Fernandez Still FX3 Featherweight Champ


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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 elbows.

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 Frederic.

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 abuse.

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 clinch.

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.

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