On the night that Nad Niramani defeated local lad Paddy Pimblett in the Echo Arena at Cage Warriors 82 to become the new featherweight champion, a rising prospect in the 145 division also walked away with a win last night.
That prospect is Francis Slioa who was cornered by UFC light heavyweight Jimmy Manuwa, he put on a stellar performance as he overcame adversity to secure a first round submission victory over Dean Trueman. The Swede survived a number of deep submission attempts before he managed to lock in a submission of his own, once he took his opponents back he secured the rear naked choke and got the finish.
During his post-fight interview, Slioa admitted that he was surprised by the number of submission attempts from his opponent.
“To be honest I didn’t expect any submissions from him I’ve seen a couple of his fights, I knew he had won by submissions but first he rocks his opponent and then he goes for submissions.”
Despite looking to be caught in a deep armbar the 25-year old believes his training and sparring partners have prepared him for those situations and would have quit from the sport had he tapped.
“He didn’t have it that deep as I said I spar with Brazilian black belts every day, world champions from Brazil. I thought to myself if this guy taps me out I’m quitting MMA, no way. I mean when you grapple with high-level jiu-jujitsu guys you always end up in different kind of submissions and everything so you just have to stay calm focused and just work from there. It’s all technique and no stress because I’ve been in them positions before.”
Slioa back in the win column on his return to the sport
This was the former TUF competitor’s first bout since his loss to the eventual winner Ryan Hall on the opening day of the show. During his post-fight interview, Slioa tried to put his emotions into words after nearly two years away from the sport.
“I’ve been gone for over a year and I’ve been training hard, I was sick for a while. I was gone all over the summer so I’ve been training really hard for this fight so I can’t even explain. I’m not even happy right now I don’t know what to call it.”
Silao eyes Cage Warriors gold and UFC Stockholm
Bar his loss to Hall on TUF, Slioa remains undefeated with a professional record of 5-0 and prior to Pimblett’s title defeat, the Stockholm native admitted he had his eyes on fighting the Scouser if he walked away with the belt.
“There is a cute little blondie boy who has the belt here in Cage warriors, so if he still has the belt tonight I would love to go after the featherweight belt.”
Despite mentioning a potential title bout the ultimate goal for Slioa is to make his mark in the UFC and he knows exactly the card he wants to do it on.
“I will be in the UFC, of course, I will try to be on the UFC card in Stockholm, now May 28th. I’m going to try and be on that card, Stockholm in my hometown. Remember my name.”
For all of last night’s Cage Warriors 82 results click here.