James Webb claimed the vacant Cage Warriors middleweight title in the main event of Cage Warriors 102 with a third-round submission win over Thomas Robertsen on Saturday in London, England.
Webb fulfilled his goal of claiming the title his SBG Swords head coach Chris Fields’ has previously held, adding a fourth consecutive win to his tally under the Cage Warriors banner in the process.
Robertsen had early success, but Webb completely shifted the momentum of the bout with a second-round kneebar attempt that forced a host of winces from the Norwegian before he eventually escaped. Webb barged forward in the third and after taking the fight to the ground, he immediately transitioned to a head and arm choke that forced the tap from Robertsen.
Speaking after the win, Webb underlined his belief that the title needs to be defended to be legitimized.
“This is the most prestigious belt in Europe, I feel like you have to defend it to legitimize it,” he said to the partisan crowd.
In the co-main event, Jai Herbert had to overcome an early storm from Steve O’Keefe after the veteran brought him to the ground and looked to secure a choke early on. O’Keefe searched for a guillotine and later an armbar, which allowed Herbert to get back to his feet. Once vertical, Herbert blasted O’Keefe with series of knees the crumbled him to the floor. He landed a series of punches before the fight was stopped in the first round.
Rhys McKee proved to have a strong pair of whiskers in his lightweight meeting with slickster Perry Goodwin. The duo went to war over the first two rounds before the Northern Irish prospect latched onto Goodwin’s neck to claim a submission win with an adapted guillotine in the third round. Goodwin started the fight at a furious pace, but seemed to slow down in the second round due to broken nose, which allowed McKee to take the upper hand in the contest.
With president Graham Boylan claiming that a vacant lightweight title spot might be up for grabs against Jack Grant ahead of the main card, both McKee and Herbert will feel as though they have done more than enough to earn the nod. It will be interesting to see if McKee’s 2016 win over Herbert will factor into Cage Warriors’ decision.
Opening the main card, Joilton Santos took his first step towards Cage Warriors welterweight gold with a sound win over Craig White in his return under the banner, following his two-fight stint with UFC. The debutant grinded out his taller opponent, winning the wrestling battles against the fence before taking the fight to the ground and controlling “The Thundercat” in each round.
- James Webb def. Thomas Robertsen via submission (arm triangle) in R3
- Jai Herbert def. Steve O’Keefe via TKO (strikes) in R1
- Rhys McKee def. Perry Goodwin via submission (guillotine) in R3
- Joilton Santos def. Craig White via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Sam Creasey def. Andy Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Brian Bouland def. Cory Tait via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
- Brad Wheeler def. John Maguire via TKO (strikes) in R2
- Nathan Jones def. Martyn Harris via submission (armbar) in R1
- Modestas Bukauskas def. Marcin Wojcik via TKO (strikes) in R2
- Steve Aimable def. Declan McAleenan via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)
- James Hendin def. Joshua Onwordi via TKO (strikes) in R1
- Aidan Stephen def. Kingsley Crawford via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)