Cage Warriors 169 Preview; Vucenic v D’Anna, Kavanagh v Da Silva

London’s calling again for Cage Warriors as they head back to the English capital for another fantastic night of fights this Saturday. The Indigo at the O2 is the regular home of the legendary promotion and there’s twelve fights on deck at Cage Warriors 169.

There’s not many better fighters not signed to the major global promotions than Jordan Vucenic (11-2). The tattooed warrior is a former CW champion who has finished his last two fighters. The 28-year-old is a great all round fighter, and particularly dangerous as of late in the submission game. The rear naked choke has been his best friend the last few fights, winning his last three bouts with the manoeuvre. The Englishman can hold his own on the feet, and has cardio to throw volume and power to cause damage. Simone D’Anna (10-4) is a Bellator and Venator veteran who had an impressive debut decision win over Alberth Diaz at CW162. The Italian is a combative and fiery fighter who isn’t adverse to a scrap. The 28-year-old is a good wrestler who loves smashing opponents with ground and pound, forcing the referee to step in or to open up the choke game.

This card has one of the best fights of the year located in the co-main event of the evening. Prospects don’t come much brighter than Lone’er Kavanagh (5-0). The GB Top Team man has a hat trick of wins in the promotion, and it’s been a lot of fun to watch. The 24-year-old is a prodigy on the feet, using fantastic footwork to move in and out, peppering and bludgeoning his foes. On top of that, his wrestling isn’t to be sniffed at. Shawn da Silva (6-0) has one of the most spectacular CW debuts with his knockout win at CW151, and then followed it up with a great victory over Gerardo Fanny. The 28-year-old is so fun, and he’ll put on quite the show on the feet. This is appointment viewing.

Will Currie (11-3) is a CW mainstay and has been knocking around the top of the division for a while, including challenging for gold. The 25-year-old is an exciting fighter who tantalises with grappling scrambles and in the submission game. The Englishman has a wide range of exciting ways to make you tap out. On the feet, he’s a fireball who uses every pointy bit of his body to cause you harm. Leon Aliu (11-3) is a Contender Series veteran. The Italian is a well rounded striker who’s got a mean guillotine choke if you fancy taking him down. The 34-year-old is tough, durable and looking to cause damage.

The Dentist is back and looking to knock your teeth out. Darren Stewart (16-9) is a former UFC fighter and is enjoying a four-fight win streak, the best run since the start of his career. The Englishman uses his knees, elbows, feet and hands to separate you from your consciousness. The 33-year-old can equally push you up against the fence, grinding on you and making life miserable for you. Carlos Pereira (39-22-1) is a well travelled Shooto and Bellator veteran. The Brazilian is a firecracker of a competitor. The 44-year-old is dynamite on the feet, winning 24 bouts by knockout. He’s also tricky in the choke game, scoring 9 submissions throughout his storied career.

Jamie Richardson (11-9) is a former title challenger and one of the most reliable violence merchants you’ll find on the scene. The 27-year-old is a delight to watch in the striking exchanges, and he flies out of the gates looking to push forward and throw big shots. The fuse lights as soon as the ref says fight. Olli Santalahti (13-6) is a CAGE and Brave CF veteran. The Finn knows there’s many ways to crack an egg and he’s ready for whatever the fight brings him. The 30-year-old has power on the feet and he’s a solid Jiu Jitsu player. He can wrestle and he’s a threat to all of your limbs in the grappling exchanges.

People with a first name for a surname tend to be tougher than most, and Thomas Paull (11-5) is no different. The Contender Series veteran is a bit one dimensional in that his route to victory has always been the knockout. That’s not to say the Englishman doesn’t have many positions he can do that from. The 29-year-old loves getting you on the mat and pulverises opponents with ground and pound. Equally, he can use that explosive power on the feet and have you out cold before you’ve counted your first sheep. Dimitry Solimeis (6-4) comes from the well renowned Boxing Squad in Nice. The Frenchman has an explosive kickboxing game, as well as a technical boxing style. The 29-year-old’s power does not wane as time goes on. 

Jimmy Quinn (1-1) is a fun fighter with a grappling base. The Englishman has good chokes and a big ground and pound. He has a bit of flashiness to his striking. The 24-year-old throws big shots at will and isn’t afraid to use spinning attacks. Yohan Salvador (4-5) is a French journeyman. Despite the record, you do need to be wary of his competitive game. He’s mostly a decision fighter when winning, but there are avenues of finishing him before time expires.

Angus Hewitt (1-2) is predominantly a grappler with a good choke game. His strong wrestling game opens up many avenues of attack and he’s competitive on the feet. Mitchell Goode (debut) comes in fresh off an extensive amateur career. The Englishman is a submission whizz. The IMMAF veteran loves sinking in chokes, with most success with the rear naked.

Ermil Xhaferi (4-1-1) is looking to bounce back from his first career defeat in his CW debut. The Albanian IMMAF veteran is well rounded with a powerful kickboxing game and a tricky grappling arsenal at his disposal. Aaron Johnson (7-4) is looking for third time lucky after losing both his CW bouts to date by submission. The Englishman’s offensive grappling game is solid, and he has a mean choke game. He’s also got power to trouble you on the feet.

Tom Creasey (5-1) is an impressive competitor out of Bedfordshire. The 32-year-old flyweight has been at this game a long time, and he can put on exciting fights with anyone. Whilst mainly a threat on the feet, he does have one submission on his record. Amir Malekpour (6-2) is an Iranian now living in Sweden. The 34-year-old has won both CW bouts so far, winning with a lovely guillotine and another by ground and pound. This IMMAF veteran is an exciting watch.

Tommy Brunning (debut) turns pro after an impressive undefeated run on the CW Academy scene as an amateur. The Englishman had two submission victories at the level and three decision wins. Cesari Simon Kevin (1-2) is a French karate stylist with a nice guillotine choke.

Tariq Pell (3-0) is another with a strong amateur career behind him. The Englishman is well rounded with powerful punches and a good grappling game. Shaun Fraser (1-0) is a GB Top Team prospect who won his pro debut with a vicious ground and pound knockout. Like most at that gym, he’s a handful in every area of the arts.

Joshua Onwardi (4-4) is a dangerous fighter on a two-fight win streak. The Englishman is tough and mostly goes to decisions, and uses his strength well in the wrestling exchanges. Mariusz Mikołajewski is a Pole who now calls Southport his home. He’s a good kickboxer who’s come through the CW Academy scene. This man is a finisher.

Jawany Scott (3-1) is another GB Top Team prospect and he’s in charge of kicking off the show. The Englishman is a good grappler with big ground and pound and adept at sinking in the rear naked choke. Jean Matos (2-0) fights in Europe for the first time. The Brazilian is rapid on the feet and can cause damage. He also has a nice submission game.

Cage Warriors 169 is live and exclusive this Saturday on UFC Fight Pass. The action kicks off at 18:00.

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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