Mantas Smailys executed his gameplan to perfection, out-wrestling dangerous striker Johan Segas at BCMMA 20 to unify the promotion’s 145lb titles and claim the Cage Warriors South East Amateur crown.
Lithuanian descendant, Smailys, has made quite a name for himself on the UK MMA amateur scene, with previous wins over the likes of Adam Spalding and 2017 IMMAF World Championships competitor, PK Zadeh.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Smailys was presented with another stiff challenge on Saturday night in Colchester, Essex, when he fought viral knockout sensation and interim BCMMA 145lb champion, Johan Segas at Charter Hall.
Despite the hype surrounding Segas following his highlight reel knockout over Joe Harding, lineal BCMMA title holder Smailys expected more from the Frenchman, especially due to his reputation.
“You know, if I tell the truth, I think I finish him not on decision,” Smailys told MMA Plus after unifying the championship titles. “I think maybe do knockout or something but you know, he’s really strong guy.”
The FightBox and Immortal 365 amateur used his wrestling base to emphatic affect, continually dragging Segas to the ground.
Segas’s inability to deal with Smailys smothering top game was the key factor in losing a unanimous decision, an area which Smailys believes his opponent needs to work on if he is to find success.
“Maybe he needs to work more on grappling but he was strong,” he said. “If he trained more and fight again, I think he can be a good fighter.”
Smailys comments on Joe Harding and potentially turning pro
When asked about Joe Harding – the man who Segas embarrassed en-route to going viral in February – the Lithuanian claimed that his showboating was ultimately detrimental.
“If I said the truth, I think that Joe Harding just dancing and that fight he was knocked out. But if he was fighting normally, not dancing, maybe he would win.”
Due to the lack of opportunities in his homeland, newly crowned Cage Warriors Academy champion Smailys fights in England to aid his development.
With several good wins under his belt, however, the Cage Warriors South East champion is now looking ahead to his professional debut.
“Now my true record is 11-1, one or two fights and then I got to pro. In the future I think I can step into the best, in the UFC. I think I just have to win, all the time. Win, win and it happens.”
Should Smailys decide to stay pro, though, a fight against ‘dancing’ Harding could be the perfect contest for the unified champion to close out his amateur career.