Cage Warriors 127 Preview

It’s time for another Cage Warriors trilogy series live from the legendary York Hall in London, England. The fans are back this time around, with hundreds set to attend over the course of the three nights. The action begins on Thursday, with an action packed card planned.

In the evening’s main event, the vacant Cage Warriors Bantamweight title is on the line after former champion Jack Cartwright relinquished the strap after fighting out his contract. On one side we have a true Cage Warriors built prodigy in Nathan Fletcher (6-0). He is the latest white hot talent coming out of Next Generation Liverpool. Since turning pro, he hasn’t needed to go to the judges’ scorecards. His favourite weapon is the rear naked choke, however there’s many strings on his bow. His striking is improving at a rapid rate. On the opposite side we have Dominique Wooding (7-4). He is a prominent member of the “records are for DJs club”. The Black Panther is one of the slickest strikers you’ll see on the European scene. He can work his knees from all angles and he possesses big power in his punches. Like his opponent, he’s a natural born finisher. All his losses were to top opponents. This is a fantastic mesh of styles to top the card.

It wouldn’t be a trilogy series without Josh Reed (11-6). Win or lose, Krazy Horse is must watch television. Like his teammates at Shore MMA, he’s a well rounded martial artist. He brings hell on the feet and wild scrambles on the ground. There’s a tough task ahead of him in the talented Kurban Khizriev (4-0). The Manchester Top Team man was born in Dagestan and is bringing his wrestling chops to the British scene for the first time. Reed will be his most experienced opponent to date by far. Don’t be surprised to see Khizriev try to walk him down and get Reed’s back to the cage. This will be an intriguing encounter.

Rory Evans (4-3) comes into Thursday on a three fight win streak. He joined the pro ranks on the back of a fantastic amateur career. After a win on his debut, he dropped the next three, all via submission. It’s been golden since then, capping off his resurgence with a first round ground and pound victory at CW 123. Most of his success to date has come in the grappling exchanges, either taking opponents down and taking the back or landing huge blows from top position. He has a tough test ahead of him in the exciting Weslley Maia (6-4). The Brazilian is all action and is very well rounded in his skill set. He throws with power and is very aggressive on the feet, shooting to kill. He’s an explosion of personality and violence.

Oban Elliott (3-1) makes his long awaited return to the cage. The Welshman is moving up to Welterweight to take on George McManus (2-2). Elliot has battled through health issues and a cancelled fight at the last trilogy so will be chomping at the bit to get back in there. He is a very talented boxer with an excellent Jiu Jitsu game. His style is very viewer friendly and likes to get things finished early. McManus is another one who is desperate to get back into the cage after his last two bouts have fallen through, including one against Elliott. He’s got a really slick Jiu Jitsu game which is where he’ll likely want to take this. He’s struggled on the feet in the last bout, so it will be interesting to see what improvements he’s made this time out.

Adam Wilson (5-1) is another Next Gen Liverpool prospect on the card. He suffered defeat for the first time at CW 115 to Weslley Maia. Wilson is strong everywhere. He showed his penchant for triangle chokes on the amateur circuit. He’s comfortable wherever this goes, he can strike, he can grapple and he has the cardio to go the distance. He takes on Cage Warriors mainstay Kingsley Crawford (5-3). He trains under the legendary Steve O’Keefe. He’s well rounded and a very tough man to put away. He’s capable of bringing it wherever this fight goes.

New pros Jack Clarke (debut) and Bakhtyaar Oryakhail (debut) feature on the prelims. Clarke comes from the Cage Warriors amateur scene, winning his last two under the banner. Oryakhail is the slightly more experienced of the two, having started out in 2016. Let’s see how they get on under the bright lights.

Ryan Shelley (1-0) is the first up for Ireland. The Team KF man has been doing taekwondo since a young age, winning multiple European and World medals along the way. He’s added Jiu Jitsu to his great striking skillset under the tutelage of Tom King. He had a really good amateur career and won his opening pro bout via TKO. He takes on Liam Molloy (2-1), another prospect out of Next Gen Liverpool. He shares a lot in common with Shelley. He comes in with a predominately striking background, he had a successful amateur career and has a very functional Jiu Jitsu game. This is a great matchup.

Cage Warriors 127 is live from 20:15 this Thursday on UFC Fight Pass. 

Seán Denny is a Dublin man who writes mostly on the European scene, with a keen interest in the Irish, UK and Polish scenes in particular. Follow me on Twitter at @DennyRants.