Cage Warriors returns to The Toon for the first time in almost a decade this Saturday night, for a sold-out show at the Vertu Motors arena.
Just like our last visit to the North East in 2014, the card will feature a host of international talent taking on some of the region’s finest, capped off by two huge title fights.
With all the action set to air live on UFC Fight Pass and international broadcast partners, join resident Play-by-Play man Brad Wharton as he runs down five reasons not to miss Cage Warriors’ biggest card of the year!
Bungard vs Goodwin
Nothing beats a good, old-fashioned punch up. And trust us, when ‘The Bad Guy’ and ‘The Predator’ lace ’em up on Saturday night’s main card, a good, old-fashioned punch up is exactly what’s in store.
A mouth watering clash between two former title challengers with no concept of a reverse gear, anticipation has been building since this lightweight tilt was revealed as the first addition to CW’s return to Newcastle.
With Goodwin hailing from nearby Redcar, and a Scottish army heading south to ensure both corners are well supported, expect the crowd to be as hot as the action in the cage.
A New Baddy…
Mention the name ‘The Baddy’ and Cage Warriors in the same sentence and one name immediately comes to mind; the one and only Paddy Pimblett.
But for the last 16 months there’s been a new ‘Baddy’ on the block, in the form of surging prospect Milad Ahady.
Training at the North East’s Team Fish Tank MMA in the UK and as part of The MMA Fight Academy project in San Diego, Ahady’s game is evolving at a rapid rate, with the 27 year old drawing plaudits for both his submission acumen and his butter-smooth boxing.
He’ll take another step up in competition on Saturday night, welcoming Finland’s Ville ‘GOAT’ Mankinen (who carries a five fight winning streak into their bout) to Cage Warriors.
The Debut of Kennedy Freeman
When you talk about legacies, they don’t come much bigger in British MMA than that of ‘The Machine’. A pioneer of the sport and the first Englishman to compete in the UFC, Freeman was always going to leave big shoes to fill.
Then along came ‘The Machine 2.0’, aka Kennedy Freeman.
After taking the amateur ranks by storm, Freeman turned pro in 2018, promptly racking up three wins in the salaried ranks.
Now, following a five year break from the sport, ‘The Machine 2.0’ returns to not only make her debut in the Famous Yellow gloves, but to continue the family legacy and ultimately carve out her own path.
Stanton’s Renaissance Continues
Cage Warriors’ renaissance man, Mick Stanton’s MMA career is aging like a fine wine.
Currently riding a huge six-fight winning streak in bouts contested at 185lbs, ‘The Huyton Hammer’ has arguably never looked better.
With his epic title bout against Will Currie already a sure-fire contender for 2023’s ‘Fight of the Year’, Stanton put on an arguably more impressive performance in his rematch with former champion James Webb, coming back from the brink to secure a first round finish.
In Saturday’s co-main event he’ll face another huge test in the form of Italian rising star Dario Bellandi; but will the renaissance continue?
Gittins Vs McEwan Will Tear Down the House
Topping the bill on Saturday night, Cage Warriors will crown a new 135lb champion as Reece McEwan gets his long awaited title opportunity against Next Generation’s Liam Gittins.
Considered one of Scotland’s new generation of up-and-coming future stars, McEwan is a full throttle grappler with three finishes from four appearances in the famous yellow gloves.
Gittins, by contrast, has spent five years campaigning under the CW banner at a multitude of weights, although he too received the call on the back of three stoppages from four wins.
While both men have the kind of rounded skillset that will serve them well wherever a fight may take them, both have their clear proclivities.
Will this one end with another Gittins smash ‘n’ grab, or will McEwan find his way to the back?
When this pair of bantamweights clash in CW 164’s main event, the only thing for certain, is that nothing is for certain.