CAGE 41 goes down this evening at the Helsinki Culture House. MMA Viking is cageside for the seven pro fights and one amateur bout. Get your live play-by-play here.
Saku Heikkola vs. Dmitry Tebekin
Round 1 – The first bout of the night begins with Heikkola firing off a 1-2 combination. Soon Heikkola lands a good kick to the body of the Russian. Tebekin very coservative with his strikes early in the round.
Tebekin catches Heikkola’s kick and pushes the Finn against the cage. A lot of knees are being traded now in the clinch, but soon Tebekin gets a successful single leg take down.
Tebekin seems not willing to go to the mat with Heikkola and soon allows him to stand up. Heikkola lands a solid knee to the body followed by a straight left and soon Tebekin shoots for a take down. Late in the round Heikkola gets a few good knees to the body of the Russian from clinch, but Tebekin also lands another take down just before the round ends.
Round 2 – Round starts with Belekin’s fierce left hook, which lands flush to Heikkola’s chin. The Finn seems to be unhurt by the strike. Heikkola pressurising Belekin against the cage and keeps on landing knees just before Belekin gets another fairly easy take down.
Closed guard now, Belekin on top. Heikkola opens the guard and tries to create space between him and the Russian. Belekin punishing from top position as Heikkola’s cornermen call for elbow strikes from their fighter. Half guard, and Belekin keeps on striking with hammer fists. Belekin soon stads up and Heikkola lands four kicks on Belekin’s front leg from the mat. Round ends with Belekin on Heikkola’s half guard. Belekin is now eading probably with two rounds.
Round 3 – Heikkola initiates the striking flurry off the bat, but lands none as Belekin lands a couple and gets another take down. Half guard now as Belekin keeps on damaging Heikkola from the top.
Heikkola seems to be seeking for an armbar as Belekin is not striking much. As Heikkola tries to stand up Belekin threatens him with a guillotine. No success and Belekin pushes Heikkola against the cage and another take down is reality.
Heikkola gets up as there are two minutes left on the clock, but Belekin takes him down immediately. Must be a frustrating fight for the Finn.
30 seconds left in the bout as referee stands the fighters up. Belekin shoots – Heikkola on the mat again. Round ends in this position.
Winner: Belekin by unanimous decision
Edward Walls vs. Giorgos Kechagias
Round 1 – Kechagias with successful kicks to the lead leg of Walls early in the round. Walls returns fire with a massive overhand right and Kechagias seems a bit stunned for a short moment. Kechagias pushing now Walls against the cage, but Walls defends well and is soon free to launch a high kick which does not land.
Kechagias shoots for a single leg, Walls defends. Walls lands a huge left hook and Kechagias is forced to shoot for a take down. Walls sprawls well and is in no trouble. Soon both fighters up again. Walls lands three straights in a row and soon Kechagias shoots for another take down attempt unsuccessfully. The cornermen of Walls shout “Eddie you don’t have to KO him in the first round!”. Just before the round ends Walls lands another massive punch and drops Kechagias on the mat. It’s not a clear knock out though and Kechagias survives the onslaught.
Round 2 – Kechagias attempts another take down very early in the round but Walls sprawls well. Walls attacks with a lead hand hook, and Kechagias shoots again. No success.
Kechagias goes for a single leg take down right after the failed attempt but Walls is having none of it. Walls now with his back against the cage as Kechagias attacks his leg with another take down attempt. Walls quickly clear off the clinch and shoots for a double leg successfully. Walls in the closed guard dropping elbows. Walls seems to be a bit at a loss on the top position as Kechagias punishes him from the mat.
Walls decides to stand up and Kechagias soon desperately attacks him with strikes, landing none and slipping in the process. Walls jumps on top and round ends with Walls on top control.
Round 3 – Very early in the round Walls lands a flush lead left hook and drops Kechagias who then shoots for a single leg and pushes Walls against the cage. Walls clears the clinch and lands a huge strike to the chin of Kechagias. A flurry of punches follows where both fighters land and Kechagias’ feet nearly fail him. Kechagias however gets a take down as there are three minutes left on the round. This is followed by wrestling against the cage, Kechagias nearly takes the Finn’s back, but Walls reverses this and gets top position.
Both fighters up again soon, Kechagias shoots but Walls sprawls and takes the top control. Round ends after this scramble. Should be fairly easy for the judges to score this.
Winner: Walls by unanimous decision
Sanna Hyytiäinen vs. Anniina Ervasti
Hyytiäinen is a Finnish ADCC-champion and Ervasti has a long thai boxing background.
Ervasti entering the cage smiling and jumping. Let’s see how these amateurs handle the Cage pressure!
Round 1 – Ervasti lands a teep kick early and goes for another attempt, this time to the head but Hyytiäinen slips this well.
Hyytiäinen pushes Ervasti against the cage, but Ervasti has an underhook and controls the head of Hyytiäinen. Hyytiäinen relentlessly pushing Ervasti against the cage, but soon the fighters leave the clinch. Ervasti dictating the stand up pace and goes for a bit of a guillotine attempt as Hyytiäinen pushes her against the cage again.
Round 2 – Hyytiäinen more successful now with low kicks as Ervasti decides to prefer striking and some higher kick attempts. Hyytiäinen again pushing Ervasti against the cage, but Ervasti defends this with a guillotine as she did earlier as well.
Soon Ervasti lands a solid left hook, but Hyytiäinen returns fire with crisp straights. Both fighters landing strikes later in the round, but nothing significant lands before the time runs out. A tough round to score this one.
Round 3 – Ervasti starts the last round very aggressively with striking and lands a couple of good ones. Hyytiäinen counters this with pushing her against the cage, but Ervasti is soon free to dominate the middle.
Hyytiäinen with the low kicks now, Ervasti the south paw relying on her striking power. Soon Ervasti lands another straight left, but Hyytiäinen seems unfazed. Ervasti with the teep kick again to the body and follows it with two left straights. The bout ends.
Winner: Ervasti by unanimous decision
Olli Santalahti vs. Oleg Dadonov
Round 1 – Santalahti opens fire with a high kick, but it misses. Soon another, it lands but is blocked by Dadonov. Dadonov soon lands a straight right, soon after that Dadonov shoots for a single leg and gets the take down.
Santalahti striking from below Dadonov and switches closed guard to butterfly guard. Dadonov fighting for position and Santalahti punishing with elbows. Santalahti attempts a sweep, but Dadonov pushes the Finn back to the mat. A minute and a half left now, and fighters stand up.
Santalahti lands a massive straight right and forces Dadonov against the cage. Soon Santalahti goes for a leg trip and gets the take down. Santalahti dropping short strikes from top position as Dadonov sticks to closed guard.
Round 2 – Santalahti again with the lead leg high kick, but Dadonov sees this and blocks it. Soon Dadonov gets a take down and lands two very heavy strikes which make Santalahti’s head bounce off the canvas.
Santalahti clears the bad situation, stands up and immediately takes Dadonov on the ground. The cornermen of the Finn shout for their fighter to deliver short punches and to keep his own hands off from the mat to avoid any submission attempts by Dadonov.
Fighters up again, Santalahti lands a solid kick to the body and soon slams his opponent to the mat again. Closed guard. Santalahti striking from top, but Dadonov threatens with a kimura. Santalahti defends well and the round ends with him on top.
Round 3 – Dadonov succeeds with a left hand uppercut, Santalahti goes for a take down but does not get it. Dadonov lands a crisp kick to the body of the Finn and Santalahti shoots. Dadonov sees this and threatens with another kimura as he is pressed against the cage whilst standing up.
Soon Santalahti shoots for a double leg, Dadonov is taken down. Closed guard, and another kimura threat looms in the air. Santalahti passes to half guard. Looks as if Santalahti might go for a side choke, but thus far Dadonov survives. Back to closed guard now. Dadonov stands up, but Santalahti has back control. 30 seconds remaining now. Dadonov reverses and gets a very short lasting take down of his own.
Bout ends and Santalahti’s head coach (Harri Niva) seems very pleased with his fighters’ performance. Let’s see how the judges see this.
Winner: Santalahti by unanimous decision
Tuukka Repo vs. Claudio Vecani
Round 1 – Vecani fires three very heavy kicks to the leg in the beginning of the round, Repo is having none of it and lands a high kick immediately followed by another high kick, which lands flush. Vecani drops to the canvas and that, my friends, is all she wrote.
Repo finishes his opponent in 25 seconds total after a very brutal knock out. Wow! Easily the performance of the night so far.
Winner: Repo by knock out
Abdul Hussein vs. Yari Orsini
Round 1 – Hussein with the pressure right from the start. Orsini lands two kicks to the lead leg of Hussein, but the Finn keeps on pushing the pace. Hussein constantly forcing Orsini to the far edges of the cage.
Hussein working behind his jab successfully, Orsini mainly defending and relying on his low kicks. Suddenly Orsini lands a crisp hook which finds a home in Hussein’s chin. The Finn keeps the pressure up and is not taking any steps back. Hussein pushes Orsini against the cage and goes for knees in the clinch. Orsini tries to hip toss Hussein down, but Hussein defends well.
Orsini has a cut on his face and it’s bleeding rather heavy. Hussein lands a three-strike combination in the close range and knocks Orsini out cold. This is over!
Winner: Hussein by TKO
Matteus Lahdesmaki vs. Roman Dík – Co-Main Event
Round 1 – Dik throws a jab, Lähdesmäki counters with a kick to the lead leg. Same again, both land.
Lähdesmäki keeps on kicking the lead leg multiple times as Dik pushes forward. The crowd erupts as Lähdesmäki gets a successful take down!
Lähdesmäki in the side control, tries to go for a kimura from top and then switches to back mount and immediately forces Dik to tapout before it’s lights out! The crowd goes absolutely bananas. Their legend is back and with some baaad intentions.
Winner: Lähdesmäki by RNC
Joni Salovaara vs. Alex Gilpin – Main Event
Round 1 – Gilpin shoots very early and gets a high-crotch take down. He takes the back mount right away, but Salovaara defending well. Salovaara reverses, but Gilpin takes the back again right after that.
Salovaara with the wrist control, but Gilpin landing shots from the back with his free hand. Top quality grappling here as Gilpin starts kneeing Salovaara on the mat. Fighters are up but as they clear the clinch Gilpin lands a lead leg kick to the face of Salovaara.
Gilpin soon again with the take down and controling the back of the Finn. Heavy ground pressure from the american. Finally Salovaara reverses and gets himself to the half guard of Gilpin, but this is too late in the round for the Finn. Round ends soon after this.
Round 2 – Salovaara starts with a 1-2 combination. Gilpin with a kick to the upper body. Gilpin gets a very short take down with a single leg, but Salovaara jumps straight up. Gilpin again with the wrestling pressure against the cage.
Salovaara landing solid straights in the stand up and Gilpin decides to go back to wrestling against the cage. Salovaara with a successful knee in the clinch. Gilpin attacking the legs with his knee strikes. Soon Gilpin gets a double-leg take down and pushes Salovaara against the cage. Salovaara rolls, but Gilpin gets back to top control right away.
Closed guard now. Gilpin attacking with elbows, but none of them land. Salovaara actively seeking for a way out and soon finds it. Gilpin, however, takes Salovaara to the mat again. Gilpin’s grind is very heavy.
Late in the round Salovaara gets crisp knee to the body and some strikes to the head of Gilpin. Round ends.
Round 3 – Gilpin with a kick to the body in the start, soon shoots again and gets another take down. Gilpin dropping elbows from top position, Salovaara trying to do all to avoid them. Gilpin takes the back and keeps on striking the Finn. One hook in, but Salovaara denies the hold and stands up.
Salovaara now pushing Gilpin against the cage and attacking with knees. Gilpin with a single leg takedown, but Salovaara up right away. Soon Gilpin however gets Salovaara to the ground and takes the back control. Gilpin switches to guillotine and Salovaara reverses to top position. Closed guard.
Salovaara striking from top, body to the head and back to body again. Gilpin escapes, but Salovaara slams him back to the mat. Salovaara striking relentlessly the downed opponent and pushes him down every time Gilpin tries to stand up!
What a war!
Salovaara dropping hammerfists and the round ends. Top quality fight for sure.
Winner: Gilpin by unanimous decision