An injury to Donovan Desmae has caused a last minute change in the lineup for Cage Warriors’ final card of the year. Arguably the biggest name in the European promotion, Paddy Pimblett (14-3), is returning after the biggest layoff of his career. The 24-year-old will now face TUF 27 finalist Joe Giannetti (8-2-1), with Desmae’s removal from the card. The lightweight clash will feature on the main card next Friday, November 22 from the Indigo at the O2.
Pimblett has been out of action since his defeat to Soren Bak, in a bout for the promotion’s lightweight title in September 2018. He has been nursing a hand injury – which required surgery – in the intervening time, and will be looking to make a big impact upon his return. The Liverpudlian is still extremely young in his MMA career, and could still be a number of years away from his peak. Pimblett is a former Cage Warriors featherweight champion and intends to use this bout as a springboard in his search for a second belt.
Giannetti rose to fame on TUF 27, where he finished as the show’s runner up—after dropping a split decision to Mike Trizano in the final. Unlike many other competitors on the reality series, he wasn’t given another opportunity in the UFC, so he went back to the regional scene to improve his record and gain more experience. Giannetti has competed three times already this year, going 2-1 in Cage Titans—the last fight of which saw him finish Keenan Raymond via KO in the first round. He will be aiming to insert himself immediately in the Cage Warriors lightweight title picture with a win in London.
Cage Warriors 111 features three champions looking to defend their belts, and is scheduled to be headlined by a rematch between middleweight title-holder James Webb and Nathias Frederick—after the pair fought to a controversial draw in the summer. Featherweight king Mads Burnell looks to fend off the challenge of Steve Aimable, as well. And the best light heavyweight in the promotion will be decided when champion, Modestas Bukauskas, takes on the hard-hitting Italian, Riccardo Nosiglia.