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Houston's title fight ruled a no contest

By Andrew Henderson

Ross Houston is still the Cage Warriors welterweight world champion after his fight with Nicolas Dalby, but the finish was not one anybody would have expected going in.

The main event of Cage Warriors 106: Night of Champions was left without any real resolution, after the bout was ruled a no contest.

Danish fighter Dalby was cut open in the first round, but came back to break Houston's nose in the second.

The amount of blood spilled led the referee to rule it was an unsafe fighting surface, and called the fight off without a winner.

The Dane immediately came out swinging, but without much clean contact at the start of the first round, and it was Houston who gained the first advantage.

Things immediately descended into a bloody affair, as an elbow from Houston cleanly cut Dalby open.

Houston attempted a takedown but fell onto his back, although he did manage to power his way back up to his feet.

Ross Houston retained his Cage Warriors world title after his fight with Nicolas Dalby was ruled a no contest. Picture: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors
Ross Houston retained his Cage Warriors world title after his fight with Nicolas Dalby was ruled a no contest. Picture: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors

Dalby managed a takedown towards the end of the round, but the severity of the cut above his left eye may have been enough to give the round to Houston.

The second round went the way of Dalby quickly though, as a heavy right hand looked to break Houston's nose.

With a lot of blood spilling on the canvas, the second round largely took place on the mat after that with Dalby looking to press an advantage.

Houston was unable to offer up much of a response after that, meaning that the round went to Dalby.

With Dalby's left eye swelling badly, but Houston suffering a serious injury, it was all to play for at the start of the third.

Dalby tried to come out swinging again, throwing a head kick and backing Houston up to a cage.

Houston managed to take Dalby down, but quickly sprung back up to his feet and got caught with a knee that rocked him.

Referee Marc Goddard, not for the first time in the fight, called for a time-out to check on Houston because he was losing so much blood.

The blood both fighters were losing was affecting the surface of the cage, and when Houston slipped while trying to get back to his feet in the middle of the third round, Goddard called the fight off, ruling it a no-contest.

The decision was that both fighters were hurt, so neither lost, meaning that Houston keeps his Cage Warriors welterweight world championship, but with Dalby also keeping his interim belt a rematch seems to be the most likely next option.

Speaking immediately after the decision in the cage, Houston said: "I feel bad, because I know the momentum was swinging in Nicolas' favour towards the end.

"Obviously I'm not happy that it ended, but it's a five-round fight, and I showed in my last fight that I'm strong for the five rounds and I can come back from adversity and the pressure I was under then.

"It's not the best ending, but we worked hard. I talked a lot before the fight, it's just my style, I was going in to fight Nicolas Dalby who I've watched for years. I don't want to get too nice with someone I'm about to fight, but I'll definitely go and have a few beers with him."

On the right hand that broke his nose, Houston said he could feel the effects immediately.

He added: "That was a peach of a shot, it was like as soon as it landed it was like someone had switched a tap on in my nose, I could feel it gushing.

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