Cage Warriors 132 Preview

Cage Warriors Double Trouble concludes with Cage Warriors 132 on Saturday night. The action comes thick and fast at London’s York Hall with 11 fights on deck, including a pair of title fights just the one title fight.

Dominique Wooding (8-4) looked sensational against Nathan Fletcher in September, winning the CW Bantamweight belt with a head kick followed by punches. “The Black Panther” is an exciting knockout artist who can spark you clean out instantly with any of his four limbs. He particularly uses his knees very effectively. His first title defence will come against Carlos Abreu (9-3). The Brazilian is a jiu-jitsu player with a nice guillotine. He’s no stranger to European MMA and he has a win in ACA on his record. This is a good chance for Wooding to make a statement.

We have a rematch in our co-main event. Sam Creasey (15-3) was one of the good news stories from the trilogy series, topping it off with winning the CW Flyweight strap against Luke Shanks (8-3) at the third time of asking. It wasn’t without controversy, with the referee potentially missing Creasey tapping out to a Shanks submission. The result is that we’re running it back. Creasey is a very lively fighter, always moving. He’s active on the feet and he has a few nice submissions up his sleeve. Shanks missed weight for the first bout so needs to improve there and did again this time around, meaning the fight is now a three rounder, and a non-title bout. Shanks’ biggest strength is his submissions, especially his guillotine. He’s solid in the standup and has good cardio. We should have been getting a definitive title winner this time around but it’s likely this drama will drag on past Saturday evening.

Jamie Richardson (10-7) moved down to welterweight last time out, picking up a second round guillotine win versus Alessandro Botti. “Young Gun” likes to mix it up on the feet and is a savage knockout artist. Seven of his wins were stopped due to strikes. Leonardo Damiani (10-3-1) will be looking to avenge his fellow countryman’s loss. He was defeated on Dana White’s Contender Series last time out, falling victim to a flying knee. The Italian is a very good grappler and is heavy on top. He has big ground and pound, and is fantastic at taking the back and sinking in chokes.

The Figlak Brothers have been one of the biggest talking points throughout the trilogy series. Mateusz Figlak (6-1) has won four on the trot, three within the distance. The Pole is strong everywhere. He’s got knockout power and has combinations for days. He’s also got a solid grappling game and has a submission for every position. He’ll take on Kent Kauppinen (13-6). Kauppinen was victorious on his Cage Warriors debut last time, beating Jamie Richardson in a decision. He is a very strong kick-boxer and mixes it up well. He has also competed in pro boxing. This fight has big implications for the division with the winner likely getting a title shot.

Tobias Harila (9-2) is one of the biggest characters on the roster. His walk outs are must see by themselves. The Swede is a very aggressive striker and like a pawn in chess, he can only move forward. He has finished eight of his wins inside the time limit. To give you an idea of the damage this man does, three finishes are due the doctor calling them off. Jair Junior (6-3) is the opponent on the night. He is a Bellator veteran with a jiu-jitsu background. His wins are on the regional scene so the quality of opponent is unknown, however Harila is a tough welcoming party even if they were world beaters.

The undefeated Michał Figlak (6-0) has looked sensational since turning pro. He’s won all four of his Cage Warriors bouts in spectacular fashion. He’s shown that he has it all. His striking is immaculate, his shot selection is fantastic and he has a very good ground game to match. He’s faced strong opposition and outclassed them all. Stevie McIntosh (7-2) is the latest litmus test. The Scot beat Decky McAleenan with a rear naked choke back in June. He’s never gone to a decision and will take chances to pursue a finish. He’s a heavy hitter on the feet and has worked submissions into his game recently to become a dual threat. This should be fun.

Aaron Aby (11-4-1) is back in action after his semi final loss to Sam Creasey in the flyweight tournament. The Welshman is a strong grappler with a strong choke game. He doesn’t possess much stopping power on the feet, which isn’t too unusual for the weight class. He squares off against the other unlucky semi finalist Samir Faiddine (12-7). The Frenchman is good on the feet and holds a knockout win over the current champion. Most of his fights go to a decision, so don’t be surprised if we see an exciting 15 minute scrap between these two.

Aidan James (5-2) had a perfect Cage Warriors debut back in October where he won via TKO with elbows from the triangle. He’s a natural finisher and has very dominant grappling. He’s aggressive and throws everything with full power. He will face returning Tanio Pagliariccio (7-2). The Italian is a good grappler with a lovely guillotine in his arsenal. He has yet to finish a fight with strikes. For him to have success, he needs it on the mat.

Paull McBain (6-2) is looking to break a two fight losing streak against Konmon Deh (10-8). Scotland’s McBain is a good allrounder. His last finish was in 2017 so he will be itching to notch up another one. France’s Deh has gone the distance with Mason Jones, Jordan Vucenic and Harry Hardwick so you know he’s a tough out. He’s a slick kick-boxer who works the levels well. McBain will have to watch the traps he sets and will most likely look to play it safer on the ground.

Maximilien Vallot (4-3) will take on Lone’er Kavanagh (2-0). France’s Vallot is a sambo specialist and is quite nifty on the ground. England’s Kavanagh has shown to have a good grappling game since turning pro, winning one with a rear naked choke and another via ground and pound. Big opportunity for both men under the bright lights.

Aidan Stephen (8-4) is back in action. The Scot has been trading wins and losses as of late. He’s a very good wrestler and submission artist. If he’s on top of you, he throws some very nice elbows from top as well. He’ll take on Edward Walls (10-6). The Finn is a kickboxer with a particularly savage head kick. He’s no slouch on the ground however he’s likely nowhere near the level of Stephen in that area. His best chance is to take him out on the feet. Styles make fights.

Cage Warriors 132 comes to us live on Saturday night. The action kicks off with the prelims at 18:30, followed by the main card at 21:00. Tune in to UFC Fight Pass to enjoy the festivities. 

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.

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