 30-27 twice and 30-28.
In earlier action, local hero Neil Seery
and Geordie Mark Platts
put on an entertaining flyweight battle. In the second round, the
Irishman’s hurtful punches took their toll. Platts buckled and was
finished off by a rear-naked choke at 2:36 of the frame. Bright
young thing Tommy Quinn
and veteran Jack Mason
put on a 15-minute war of attrition. Mason was awarded the split
decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three grueling
Sexton had to hang tough late
to win against Daly
Redmond showcased his energetic jiu-jitsu game, then signed off
with some good old fashioned ground-and-pound to end the challenge
Malko at 2:05 of the second round.
Sizeland took Victor
Peixoto’s back, then let the punches fly. With nothing coming
back, Sizeland took the knockout win in just 92 seconds.
In amateur preliminary action: Stephen
Owens defeated Cormac
Copeland by way of ground-and-pound at 1:52 of the second
round, Kieran O’Brien won by unanimous decision against Martin
Downey (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), Tony Keane
scored a first-round TKO win over Sean Tobin at
1:53, and Konrad
Iwanowski triangled Dennis
Perry at 2:36 of the second round.