Carlo Pedersoli spoiled Nicolas Dalby’s return to Cage Warriors as he edged the former promotional champion to a split decision win in the main event of Cage Warriors 93 Saturday night in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Dalby had it all to do in the third after being buckled by a well-disguised head kick in the second. Even after gathering his senses, the Danish fighter was forced to defend himself as the Italian looked to catch a rare calf slicer.
Dalby, a former UFC welterweight, came out like a man possessed in the third round, landing two head kicks that visibly dazed Pedersoli. Dalby continuously looked to take the back and finished the fight landing shots from top position.
The welterweight duo opened the fight at a furious pace. They traded spectacular head kicks, with Dalby landing a question mark kick before Pedersoli answered the shot with a crescent kick and a thudding knee to the face.
In the co-main event, Soren Bak called for a lightweight title showdown with Paddy Pimblett in Liverpool following his second-round win over former title challenger Alexander Jacobsen.
“I noticed Paddy isn’t here tonight — he promised to come to my backyard,” Bak told Josh Palmer. “I guess I have to go to his backyard. See you in Liverpool!”
Bak showcased more of his striking game en route to solidifying his No. 1 contender status.
He came close to finishing the fight in the first 30 seconds when he jumped on a Von Flue choke as Jacobsen threatened with a guillotine. In the final minute of the round, he opened up Jacobsen’s nose up with a flush knee as they exchanged shots. Jacobsen made matters worse for himself when he had a point taken after landing an upkick while Bak was still grounded.
Bak landed a few more clean shots to open the action in the second and again attacked with a Von Flue choke as Jacobsen latched onto another guillotine. The Dane quickly transitioned to an arm triangle and rendered “True Romance” unconscious to win the bout.
Alan Carlos was still marching Norman Paraisy down in the final seconds of their middleweight bout despite the Frenchman battering his lead leg throughout the contest.
“The Brazilian Viking” likely landed the cleaner punches of the two, but Paraisy didn’t allow him to implement his jiu-jitsu as he got back to his feet immediately on the few occasions he was briefly introduced to the canvas.
There will be some dispute as to whether Carlos deserved the two 30-27 cards he received en route to the unanimous decision win, but he certainly had a strong argument for two of the rounds as he landed the cleaner punches in the boxing exchanges.
Bak wasn’t the only lightweight that impressed on the night as Jack Grant recorded his fifth consecutive victory with a one-sided win over Mehdi Dakaev. The UK lightweight put on a grappling master class, forcing the Russian to stave off submissions on multiple occasions in each round.
Main card (UFC Fight Pass, 3 pm ET)
Carlo Pedersoli def. Nicolas Dalby via spit decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Soren Bak def. Alexander Jacobsen via submission (arm triangle) at 4:17 of R2
Alan Carlos def. Norman Paraisy via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Jack Grant def. Mehdi Dakaev via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
Sofiane Boukichou def. Junior Karanta via TKO (strikes) at 1:17 of R3
Preliminary card (MMA Fighting Facebook, 12:30 pm ET)
Hakon Foss def. Jack Mason via TKO (flying knee and strikes) at 1:56 of R1
Malin Hermansson def. Cornelia Holm via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Rafael Macedo def. Perry Andre Goodwin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) Thomas Robertsen def. Saaed Yunesi via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:18 of R1
Per Franklin def. Orlando D’Ambrosio via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Modestas Bukauskas def. Kristian Lapsley via technical submission (referee stoppage) at 2:39 of R1