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Ross Houston survives five-round war to capture Cage Warriors welterweight title

Scotland’s Ross Houston survived a fourth-round scare to defeat defending champ Stefano Paterno at Cage Warriors 98

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Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors

Scotland’s Ross “The Hitman” Houston walked through the fire and battled through adversity to defeat champion Stefano Paterno and capture the Cage Warriors welterweight title in a thriller in Birmingham.

Houston’s dramatic split-decision victory over Paterno topped a thrilling card of fights at the Genting Arena at Cage Warriors 98 as the British-based promotion staged another night of exciting action live to a global audience on UFC Fight Pass, and domestically on BT Sport 2.

Houston and Paterno went back and forth for five thrilling rounds (Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors)

Houston and Paterno went back and forth for five thrilling rounds (Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors)

The main event battle between Houston and Paterno stole the show, as the bigger, stronger Houston looked to be edging the contest heading into the championship rounds, only for Paterno to turn the fight on its head with one swing of his powerful right hand.

A blistering right hook landed flush, sending Houston staggering backwards and down to the canvas as a stoppage finish for the Italian looked mere seconds away. But somehow Houston recovered his senses and, with referee Marc Goddard watching the challenger’s defensive behaviour very closely, the Scot survived the round.

And after a back-and-forth final round, the result was far from clear-cut as the two protagonists draped themselves in their respective flags and showed respect after a hard-fought battle.

When the scorecards were read it was Houston who got the nod via split decision with scores of 48-47, 48-47, 46-48.

Elsewhere on the card, the final of the Cage Warriors featherweight title tournament was set, as Dean Trueman and Aiden Lee scored impressive victories in their respective semi-final bouts to set up what should be a superb battle for the belt in Cardiff at Cage Warriors 100 in December.

Trueman outpointed Lewis Monarch after three dominant rounds, while Lee claimed a superb first-round submission finish of Paull McBain to complete the final lineup.

It was also a good night for former BAMMA welterweight champion Alex Lohore, who made a statement on his promotional debut for Cage Warriors.

Lohore defeated Sam Boult via second-round TKO and set his sights on a run at the welterweight title now held by Houston.

Cage Warriors 98: Official Results

Main Card

Ross Houston def Stefano Paterno via split decision (48-47, 46-48, 48-47)
Aiden Lee def Paull McBain via submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1
Dean Trueman def Lewis Monarch via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Adam Proctor def Angelo Rubino via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Perry Goodwin def Alexander Jacobsen via KO (punches), Round 2

Pro Prelims

Alex Lohoré defeated Sam Boult via TKO (punches), Round 2
Scott Malone def Adam Amarasinghe via TKO (punches), Round 3
Kingsley Crawford def Antanas Jazbutis via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-98)
George McManus def Josh Plant via submission (reverse triangle choke), Round 1
Michael Younis def Marcin Prostko via submission (guillotine choke), Round 1

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.

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