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Cage Warriors in 2017 – a year in review

New champions. New challengers. New territories. 

In 2017, Cage Warriors held ten events across Europe and were broadcast to millions of homes worldwide. We visited new cities and held some of our biggest shows to date, crowning world champions and building a new generation of fighting talent. Here, we look back at the most memorable moments of the year.

 

Over the last few weeks, thousands of Cage Warriors fans from all over the world have voted to determine the stand-out moments of 2017. It’s time to reveal the results.

 

Breakthrough Fighter of the Year: Jack Shore

Jack ‘Tank’ Shore is forcing the world to take notice.

After a 12-0 run as an amateur, Shore broke onto the professional scene in 2016 and has since finished every one of his 7 fights within the distance. 4 of those fights came this year, and with every performance he’s built a bigger fanbase who have travelled across Europe to watch him dominate.

His last fight of 2017 saw him travel to Belgium to hand Ayton De Paepe his first professional career loss. If people weren’t convinced that Shore was the real deal before this year, they surely are now. He’s young, he’s dynamic and he improves every time he walks out. 2018 should be a big one for Jack Shore.

 

Submission of the Year: Chris Fishgold vs Alexander Jacobsen

We take championship status seriously. The road to a Cage Warriors world title is a long one, and fighters must prove themselves time and time again before being offered a shot at gold. Then, a champion must defend their belt three times before being able to keep it forever.

Chris Fishgold answered every one of these demands with ease, and at CW88 proved himself to be a true world champion by submitting Alexander Jacobsen within minutes of the opening bell in his 3rd title defence.

Whatever Fishgold has planned for 2018, we can’t wait to see Liverpool’s submission king continue  to stake his claim as one of the best on the European scene.

 

Knockout of the Year: Oskar Piechota vs Jason Radcliffe

With one shot, Oskar Piechota won the World Middleweight Title and had the UFC calling soon after.

Since this huge left hand at CW85 put the world on notice, Oskar has gone on to win his first fight with the UFC and continues to impress at the top of the world stage, proving that a dominant run with Cage Warriors can launch a fighter’s career to international acclaim. Still unbeaten in his professional career, we’re looking forward to seeing Oskar continue to dominate next year.

 

Fight of the Year: Nathaniel Wood vs Josh Reed

If you haven’t seen this one yet, it’s time you did.

This insane one-round war between Wood and Reed turned into a viral hit overnight, and has since been viewed over 20 million times across the world. Marc Goddard, UFC regular and one of the most seasoned MMA referees in the world, recently called this the best single round he saw in 2017 (and he’s seen a few).

UFC legend Brad Pickett storms the cage to celebrate with Nathaniel Wood after his win at CW86.

Did you see another fight this year that topped this one? Head to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let us know!

 

Fighter of the Year: Molly McCann

An amazing fighter with an incredible story, Molly McCann is turning heads on the European scene. Securing 68% of the nearly two thousand votes on our Twitter poll, McCann is the first ever female CW fighter of the year!

Her two fights with Cage Warriors in 2017 were some of the best all-out wars we’ve seen in years, and have turned McCann into a local hero in her home city of Liverpool. She’s notoriously hard to match, with her opponents having to be flown in from America and Brazil. Whoever we put in front of Molly she vows to knock them down, and so far has lived up to her promises.

The world is taking notice of Molly McCann. There aren’t many fighters at her weight who bring the relentless pace and power punches that she possesses, and she’s proven a serious problem for the elite competition we’ve matched her with so far. Her world title fight on February 24th will be her toughest test yet, and all eyes will be on the Echo Arena in Liverpool to see whether she can bring home the gold.

 

Aside from our award winners, there’s plenty of other warriors who have had huge success in 2017.

Liverpool’s Lee Chadwick, a 37 fight veteran of the sport, reached the pinnacle of his career when he won the World Middleweight Title at CW88. Submission specialist Craig White has taken out three opponents within the distance this year, and continues to rise through the division toward title contention. Karl Moore and Josh Clark put on an incredible contender for fight of the year at CW81 in Dublin, which saw Moore crowned our Light Heavyweight Champion.

In November, Cage Warriors held the biggest night of MMA in Belgian history at the Lotto Arena in Antwerp, topped by a back-and-forth main event war between Karl Amoussou and Dominique Steele. A host of local Belgian talent faced international challengers on the undercard, with a superbly matched bout between Donovan Desmae and Aidan Lee proving a crowd favourite.

All this and more sets the stage for an incredible 2018. Lee Chadwick will defend his belt at CW90 on February 24th, and one month later Karl Moore is set to face our new Heavyweight Champion Mauro Cerilli for his world title at CW92. At the same event, Sam Creasey will fight for the World Flyweight title after picking up two impressive finishes in 2017.

More huge news arrived recently, confirming that fan favourite Paddy Pimblett will return to Cage Warriors to face Greek submission specialist Alexis Savvidis at CW90. For Welsh MMA fans, CW91 will see knockout artists Josh Reed and Brian Bouland top a card filled with local talent in what looks to be a sell-out event. And, for our Scandinavian fans, CW93 in Gothenburg will showcase the best fighters in the region in our first overseas show of the year.

We’ll close with a thank you to all of our fans, and to every single warrior who stepped up to provide us with the incredible scenes we witnessed this year. With four shows already booked for 2018 and host of incredible talent waiting to strap on the yellow gloves, you’ll be seeing a lot more from us very soon.

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