Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cage 16: Kuivanen beats Meller, Niinimäki knocks out Frachey

Beforehand Cage 16's main event fights were seen as final tests for Finnish MMA stars Anton Kuivanen and Tom "Stoneface" Niinimäki who have been patiently waiting for their shot at the major leagues. The wait should be over as both fighters passed their test with flying colors.

In the extremely exciting main event fight hometown hero Anton Kuivanen (16-4) defended his Cage Lightweight belt against Blackhouse MMA's Thiago Meller (17-4) of Brazil. In the first round Kuivanen controlled the action with crisp striking and used his speed advantage to stay out of harms way. Near the end of the round Meller however caught Kuivanen with a overhand right that sent the Finn on floor. Kuivanen quickly recovered, but as he was working on his way up, Kuivanen ended up in Meller's guillotine choke. Kuivanen kept his calm and waited for the round to end. In the second round Kuivanen turned up the volume punishing fading Meller on the feet with fast strikes. With one minute left in the round Kuivanen connected with blazing combination that sent the Brazilian dazed against the cage. Kuivanen threw everything but the kitchen sink at Meller who absorbed an unbelievable amount of punishment refusing to give up. In the third round exhausted Meller caught Kuivanen once more in a guillotine choke that looked very tight but again Kuivanen did a marvelous job defending the choke, popped his head out and rained down elbows from the top position.
Anton Kuivanen is ready for the big stages (Photo by

In the end Kuivanen kept his Cage lightweight belt with a lopsided unanimous decision. The Finnish striking machine has now won his last nine fights including wins over Ivan Buchinger (16-2) and Tim Radcliffe (11-4). Convincing win over a highly regarded veteran in Thiago Meller should be enough for Kuivanen to land a deal with a major promotion.

Number two featherweight in Europe Tom "Stoneface" Niinimäki returned to action after almost a year away from the cage. In the Cage featherweight title fight the defending champion showed no signs of ring rust as he crushed his French opponent Johnny Frachey in a little over minute. Frachey, a powerful grappler who had won his last five fights, was stunned by Niinimäki's beautiful headkick. Niinimäki quickly followed up with a shattering uppercut that sealed the deal and left Frachey unconscious on the floor.
Tom Niinimäki is a beast who has gone 6-0 at featherweight (Photo by

Since dropping down to featherweight Niinimäki (16-5) is still undefeated after six bouts winning them all in a dominating fashion. In the Euro circuit there are no meaningful fights left for the young Finn so the most reasonable next step for him would be signing with the UFC. Another option is the Bellator that has been lately signing a lot of Euro talent.

Also on the main card was the welterweight bout between Finnish grappler Olli-Jaakko Uitto and Sweden's Nicholas Musoke. In a quite uneventful fight Musoke won the decision as he was able to stuff Uitto's takedown attempts and got the better of the striking exchanges on the feet.

In the women's bout Finland's Katja Kankaanpää (5-0) kept her record clean by outgrappling Spain's Karla Benitez (5-1) to a decision win.

Full results:
Cage Lightweight title bout: Anton Kuivanen (16-4-0) vs Thiago Meller (17-4-0), Brazil: Kuivanen by UD

Cage Featherweight title bout: Tom “Stoneface” Niinimäki (16-5-0) vs Johnny Frachey (13-8-0), France: Niinimäki by KO R1

Welterweight: Olli-Jaakko Uitto (8-1-1) vs Nicholas Musoke (7-2-0), Sweden: Musoke by UD

Lightweight (women 55kg / 122 lbs): Katja Kankaanpää (5-0-0) vs Karla Benitez (5-0-0) Spain: Kalliokoski by UD

Heavyweight: Jarno Nurminen (6-2-0) Team Scandinavia vs Catalin Zmarandescu (6-2-0) Romania: Nurminen by Submission strikes R1

Bantamweight: Heikki Tiilikka (5-3-0) vs Mikhael Daboville (4-4-0), France: Tiilikka by UD

Lightweight: Antti Virtanen (5-3-1) vs Viktor Tomasevic (3-2-1) , Lithuania: Virtanen by Split Decision

Lightweight: Lauri Väätäinen (5-3-0) vs Makwan Amirkhani (3-1-0): Amirkhani by Heelhook R1

Welterweight: Lauri Tonteri (3-2-0) vs Johan Vänttinen (5-2-0): Vänttinen by KO R1

Welterweight: Jussi Halonen (2-0-0) vs Sergei Kabalinov (1-0-0): Halonen by UD

1 comment:

  1. Niinimäki isn't unbeaten at Featherweight during his whole career. But should still be called-up to the big show imo