Finnish vet Janne Elonen-Kulmala (15-7-1) will headline and prospect Edward Walls (7-3) will co-headline Cage 45 in Helsinki. Not to be missed is to grappler and now MMA up-and-comer Jesse Urholin that will face an experienced Ukrainian Denis Vygovsky in just his second bout. A clash of Finns will see Aleksi Savolainen face Toni Lampinen. The always exciting Jani Ridasmaa will face Greece’s Klaudio Vecani, Sisu Gym’s Henri Lintula will look for his 3rd win over the experienced Alexey Valivakhin. MMA Viking is cageside to report on the action. Get your live updates below.
Live Results & Play-by-Play
Leonardo Casotti vs Bogdan Katkin
Round 1 – Casotti opens with a kick, but Katkin fires back with kicks of his own, landing a clean head kick before stunning the Brazilian fighter. After exchanging kicks, Casotti catches the Ukrainian fighter with a solid right hand, which appears to have stunned Katkin, who shoots for and secures a takedown. The Brazilian fighter regains his feet, and swings heavily, scoring a strong combination near the cage, but Katkin throws with abandon as well. Katkin attempts a takedown, but ends up getting his back taken by the Brazilian fighter, who moves to mount, but loses position in a scramble. Casotti stands up, but Katkin remains on the mat, and the referee stands them up, but Casotti pressures with another takedown, and ends the round on top.
Round 2- The second stanza open and Casotti attempts a spinning back fist, and is countered with a hard kick to the body. Both fighters score with kicks, but Casotti appears to get the better of the exchanges with hard winging punches, before pressuring the Ukrainian fighter to the cage. Katkin creates space but attempts to pull guard, while Casotti styles on him with a cartwheel – inspiring the Ukrainian to stand up. Upon doing so, Casotti pushes him to the cage, and once more attempts to take his back, before pulling the Ukrainian down atop him. Katkin secures mount against the cage, but Casotti is already working to stand. Casotti escapes to his feet, but is hit by hard shots from Katkin that leaves him struggling to get distance. The Ukrainian fighter attempts a takedown, but in the scramble, the Brazilian takes his back, working for and eventually obtaining a rear-naked choke victory.
RESULT: Leonardo Casotti wins via Submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:22 of the second round.
Henri Lintula vs Alexey Valivakhin
Round 1 – Valivakhin opens with a kick, and attempts to close the distance with a clinch, but Lintula reverses and pushes the Ukrainian to the cage. Valivakhin secures a bodylock, and manages to toss the Finn to the ground. After working to improve position, the Finn slaps on a triangle choke, and peppers the Ukrainian with elbows. Shortly thereafter, the tap comes.
RESULT: Henri Lintula wins via Submission (triangle choke) in the first round.
Jesse Urholin vs Denis Vygovsky
Round 1 – The match begins and Urholin attempts to pressure the Ukrainian to the cage. The Finn secures a takedown, shrugs off a guillotine attempt, and lands a hard right hand on Vygovsky. Urholin follows with hard elbows and right hands before standing to pass to side control, where he continues to throw hard shots. Urholin attempts to move to a crucifix position, before taking Vygovsky’s back, and putting in more volume with his right hand. Vygovsky turtles up, and takes the shots, and the referee calls it done due to a lack of intelligent defense.
Result: Jesse Urholin wins via TKO at 3:20 of round one.
Jani Ridasmaa vs Claudio Vecani
Round 1 – Ridasmaa takes the center early, pressuring Vecani to the cage, and landing a hard right hand. Vecani surges forward and counters, and Ridasmaa wobbles him coming in. Vecani continues to let loose with his hands, and clips the Finn with a hard left hand that sends him to the mat, and the referee stops the fight, despite Ridasmaa’s protests to the contrary.
Result: Claudio Vecani is declared the winner by TKO at 47 seconds of the first round.
Aleksi Savolainen vs Toni Lampinen
Round 1 – Lampinen opens with a front kick up the middle, and Savolainen tags him early with a right hand. The two trade kicks, and Savolainen goes upstairs with a head kick, before mixing hands to the body and head. Savolainen takes the center and is landing with harder shots, but Lampinen seems content to counter punch from the outside, and rip hard leg kicks. Savolainen attempts a head kick, and slips to the mat. Lampinen is all over him, securing a tight standing guillotine that causes Savolainen to tap.
RESULT: Toni Lampinen is declared the winner by Submission (Standing Guillotine choke) at 3:02 of the first round.
Edward Walls vs Paata Robakidze
Round 1 – The fight begins with Robakidze shooting across the cage to attempt a takedown on Walls. The Finn breaks free of his attempts, but Robakidze sits, and invites Walls into his guard. Walls pressures forward and blasts Robakidze with a 1-2, but Robakidze attempts another takedown, and pressures the Finn to the cage. Robakidze attempts a few foot stomps while in on the double leg and manages to get Walls down, but Walls springs back to his feet in short order. Robakidze once more sits, and the crowd boos, but once the two re-engage Robakidze pressures the Finn to the cage once more. Walls uses elbows to warn Robakidze off the takedown, but some land to the back of the head, and the referee warns Walls, separating the fighters. Walls lands a strong headkick and finishes the round on his feet, despite Robakidze’s wishes.
Round 2 – Walls opens the round with a hard left hand, and takes the center of the cage. Walls lands a solid jab with a right hand directly behind it, and Robakidze lunges for a takedown, but only manages to grasp air. Walls lands a hard kick, and Robakidze once more shoots unsuccessfully. Walls evades another attempt, and Robakidze takes a knee, once more inviting the Finn to the mat. The referee warns Robakidze – possibly for timidity. The two re-engage and Walls lands a glancing head kick when Robakidze shoots. The Georgian fighter is able to put Walls to the cage again briefly, and when the Finn escapes, and once more Robakidze is warned to stand. After yet another warning, the referee takes a point for timidity.Walls is able to defend against a number of shots, but the round ends with Walls pressured against the cage.
Round 3 – Walls secures the center of the cage once more in the beginning of round 3, but the tenacity of Robakidze’s lunging takedown attempts soon finds the Finn pressured to the cage. The Finn once more escapes the takedown attempt, and on Robakidze’s next attempt floors him with an uppercut. Robakidze is stone on the mat, and Walls walks off with a KO victory.
Result: Edward Walls wins by way of knockout in the third round.
Janne Elonen-Kulmala vs Davide Baneschi
Round 1 – The round begins with Elonen-Kulmala at the center of the cage, pressuring Baneschi before the Finn hits Baneschi with a shot that wobbles him, and a follow-up. Baneschi quickly pins the Finn to the cage in order to clear his head. Elonen-Kulmala reverses and begins to hit the Italian fighter with hard knees against the cage. Baneschi reverses the position, and attempts the takedown, but Elonen-Kulmala reverses and lands a solid elbow. Baneschi manages to get an arm around Elonen-Kulmala’s neck, but his search for a guillotine is unfruitful, and the ref resets the fighters in the center. Elonen-Kulmala hits the Italian fighter with a hard left hand that appears to send a tooth flying to the mat. Baneschi pressures Elonen-Kulmala to the fence once more, but as soon as Elonen-Kulmala secures some space, he attempts two leaping knees. Baneschi is tenacious with his pressure, however, and the round ends with the Finnish fighter pressed against the cage.
Round 2 – Baneschi opens with a kick to the body, and pressures forward with punches. The Finn circles out, and an accidental eye poke briefly pauses the action. A hard right hand followed by a kick, and a clinch land for the Italian, and he slowly walks the Finn to the cage before Elonen-Kulmala reverses the position, and is in turn reversed. The two hand fight against the cage, and Elonen-Kulmala is able to reverse the position once more before securing a proper double leg. Elonen-Kulmala throws his hands from the top, but is put into a triangle choke by Baneschi, which brings the tap from Jamba.
Result: Davide Baneschi wins via Submission (triangle choke) at 3:04 of the second round.