Sexton took a very close decision over Roxanne Modafferi in London.
| Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors
It was neither pretty nor surgical, but Rosi Sexton
edged out a win against Roxanne
Modafferi in the highly competitive main event of
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 40 at London’s HMV Forum on
Both 125-pound women came out slinging leather, with Modafferi
mixing in push kicks to keep the shorter Sexton at range. Sexton
succeeded in taking the fight to the fence, where the two jockeyed
for position and takedowns with over-under hooks. The round was
largely a stalemate, with Modafferi scoring with intermittent knees
in the clinch and Sexton finally securing a takedown in the waning
Sexton needed less time -- roughly 90 seconds -- to drag Modafferi
down in the second, but was unable to advance past the rangy
American’s guard once there. Modafferi threatened with an armbar
from the bottom and finished the period hunting for a leglock while
dodging short punches from Sexton.
“To be honest, I never really felt threatened,” Sexton, 33,
remarked in her postfight interview. “There were a few things that
took a little bit of time to work my way out of, but there was
nothing that was so tight that I was worried.”
In the final round, Modafferi opted to pull guard and once more
grabbed at Sexton’s limbs, prompting Sexton to allow the “Happy
Warrior” back to the feet. After another guard-pull, Sexton nearly
snared a transitioning Modafferi in a standing rear-naked choke,
but could not find the proper angle and eventually settled for
slamming Modafferi back to the floor. Though clearly tiring,
Modafferi finished strong, locking Sexton in a triangle choke for
the last half-minute of the bout.
In the end, all three judges saw the bout in favor of Sexton. One
judge awarded the Englishwoman all three rounds with a score of
30-27, while the other officials’ cards of 30-28 and 30-29
reflected the close nature of the fight.
“I knew Roxanne was going to be tough to put away,” said Sexton.
“She’s shown a really tough chin in previous fights. I knew the key
was going to be taking her down and working ground-and-pound from
In the evening’s co-main event, Scotland’s Paul McVeigh
retained his CWFC bantamweight title with a second-round stoppage
of German judoka Andreas
Modafferi was active on her back
but couldn't sink a sub.
McVeigh launched head kicks and hooks at his 5-foot-1 opponent
before Bernhard closed the distance and initiated the clinch. The
champion found his punching range late in the opening round and
drilled Bernhard with a hard knee as the German changed levels.
Bernhard looked to keep it close in the second frame, pulling guard
early, but McVeigh instantly passed to side control and then mount.
Pinning Bernhard’s throat to the canvas with his hand, McVeigh
threw hard shots from the mount which caused his challenger to
squirm and cover up. Once it was clear that Bernhard had no escape,
referee Neil Hall
stepped in for the stop at the 2:57 mark.
“We knew Andreas was going to try and get underneath me, so I
wanted to get him a little bit tired in the clinch,” McVeigh said
after the fight. “When I get on top of people, I can usually finish
them. I’m pretty good on top.”
Iceland has been put on the map by outstanding prospect Gunnar
Nelson. However, it was Nelson's teammate, “The Ice Viking”
Isaksson, who recorded his third straight arm-triangle choke
victory, tapping late replacement Kevin Reed of
Wales at 2:32 of the second stanza.
Isaksson, 27, was originally slated for welterweight action against
former Penn State wrestler Eric
Bradley. However, Bradley’s recent prison sentence in Centre
County, Penn., nixed the fight. Taking on the middleweight Reed,
Isaksson was forced to defend strong takedowns early, but took over
the fight with his impressive developing submission arsenal.
Reed survived a host of brabo and anaconda choke attempts, but
fatigued under the pace of Isaksson, and eventually succumbed to
the side choke after taking a beating from knee-on-belly in the
Irish lightweight prospect Joseph
Duffy moved his pro record to 9-0, slickly tapping out fellow
Irishman Tom Maguire
in the first round.
Duffy ended up on his back quickly, but swept to top position with
a brabo choke set-up from the bottom. Duffy, who turned 23 on Feb.
18, quickly took full mount, pounded Maguire, and locked up a
topside triangle for the impressive win. The Falcon Martial Arts
product has finished all nine of his pro opponents. His lone
blemish came in exhibition action, in the elimination round of “The
Ultimate Fighter” Season 12, where he was submitted by Kyle Watson
in the first round.
London Shootfighters middleweight Tony
Machado was positively destructive, wrecking Brett
Sizeland in just over two minutes.
Machado got the ball rolling with a torrent of standing elbows that
badly rocked Sizeland and put him on the floor. Machado swarmed,
but was wise to let Sizeland get back to his feet, where he
continued his assault with knees and punches. After dropping his
foe again, Machado followed with punches and elbows that forced
referee Hall to intervene at just 2:18 of the first round.
Scottish featherweight Graham
Turner put a beating on English-based Lithuanian Antanas
Jazbutis. For three rounds, Turner achieved top position and
Team Trojan fighter with salvos of punches and elbows,
splitting his face open and seeming perpetually close to a
stoppage. It didn't come, but “Afterburner” took an easy unanimous
nod (30-26, 30-27, 30-28).
French featherweight Ismael
Padavia was competitive on the feet against London’s Ashleigh
Grimshaw. However, the Brit, used his superior top game and
grappling to take a tidy unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28),
fighting in front of his hometown crowd for the first time since
Falcons Martial Arts welterweight Aaron
Thomas put on a show, quickly taking Charlie
Leary’s back and threatening with a bevy of submissions. Thomas
finally abandoned rear-naked choke attempts and coaxed the tap with
an armbar at 4:57 of the second frame.
At 155 pounds, Mark Fry
pounded out Paul
Kingdon at 2:43 of the first round, while Brad
Wheeler grounded Hayden
Critchfield and tapped him with a rear-naked choke at 2:58 of
the first round. However, the most arresting lightweight highlight
came when Ian
Entwistle locked up a quick standing guillotine on Pat
Vickers, and choked him completely limp and unconscious almost
instantly on his feet in a mere 20 seconds.
In amateur action: Jack
Bramfield won a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) over
Michialides at lightweight; bantamweight Ben Hajir
rear-naked choked Josh Foster
at 2:31 of the third frame; Matthew
Wise won a unanimous verdict (29-27, 29-28, 29-28) over
Kwietniewski at 170 pounds.