READING, England, March 15 -- Emmanuel Fernandez
(Pictures) retained his FX3
featherweight title in stunning fashion Saturday in front of a
packed house at the Rivermead Leisure Complex.
The 36-year old Frenchman showed real determination in front of
over 1,000 spectators as he battled through terrible nose damage to
choke his way to victory over No. 1 challenger Paul Reed (Pictures).
In a jab-filled feeling-out process, Reed scored with a beautiful
shot that caused blood to flow from the champion's nose at an
alarming rate. However, Fernandez kept his cool and landed several
hard low kicks before threatening with a very unusual reverse
triangle at the end of the first round.
At the start of the second, the crafty Fernandez continued to
pressure Reed's front leg with low kicks and quickly left him with
a nasty purple welt that spread across the back of his knee. When
the fight hit the ground for a second time, the Frenchman showed
his true championship class by gracefully maneuvering to rear mount
and forcing the game challenger to submit to a tight rear-naked
choke midway through the round.
"KO" Kym Farid (Pictures) lived up to his nickname in
explosive style. He smashed the game but outgunned Rocci Williams (Pictures) in just more than a minute.
Farid shot for a super-quick single-leg takedown, but Williams
exploded off his back and regained his feet. With his corner
imploring him to remain calm, Farid then showed that he had no
intention of doing so as he caught a body kick from his opponent
and flung him to the mat. A relentless chase ensued, and Farid
charged forward with venomous punches.
It was not long before the ferocious Cage Rage Contenders veteran
caught up with Williams, knocking him senseless with a stream of
The younger of the French jiu-jitsu brothers, Frederic Fernandez
(Pictures) had quite a different night
than his sibling. Although Emmanuel won his fight, Team Titan
representative and Cage Rage favorite Brad Pickett (Pictures) battered and submitted
The proud Londoner showed some massively improved wrestling as he
held off an early takedown attempt from Fernandez to land in his
guard. The fighters traded gruesome elbows on the floor before
Fernandez showed a touch of grappling wizardry, quickly clamping
onto Pickett's back and turning up the heat.
Pickett began to turn things around in the second. He fended off
the inevitable takedown attempts from Fernandez and once again
landed on top. "One Punch" then bossed the action on the floor
while hammering his way to a clear advantage with a storm of
As Fernandez popped back to his feet and pressed forward, Pickett
took a calculated gamble by dropping back to a guillotine attempt
with the arm in. His crowd of followers were not disappointed,
however, as he clamped on the chokehold and forced a submission
after four minutes.
Rough House fighter Dean
Amasinger (Pictures) made a winning comeback after
several months out of action due to injury. The Nottingham fighter
looked by far the better grappler as he slammed his way to an
advantage in the early moments of his bout with Gary Mathers.
Amasinger threatened briefly with a tight arm triangle attempt, but
he decided to cut his losses and wail away with elbows from the
mount, which led him to an emphatic first round victory.
London Pancrase fighter Nick Osipczak impressed the crowd with a
very mature debut performance against experienced local brawler
Brendan Flannigan. Osipczak threw a pair of hard right hands before
taking the fight to the floor with a superb takedown from the
Once grounded, Flannigan looked short of answers. Osipczak strung
together a series of heavy punches that gave the referee no choice
but to step in after only 75 seconds.
The second London Pancrase representative on the card, Andrew Burnett wasted no time
in taking down local hard man and former sparring partner Nigel Whitear (Pictures). The fighters soon scrambled to
their feet and immediately locked horns in the center of the cage,
trading wild blows with damaging potential.
Another takedown from the London fighter put the bloodied Whitear
on his back and in trouble. Burnett seized on his opportunity,
hammering out a brutal series of elbows to force a corner stoppage
after four minutes of action.
The first MMA fight of the night, Jared Ferre sneaked through with
a split decision after an entertaining scrap with FX3 veteran
Greg Knapp (Pictures). Ferre showed some slick ground
skills in both the opening and final rounds, as he ensnared his
opponent in a tight triangle choke and finished on top with some
aggressive ground-and-pound to seal the victory.
In X-1 cage kickboxing action, Phil Pullen quickly plunged the
overmatched Rob Neesham
into disarray, stopping him with a barrage of kicks and punches
after only two minutes.
Nathan Ward sent Azran
Quasid (Pictures) to the floor in agony following a
devastating left hook to the liver, and James Stabbler stunned the
crowd with a thoroughly dominating performance over Brendan Richis
in only 65 seconds.