Cage Warriors is doing it again. After a wildly successful and newsworthy stab at it last year, they’re back with three consecutive nights of events taking place with not only some of their top-shelf talent, but three titles to be contested.
First event starts off Thursday with undefeated “Drago“ Will Currie (5-0), who is determined to reach the top of the middleweight pack with his tenacity and submission games. Four of his five wins have been via submission, and he appears to be a promising prospect with good cardio and a crafty way of creating openings in the grappling department. But he’s got a problem on his hands with Christian Leroy Duncan, who despite being 2-0 has a 17-6 amateur record. That level of experience leads him to be comfortable dishing violence like this, as well as like this.
Ireland’s Paul Hughes (6-1) had his unbeaten streak spoiled in his last outing, a tough decision loss to current title challenger Jordan Vucenic (more on him later), but remains a talent to watch in the featherweight division. His ability to read gaps in his opponent’s defense is excellent, and has lead to consistent results in the cage. He’ll be up against 5-0 James Hendin, who also has a 7-2 amateur record.
Main event for the first night will be between heavy-handed former Phoenix, BAMMA and Bellator fighter Kent Kauppinen (12-6) and fellow middleweight Jamie Richardson (9-6). Both have had their share of ups and downs, but really pour it on with strong and varied offense.
Friday night brings us two title fights, with undefeated bantamweight sensation Jack Cartwright (9-0) looking to keep his pristine pro record against Sylwester Miller (9-3). Cartwright first made waves pulling off a wonderful run in the Unplugged series and is coming off a stellar submission win over Gerardo Fanny last September.
Miller will be making his Cage Warriors debut, and he’s got a pretty strong pedigree. Six out of Miller’s nine wins have been by submission, and five of those are rear naked chokes. While none of the names on his record jump off the page, he’s a strong athlete with great grappling technique that can take some hits. This should be great, because either Miller plays spoiler for the hottest prospect Cage Warriors has right now or we get another masterful performance from the brash Brit.
Friday’s main event is a very solid one, and you’d be forgiven for not being familiar with the participants. Belgium’s Donovan Desmae (14-5) is challenging for the welterweight strap off the strength of back to back wins. His success has had to do in large part with that rock-solid right hand of his, but he’s got great reactions to scrambles and is capable of making a fight as ugly as he needs to until he finds his opening.
Of course, he’s got a big obstacle to overcome against champion Agy “Wolverine“ Sardari (13-2). Sardari’s riding a seven-fight win streak with a win over Shooto’s Yutaka Saito defeating Cage Warriors mainstay Jack Grant in his CW debut for the lightweight belt. A ferocious competitor, he’s looking like he has a very strong and well-rounded foundation for success, and he’s going to need those tools here against a sturdy talent with a comparable record.
This card also features some great matchups between Jack Grant (16-6) and Madars Fleminas (8-2), as well as Ian Garry (5-0) vs Rostem Akman (6-2) at welterweight. Middleweights James Webb (8-2, 1 draw) also meets Matthew Bonner (8-6).
France’s Morgan Charriere (16-7, 1 draw) stumbled in his Cage Warriors debut against Soren Bak, but roared back to stomp his way to the welterweight title with a truly inspired finishing sequence. His polished striking and veteran composure have led him this far, and his athleticism has no signs of slowing down.
Now he defends his belt against Jordan Vucenic (7-1), a perfect opponent to play spoiler with his ability to disrupt offense, work clinches and set up counters for very close fights. Winning the belt here would be a massive achievement against a faster and more experienced opponent, but Vucenic might just pull it off if he keeps it close. Tall order, though. Charriere will be looking for yet another finish come hell or high water.
The co-main event is another treat. Fan-favorite Paddy “The Baddy“ Pimblett (15-3) bounced back hard after his loss to Soren Bak with a win via ground strikes against Decky Dalton and hopes to make it two in a row against Davide Martinez (8-2). If you’ve heard the name but aren’t quite sure what all the hype is about, Pimblett is quite simply, a problem. Martinez is a solid striker with a good consistent pace that pushes forward and utilizes a very complete striking skillset.
Certified finisher Nathan Fletcher (4-0) has yet to see a judge’s scorecard in his young career, and has a stiff test against “Italian Thunder” Michele Martignoni (6-0), while striker Tobias Harila (8-1) meets “The Phenomenal” Aidan Stephen (8-3).