Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cage 15: Kuivanen takes the Lightweight belt; Puhakka wins by submission

Cage 15 event offered a night full of exciting Mixed Martial Arts bouts for the fight fans at the Barona Arena in Espoo, Finland.

Main event of the night was the Lightweight title fight between the champion Ivan Buchinger (16-3) and the challenger Anton Kuivanen (15-4). Beforehand the fight was seen as a classic striker versus grappler fight and that is also pretty much how it played out. Hometown hero Kuivanen came out strong with a heavy straight right that landed flush and seemed to set the tone for the fight. Buchinger looked slow on the feet against the explosive Finn and resorted to pushing Kuivanen against the cage. Buchinger worked hard for takedowns but Kuivanen stuffed them with ease and scored a takedown of his own near the end of the first round. In the second round Buchinger tried to push the pace by pressing forward but Kuivanen got the better of the striking exchanges, punished Buchinger on the ground with hard shots and sprawled out of the takedown attempts. Near the end of second round Kuivanen landed couple of hard low kicks that made Buchinger’s front leg buckle. In the third and final round Kuivanen managed to hit Buchinger with a flurry of strikes that wobbled Buchinger on the feet. In survival mode Buchinger shot for a takedown but ended up on the bottom. Kuivanen rained heavy strikes from the top and the referee was very close to stopping the fight with a minute left but the gutsy Slovakian pulled through and made it to the bell. Kuivanen was awarded with a lopsided unanimous decision and the Cage lightweight belt. The Finnish striking machine has now won his last eight fights. A dominant performance over a high level Euro lightweight in Buchinger proves that Kuivanen is definitely ready for bigger stages and tougher challenges.
Finnish Lightweight star Anton Kuivanen is ready for big leagues. Photo by

In the second title fight of the night Finnish warriors Ville Räsänen and Olli-Jaakko Uitto locked horns for the Cage welterweight belt. In the first round the strong grapplers fought a lot in the clinch against the cage and exchanged knee strikes. Near end of the round Räsänen stuffed Uitto’s takedown and dropped down for a guillotine choke. The choke looked tight but experienced submission grappler Uitto defended well and eventually popped his head out. In the second round Räsänen got in couple of heavy shots on the feet that made Uitto shoot for takedowns. It looked like Uitto hurt his knee in one of those takedown attempts and couldn’t continue after the second round. Uitto’s injury meant that Ville Räsänen got a TKO win in his first title defense and took the belt back to Imatra.

Finnish lightweight powerhouse Niko Puhakka (23-11) made short work of Spain’s Manuel Garcia (20-12). Garcia, who has been fighting since 1995, is a true veteran of the sport and a very good grappler with twelve submission wins on his record. It was obvious that Puhakka had the advantage on the feet and that Garcia wanted to take the fight to the ground as soon as possible. After a feeling out period Garcia got what he wanted and took Puhakka down but the strong Finn quickly swept his opponent and got on top. Puhakka landed couple of hard elbows on Garcia on the ground. As Garcia was working his way up, Puhakka quickly spun to his back and slapped a rear naked choke on the Spaniard. Puhakka didn’t even have any hooks in but the Finn squeezed tight and forced Garcia to tap out. Puhakka has now won six of his last seven fights with the only loss coming to Chute Boxe’s Luiz Azeredo who beat Puhakka by decision at the Fight Festival 28.

The fourth fight on the main card was a featherweight bout between Finland’s rising young star Joni Salovaara (8-4) and then undefeated Estonian grappler Jorgen Matsi (5-1). Right off the bat physically strong Matsi pressed forward, put Salovaara against the cage and worked for takedowns. Salovaara however kept his calm, stuffed the takedown attempts and circled away from the cage. On the feet Salovaara landed hard upper cuts and a beautiful flying knee on Matsi but the bull headed Estonian kept pressing forward. The fight went to the judges who awarded Salovaara with the unanimous decision. The young Finn has made massive improvements to his game and is now riding a six fight win streak.

Cage 15 results
Cage LW title fight 155 lbs / 70,3kg: Ivan Buchinger vs Anton Kuivanen: Kuivanen by UD
Cage WW title fight 170lbs / 77,1kg: Ville Räsänen vs OJ Uitto: Räsänen by TKO R2
70,3 kg: Niko Puhakka vs Manuel Garcia: Puhakka by RNC R1
65,8 kg: Joni Salovaara vs Jorgen Matsi: Salovaara by UD
77,1 kg: Kai Puolakka vs Serfei Bigisev: Puolakka by UD
Women 65,8 kg: Katja Kalliokoski vs Ekaterina Tarnavskaja: Kalliokoski by RNC R1
79,0 kg: Reza Faezi vs Valts Visnevskis: Visnevskis by armbar R1
65,8 kg: Antti Virtanen vs Greger Forsell: Forsell by UD
65,8 kg Ilja Soisalo vs Viktor Tomasevic: Tomasevic by armbar R1

Check out the Cage 15 photo galleries at and

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cage 15 LIVE results

Live results from Cage 15 at the Barona Arena in Espoo, Finland

fight card:

Cage WW title fight 170lbs / 77,1kg: Ville Räsänen vs OJ Uitto: Räsänen by TKO R2

Cage LW title fight 155 lbs / 70,3kg: Ivan Buchinger vs Anton Kuivanen: Kuivanen by UD

70,3 kg: Niko Puhakka vs Manuel Garcia: Puhakka by RNC R1

65,8 kg: Joni Salovaara vs Jorgen Matsi: Salovaara by UD

77,1 kg: Kai Puolakka vs Serfei Bigisev: Puolakka by UD

Women 65,8 kg: Katja Kalliokoski vs Ekaterina Tarnavskaja: Kalliokoski by RNC R1

79,0 kg: Reza Faezi vs Valts Visnevskis: Visnevskis by armbar R1

65,8 kg: Antti Virtanen vs Greger Forsell: Forsell by UD

65,8 kg Ilja Soisalo vs Viktor Tomasevic: Tomasevic by armbar R1

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cage 15 weight-in results

Cage 15 weight-in report (in Finnish) with pics at the

M-1Global Challenge XXV Live stream

You can watch the M-1 Challenge fights live at the M-1 Global website
Fights start at 11.30 AM EST which is 19.30 EET.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cage 15 Preview

Cage promotion has been quickly making its way to the very top of European fight promotions and this Cage 15 event could pump up the promotion’s stock even higher. The card features Top Ten European fighters in Anton Kuivanen, Ivan Buchinger and Niko Puhakka . The crown of the evening is the lightweight title fight between two top euro LW’s in Anton Kuivanen and Ivan Buchinger. Both guys are looking to get signed by a major promotion so there’s a lot in stake in this fight.

Cage Lightweight Title Fight: Anton Kuivanen (14-4-0) vs Ivan Buchinger (15-2-0) Slovakia
Two top level European lightweights on the verge of breaking into international MMA scene fight for the Cage lightweight belt in a classic striker versus grappler bout.

The main event of the night features once again hometown hero Anton Kuivanen who is the biggest draw in Finnish MMA and thus a vital fighter also for the Cage promotion. The young Finn is known for his flashy striking and entertaining fighting style. American Top Team’s Kuivanen has a great record of 14-4, but it’s getting even better all the time. He’s 10-1 in his last eleven with the only loss coming in the hands of Bendy Casimir in a fight that Kuivanen was clearly winning before getting caught in a knee bar. Since that loss the rapidly improving Finn has won all his fights in a dominating fashion and is currently riding a seven fight win streak. Kuivanen’s highly versatile and explosive striking is still his main weapon of choice but during the last couple of years he has managed to take his wrestling and ground game to another level also.

The Cage lightweight champion Ivan “Buki” Buchinger trains at the Ultra Fight Club that has produced many high quality and exciting fighters like Attila Vegh, Miodrag Petkovic and the talented UFC fighter Goran Reljic. The Slovakian was awarded with the belt when he beat Finnish wrestling powerhouse Jarkko Latomäki at the Cage 14. In that fight Buchinger displayed his excellent ground skills. After getting taken down by Latomäki, Buchinger quickly swept his opponent and took his back. As Latomäki tried to escape, Buchinger saw an opening and applied a fight ending rear naked choke on Latomäki. Buchinger has very good positional grappling as seen in the Latomäki fight that he uses to get the back of his opponent. Once the back mount is achieved, he maintains his position with great technique and goes for the RNC or some other submission. His striking isn’t on the same level as his grappling, but he can hold his own on the feet too. Buchinger’s career opened up with 12 straight victories mainly from local shows before he got beat twice in a row: first by the renowned Swede Hamid “Akira” Corassani and then by the Russian Sergey Golyaev who knocked out Buchinger in May of 2010. However, Buchinger has quickly bounced back from those losses and won his last four fights.

In summary: Because of the difference in the skill sets of these two, it should be quite easy to predict how this fight will play out. Buchinger, who is armed with super slick jiu-jitsu and friction pants, knows that he’s going to get smoked on the feet in this fight. I expect Buchinger to shoot for the takedowns early and often and even resort to pulling guard if he can’t get the fight on the ground otherwise. Kuivanen will look to use his improved grappling to stuff the takedown attempts by Buchinger and keep the fight on the feet where he can use his devastating striking to pick his opponent apart.

Cage Welterweight Title Fight: Ville Räsänen (9-3-0) vs. Olli-Jaakko Uitto (7-0-1)
Cage Welterweight champion Ville Räsänen defends his belt for the first time against Olli-Jaakko Uitto who beat Räsänen back in 2008 with an armbar submission.

Former Finnish national MMA champion Ville Räsänen has stepped up his game considerably during the last two years. Räsänen is 4-1 in his last five with the only loss coming to UFC vet David Bielkheden in a fight that Räsänen took on a very short notice. Räsänen captured the Cage welterweight belt by beating tough Gustavo Picone (13-3) of Switzerland via unanimous decision at Cage 14.  The fight was a grueling back and forth slugfest where both fighters were on thin ice at times.  In the end Imatra MMA’s pupil’s strong physique, high quality grappling and pure gameness got him the nod from the judges.

The challenger Olli-Jaakko Uitto is still undefeated mostly thanks to his excellent grappling skills and great conditioning. In his recent fights Uitto beat fellow Finns Toivianen and Puolakka who are just starting their professional career but who both are already highly skilled MMA fighters. Uitto, who has competed victoriously also in submission grappling, has powerful takedowns and a suffocating top game that he uses together with strikes to grind out his opponents. Uitto has technically solid striking but so far he has used strikes mainly just to set up takedowns.

In Summary: While Uitto is not the most exciting fighter, as a versatile and powerful grappler he is a difficult opponent for most European fighters. However, I don’t think that is the case with Räsänen who fought very well on the ground with BJJ black belt in Picone.  The hardnosed Räsänen should have the advantage on the feet it but it remains to be seen if he can keep the fight standing. This fight might not be the prettiest but I believe it’ll be a grueling battle between two hungry fighters who will leave it all to the cage.

Lightweight fight: Niko Puhakka (22-11-0) vs Manuel Garcia (20-11-0) Spain

Finnish lightweight powerhouse Niko Puhakka has been keeping himself busy lately fighting five times in 2010 and this will be his third fight already in 2011. Puhakka has found great success in his recent fights, going 8-2 in his last ten. Puhakka’s two losses were to Marcus Aurelio by sub and to Luiz Azeredo who managed squeeze a decision win from the Finn. Over the years Puhakka has transformed from a brawler to a technically versatile fighter. His striking has been crisp and tight for a long time but he has also shown very good ground skills lately. Especially in his fights against Azeredo and Maciej Gorski, Puhakka displayed great jiu-jitsu on the ground.

Spain’s Manuel Garcia is a true veteran of MMA. Fighting since 1995 the Spaniard has fought a lot of tough guys ranging from UFC vets Dan Hardy, Jess Liaudin and Luigi Fioravanti to top European talents Diego Gonzalez and Kenneth Rosfort. Garcia has a strong base in jiu-jitsu so it’s natural that ground fighting is his foundation in MMA and twelve of the twenty career wins have become via submission. Garcia has fought at middleweight in the past and at welterweight in his recent bouts but I believe this is the first time he cuts down to lightweight.

In Summary: While Garcia as a very experienced fighter can handle himself anywhere the fight ends up, it's obvious that he would prefer a ground fight against the hard hitting Puhakka. Garcia might very well score a takedown on Puhakka but keeping the Finn on the ground is a different story. Puhakka should have the advantage on the feet with his technically sound boxing skills. It’s hard to predict how much Garcia’s weight cutting to lightweight will tax his performance but the longer the fight goes; the more it should favor Puhakka.                          

Featherweight fight: Joni Salovaara ( 7-4-0 ) vs Jorgen Matsi ( 5-0-0 ) Estonia

After his fighting career got off with a rocky start Joni Salovaara has found his rhythm and won his last five bouts against respectable competition. In his latest fight against the German based American Anthony Durnell, Salovaara showed the whole versatility of his skill set. The young Finn landed good shots on the feet, took his opponent down few times and eventually slapped on a fight ending triangle choke. Besides MMA Salovaara has recently competed also in boxing and worked on his already good striking skills.

Like most guys from the Team Scared and Paranoid also Jorgen Matsi has a strong base in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Matsi is still quite green in MMA and hasn’t fought very recognizable names but his latest two opponents Antti Virtanen and Nikolajs Haustovs are legit wins for a young up-n-comer like Matsi. In the various grappling competitions Matsi has competed he has played a very active submission oriented game, so it has been a bit surprising that he has won his last four MMA fights by decision.

In Summary: Beforehand this fight looks like yet another striker versus grappler match up. While Matsi isn’t clueless on the feet, I would be shocked if he can strike competitively with Salovaara. I expect the Estonian to try to push Salovaara against the cage and work for takedowns from there. Matsi also has very good flying triangles and flying armbars that he can try to pull off from the clinch. Salovaara knows he has a significant advantage on the feet so good foot work and accurate striking are the keys to victory for him.

Featherweight fight: Ilja Soisalo ( 1-5-1 ) vs. Viktor Tomasevic ( 1-2-0 ) Lithuania
Featherweight Antti Virtanen ( 4-2-1) vs Greger Forsell ( 2-0-1 )
Welterweight fight: Kai Puolakka ( 4-2-0 ) vs. Sergei Bigisev ( 2-0-0 ) Lithuania
Middleweight fight:Reza Faezi (0-0-0 ) vs Nerijus Slepetis ( 1-2-0 ) Lithuania 
Womens fight: Katja Kalliokoski ( 3-0-0 ) vs. Ekaterina Tarnavskaja( 0-0-2 ) Ukraine

Remember to check out LIVE results from my blog on the fight night and event report the day after!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

M-1 Ukraine International Club Grand Prix

M-1 Ukraine GP stream is now available at the M-1 website.  Awesome fights coming up!

Fight Festival 30 fight videos now available online at Fast TV

You can now watch all the Fight Festival 30 fights from Fast TV. The event had loads of absolutely awesome fights.
Fight Festival 30 at Fast TV

Friday, April 1, 2011

M-1 Selection Europe - live stream

M-1 Selection Europe event will start in an hour or so and they will air the whole event live on the net.
Check it out: