As the dust settled on a sensational CW 160 from Manchester, it was clear that September was going to take some beating when it came to highlight reel moments.
Thankfully October had no plans to be outdone in the adrenaline stakes, with two mind-blowing nights of action from Dublin and Rome providing enough thrills, spills and headaches to keep fans appetites for destruction satiated.
With an embarrassment of riches to choose from, resident Play-by-Play man Brad Wharton takes a look back at the pick of the bunch in the Cage Warriors Rewind!
Paul Hughes vs Jan Quaeyhaegens: His Time
Paul Hughes had spent the last 12 months telling anyone who would listen, it was his time.
If there was a perfect way to draw a line under a year of frustration, we saw it when Cage Warriors debuted at the RDS on October 14th.
‘Big News’ took less than three minutes to land the final blow on feared finisher Jan Quaeyhaegens, stopping the Belgian in stunning fashion with a clean left hook.
Whatever the future holds for Hughes, that fact that it’s his time is now undoubtable.
Mason Jones vs Yan Liasse: Dragonforce
Through the fire and the flames, CW’s resident ‘Double Dragon’, Mason Jones, continues to cleave his way through lightweight contenders.
Stepping up to face Jones at CW 161 in Dublin was former title challenger Yann Liasse, but even the highly credentialed grappling expert proved unable to solve the riddle of the Welshman doing what he does best; marching forward and dishing out punishment.
With the Luxembourger finally grounded in the second round Jones kept his foot to the floor, first threatening with a rear-naked choke before putting the situation to bed with some heavy punches and elbows.
Emanuele Tetti vs Alessio Barbara: Spinning Stuff
It was clear following his explosive debut earlier this year that the transition from kickboxing to MMA wasn’t going to be a difficult one for Italian flyweight Emanuele Tetti.
Still, nobody could have predicted this.
Credit to Alessio Barbara, he didn’t shy away from exchanging with Tetti on the feet, but when the opening presented itself, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
Baris Adiguzel vs Alex Bertinazzi: Show Stealer
On a night with multiple – equally spectacular – KO of the Year contenders, Baris Adiguzel’s lightning-fast starching of the highly-touted grappler Alex Bertinazzi stood out from the pack in terms of its sheer, jaw-dropping brutality.
Home favourite Bertinazzi took the lead in their brief dance, ploughing forward with a combination of strikes that appeared to back the Frenchman up.
Whether by accident or design though, Adiguzel caught his man walking onto a huge, looping left hand for one of a scariest stoppage in recent memory.
Nicolas Leblond vs Michelangelo Lupoli: Show Stopper
In a bout that was quietly touted for its ‘Fight of the Night’ potential, Nicolas Leblond and Michelangelo Lupoli lived up to billing for the duration of their flyweight encounter.
With both men having their moments across the nine minutes of cage time, the Frenchman was eventually able to impose his preferred gameplan, backing Lupoli onto the fence and walking him down with ill intent.
A stiff left, followed by a pair of dynamite right hands was all she wrote for Lupoli; the 125lb division may have found itself a new contender in the process.
Dumitru Girlean vs Simone Patrizi: Show Closer
It was left to an all-Italian grudge match to bring down the curtain on what had been a spectacular night of Cage Warriors action in the Fiera Roma, and the second meeting between Dumitru Girlean and Simone Patrizi didn’t disappoint.
Already 1-0 up in their series following a sub-one minute head-kick on the Italian regional scene, it was tough to know whether Girlean was shouldering the lion’s share of the pressure ahead of their second spin.
If he was feeling the heat, it didn’t show. Patrizi was as game as they come for the duration, but as he slowed in the second round, Girlean was able to take advantage with an expertly timed takedown and transition to the back.
From there it was academic; an airtight rear naked choke sealed the deal, and the rivalry.
With three more shows to close out 2023, there’s plenty more Cage Warriors action to come! Secure your tickets to London, Newcastle and San Diego to be a part of the action, or watch along live on UFC Fight Pass.