Cage Warriors 89
Dominique Steele on top of Karl Ammousou in the main event of Cage Warriors 89 Credit: Cho Tang

Dominique Steele has put Cage Warriors in an awkward position by beating welterweight champion Karl Amoussou in the main event of Cage Warriors 89 in Antwerp, Belgium.

Cage Warriors’ first event overseas was capped off by a non-title affair after Steele came in heavy at the weigh-ins (172.9 lbs), but managed to beat the champion over three rounds.

Two judges scored 29-27 and one 29-28, all unanimous in favour of Steele.

In a back-and-forth fight, it was Steele’s ground game that made the difference. He topped “Psycho” in the first round after rocking the champ with a body kick and controlling him on top. A triangle choke attempt from Amoussou, who won his previous six fights by stoppage in the first round, was defended adequately.

The Frenchman came back strong in the second, in which he controlled Steele from mount. “Non-Stop Action Packed” pulled it out in the deciding third round, landing hard shots from guard and opening a cut on Amoussou’s right eyebrow. Two judges gave the American a 10-8 in the final round, which sealed the victory.

“There are several options. It could be a rematch. We’ll see what’s next,” Amoussou told MMA Plus afterward about a possible rematch.

“I don’t really care about the fact he missed weight – I’ve lost the fight and could have potentially lost the belt. The belt is still mine, but I don’t feel like the champion. We’re gonna have to sort this out.”

“If they offer me a rematch, I’ll be there for him. If there’s a rematch – loser has to get a dragon tattoo, winner has to pick it out. I’m up for that one,” Steele jokingly told MMA Plus after his win.

Cerilli takes heavyweight belt, sets up fight with Moore on Cage Warriors 92

Mauro Cerilli took home the vacant Cage Warriors heavyweight title. The Italian won his fourth fight in a row by putting Nills van Noord away in half a round.

Cerilli was dominant from beginning to end. “The Hammer” got on top after defending van Noord’s only takedown attempt of the fight and landed heavy ground-and-pound. He landed clean shots until the referee ended the bout, giving Cage Warriors it’s first heavyweight kingpin since D.J. Linderman.

Van Noord replaced light-heavyweight champion Karl Moore, who was forced off the card due to an injury.

Cage Warriors president Graham Boylan announced after the fight that the Irishman will get another crack at becoming the second-ever two-weight champion of the organization on Cage Warriors 92, which is scheduled to take place on March 24 in London.

Dandois, Depret win in front of hometown crowd at Cage Warriors 89

Local favorites Cindy Dandois and Tommy Depret were both victorious by TKO. Dandois beat Kerry Hughes in the co-main event in the first round, while 38-year-old Depret capped off his long career with a win over John Maguire.

Dandois, who rebounded from her one and only UFC appearance, made short work of Hughes by hip throwing her to the ground early and locking up the left arm of “Rocksteady” between her leg.

From that point on, “Battlecat” kept punching Hughes till the referee stopped the bout, although both combatants thought it was an early stoppage.

Dandois followed in her brothers, Ben Dandois, footsteps, who won his retirement bout in the last prelim bout. He beat 49-year-old Chico Martinez by Brabo choke in round two.

Depret overcame a tough start to beat “The One” by TKO in the third round. Maguire had a good first round, forcing “Mr. Unbreakable” to defend on the ground. The ‘Gypsy Jiu-Jitsu’ specialist got the Belgian’s back for three minutes but failed to sink in a winning choke.

After the rocky start, Depret came back, forcing Maguire to fight his fight and landing clean shots. Halfway through the fight, Maguire looked exhausted and tried to pull guard several times.

Despite being close to finished several times, he made it to the final round, but that didn’t change the fight’s image. After several hard shots, Maguire was knocked down after an uppercut and didn’t make haste getting back to his feet, which saw the referee call time on the fight.

Jack Shore still on fire, wants crack at bantamweight title after Cage Warriors 89 win

Jack Shore booked another impressive victory in his young career at Cage Warriors 89. The 21-year-old Welshman, who fought his first fight outside his home country, improved to 7-0 by beating previously unbeaten Belgian Ayton De Paepe in two minutes by rear-naked choke.

Shore won comfortably by getting an early takedown and moving into dominant positions. “Tank” eventually got the tap after taking de Paepe’s back and sinking in the winning choke to the delight of the traveling ‘Jack Shore’s on Fire’ movement.

In his post-fight interview, Shore expressed his desire to drop to bantamweight for a fight with bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood in 2018.

Of the seven Belgians on this card, De Paepe was the only fighter who lost.

Cage Warriors 89 Results

Main card
Dominique Steele def. Karl Amoussou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)*
Cindy Dandois def. Kerry Hughes via TKO (referee stoppage) (Round 1 – 3:10)
Mauro Cerilli def. Nills van Noord via TKO (ground and pound) (Round 1 – 2:24)
Tommy Depret def. John Maguire via TKO (referee stoppage) (Round 3 – 3:10)
Jack Shore def. Ayton De Paepe via submission (rear-naked choke) (Round 1 – 1:55)

Preliminary card
Ben Dandois def. Chico Martinez via submission (Brabo choke) at (Round 2 – 2:02)
Donovan Desmae def. Aiden Lee via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-26, 29-27)
Jan Quaeyhaegens def. Leon Jansen via TKO (punches) (Round 1 – 2:58)
Artur Szczepaniak def. Massai Sant’anna via TKO (ground-and-pound) (Round 1- 3:43)
Sameer Alekozai def. Mathias Lodahl via TKO (cut) (Round 3 – 2:39)

* Steele missed weight (172.9 lbs), making it a three-round non-title bout