Kicking off a trio of events, Cage Warriors 123 took place on Thursday evening with a title fight in the middleweight division.
After dropping his first two professional bouts, Frederick (9-3-1), went on a tear of nine wins with one draw, which included picking up the middleweight title at Cage Warriors 111. On Thursday, he looked to defend his title for the second time by picking up a win over Bonner (10-6-1), who entered the cage on a three-fight win streak.
Bonner, of course, would have his say in the matter.
In this striker versus grappler matchup, there was no secret to each fighter’s game plan. Throughout the first round, Bonner proved to be a problem in the clinch and on the mat. For a majority of the opening frame, the challenger was able to dictate the action. He achieved full mount after a takedown and began throwing heavy punches, but Frederick was able to see the end of the round without taking too much damage.
With the action back on the feet to begin the second, the champ did his best to land hard strikes while defending takedowns. At one point, he pressed Bonner down to one knee against the fence and threw an illegal knee. The referee decided it was serious enough to deduct a point from Frederick for the strike.
When the action resumed, Bonner continued to have success grappling, ending the second round on top of the champ.
Frederick started the third round looking to change the course of the fight by turning up the pressure. He had success finding home for strikes and defended takedowns well for the first half of the round, but Bonner was able to turn the tides and end the third round on top of Frederick yet again.
The champ quickly ended up in Bonner’s guard early in the fourth round, where he would land a few heavy punches before his opponent was able to reverse position. Frederick threatened with a kimura, but used it as a sweep to return to the feet. Moments later, the fight would return to the ground with Frederick on top looking to land strikes.
Out of nowhere, Bonner slipped to Frederick’s back and sunk in a deep rear-naked choke to get the tap to become the new middleweight champion.
Bonner’s win streak extends to four in a row in impressive fashion, earning the title of Cage Warriors middleweight champion in the process.
The full results of the Cage Warriors 123 card are below:
Matthew Bonner def. Nathias Frederick via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 4, 4:16
Christian Duncan def. Will Currie via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Liam Gittins def. Emrah Sommez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:38
Sam Creasey def. Aaron Aby via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Mick Stanton def. George Smith via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:45
Keir Harvie def. Manny Akpan via submission (arm triangle) – Round 1, 4:30
Omiel Brown def. Joel Downey-Cave via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:56
Adam Cullen def. Josh Plant via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:42
Rory Evans def. Jimmy Fell via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:10