Paul Hughes became the sole titleholder at 145 pounds in Cage Warriors this weekend, defeating Jordan Vucenic via unanimous decision in a title unification bout.
The fight headlined Cage Warriors 145 from the Indigo at the O2 in London, England on Friday night.
The fight was close for the first three rounds, with both fighters connecting with shots on the feet. A lead started to get opened for Hughes once the fight went into the championship rounds.
The fight became ugly in the fourth round as Hughes started to take over. He dropped Vucenic to the canvas early in the frame with a series of punches. The fight then went to the ground, where Hughes continued to land punches against a then-cut and bleeding heavily Vucenic.
The final round had a similar outcome, as Hughes was able to get Vucenic to the canvas after a slick combination of punches. Hughes then remained on the back of Vucenic until the fight ran out of time.
Hughes was the interim featherweight champion heading into this bout. He earned that belt in October 2021, going the distance against Morgan Charriere for a split decision win.
Friday’s main event also avenged a loss for Hughes. He previously faced Vucenic in late 2020, losing in a close split decision result that time.
Vucenic was aiming to defend his belt for the second time. His previous fight came in March, when he submitted James Hendin with a rear naked choke.
Sheehan Takes Nod Over Richardson To Keep Momentum Alive
Late work from James Sheehan secured him a unanimous decision victory over Jamie Richardson in Friday’s co-main event spot.
Each fighter took a round on scorecards after two rounds of action. The fight was mostly on the feet during that time, with the welterweights going back and forth with combinations.
Sheehan clearly took the final round, keeping Richardson controlled on the ground for numerous minutes. Afterward, the scores from judges made it clear that Sheehan needed to take the last round to win the fight.
The victory Friday moved Sheehan’s winning streak in Cage Warriors to five consecutive fights, including three via finish.
Richardson came into this card after scoring a pair of victories in 2021.
UFC Alum Bukauskas Wins In Cage Warriors Return
Former UFC talent Modestas Bukauskas picked up a win in his return to Cage Warriors, defeating veteran Lee Chadwick in a unanimous decision result.
Bukauskas got the nod over Chadwick after a fast-paced striking battle through three rounds. Chadwick would often rush Bukauskas with a series of punches, coming forward with combinations. But Bukauskas connected with his own strikes on the feet that caused the judges to give the fight to him.
Bukauskas was a UFC fighter from 2020 to 2021. He started his promotional run with a win but later departed the promotion after suffering three consecutive losses.
Chadwick, a former Bellator fighter, was making his first Cage Warriors appearance since 2017. He earned a win three months before, defeating Przemyslaw Mysiala on a PFL card.
Lakhdhar Out-Lands Sedras
Mehdi Ben Lakhdhar showcased his striking skills on Friday night when he earned a unanimous decision victory over Xavier Sedras.
Lakhdhar’s boxing skills allowed him to control the fight throughout. He connected frequently early on with right hooks, including a clean counter hook that stunned Sedras briefly.
Lakhdhar has now earned four wins and one draw since entering the Cage Warriors roster in 2018. This fight was somewhat of a return for him, as this was his first fight since late 2020.
Sedras had a four-fight winning streak heading into this card.
Undefeated Loughran Stops Shanks In The Second
Caolan Loughran kept his undefeated record intact to open the main card, stopping Luke Shanks in the second round of a bout with strikes.
Loughran finished the fight from the back of Shanks, a position that he had for most of the round prior to then. After a long series of unanswered punches from Loughran, the referee stepped in to end the fight.
Loughran dominated the first round as well. He hurt Shanks early on the feet with punches, including a strong right hook. Loughran later also attempted a rear naked choke while on the back of Shanks.
Shanks’ best moment came early in the second round when he was able to threaten Loughran with a guillotine choke attempt.
Loughran’s flawless pro record now includes seven wins in total. He has scored three victories in Cage Warriors, with all of those wins coming via finish.
Shanks had a two-fight winning streak going over the past year. His promotional record is now six wins and three losses.
The fight was billed as somewhat of a grudge match due to a hostile face-off during Thursday’s ceremonial weigh-ins.
The Rest of the Card
James Webb snapped a two-fight skid in the final prelim, prevailing over Paddy McCorry on scorecards. The control-heavy fight mostly went the way of Webb, apart from a quick, alarming ground and pound moment from McCorry in the final frame.
Ryan Shelley added a sixth win to his undefeated record this Friday, submitting Josh Reed in the first round with a rear naked choke. Four of his wins have taken place at a Cage Warriors card.
Striking from Harry Hardwick caused a visible amount of damage on the face of Steve Aimable, and earned him a unanimous decision win after three rounds.
Oban Elliott prevailed in a well-rounded performance against Sean McCormac, winning via unanimous decision in the end.
Adam Shelley returned to the win column in the first fight of the night, prevailing over El Hadji Ndiaye after a slow-paced three-round competition.
Main Card (5:00PM EDT / 9:00PM GMT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 10: Paul Hughes def. Jordan Vucenic via Decision, Unanimous (Cage Warriors Featherweight Championship)
Bout 9: James Sheehan def. Jamie Richardson via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 8: Modestas Bukauskas def. Lee Chadwick via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 7: Mehdi Ben Lakhdhar def. Xavier Sedras via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 6: Caolan Loughran def. Luke Shanks via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 3:46)
Preliminary Card (2:30PM EDT / 6:30PM GMT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 5: James Webb def. Paddy McCorry via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 4: Ryan Shelley def. Josh Reed via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1, 3:00)
Bout 3: Harry Hardwick def. Steve Aimable via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 2: Oban Elliott def. Sean McCormac via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 1: Adam Shelley def. El Hadji Ndiaye via Decision, Unanimous