Cage Warriors returns to London’s indigo at The O2 for another Fun Fight Friday, and as the promotion enters the final months of its banner 20th anniversary year, CW 145 kicks off a run of three shows in three weeks with a formidable line up in the capital.
The Biggest Rematch in Cage Warriors History
After almost two years of waiting, anticipating and machinating, it’s finally here: The biggest rematch in Cage Warriors history.
Featherweight champion Jordan ‘The Epidemic’ Vucenic (9-1) meets interim champion Paul Hughes (8-1) in Friday’s main event; a five-round rewind of their previous meeting to unify the division.
The pair last bumped heads in December 2020, with Vucenic taking the split decision by a sliver on the judges’ scorecards. On Friday, Hughes wants revenge.
Since their ‘Fight of the Year’ nominee, both have defeated top contender James Hendin and both captured versions of the 145lb title in thrillers against Morgan Charriere.
Now they’ll run it back over twenty-five minutes in arguably the most anticipated Cage Warriors main event of the year.
Four Former Champions Return
No less than four former CW champions are set for action on Friday’s supporting bill.
Former light heavyweight champion ‘The Baltic Gladiator’ Modestas Bukauskas (11-5) will strap on the famous yellow gloves for the first time since 2019, when he takes on Lee ‘The Butcher’ Chadwick (28-16-1) in a featured main card attraction.
Bukauskas captured 205lbs gold at the second ‘Night of Champions’ super card, coming from behind to stop Marthin Hamlet in the championship rounds.
One title defence later, a handy TKO of Riccardo Nosiglia, and the UK-based Lithuanian was off to the UFC.
Chadwick is himself a former champion, having defeated Victor Cheng for the middleweight strap in 2017; ‘The Butcher’ never lost his title in the cage and has enjoyed a career resurgence at 205lbs.
Opening the main card, former flyweight champion Luke ‘The Apocalypse’ Shanks (10-3) looks to build on his recent success in the bantamweight division against risping prospect Caolan Loughran (6-0).
Loughran has made no secret of the fact that he sees CW gold around his waist in the not-too-distant future, after opening his account in style with a pair of second-round stoppages of fellow prospects Bakhtyaar Oryakhail and Festus Ahorlu.
Shanks meanwhile comes into the bout already tested at championship level, off the back of wins over flyweight champ Sam Creasey and bantamweight title challenger Josh Reed.
Training out of Scotland’s Higher Level gym under CW veteran James Doolan, Shanks could put his name in the hat for a fourth title opportunity with a win on Friday night.
In a featured preliminary bout, another former champion – Team KF’s James Webb (8-4-1) – looks to get back on the winning track after an unsuccessful CW return in May.
Webb, who trains under fellow former 185lb champions Chris Fields and Cathal Pendred, holds victories over Jason Radcliffe, Thomas Robertsen, Mick Stanton and UFC veteran Crain White.
He’ll face Fight Academy Ireland’s highly-regarded up-and-comer Paddy McCorry (2-0), who stepped in on a few weeks’ notice with plans to cause a monumental upset.
Fan Favourites Make Up Stacked Undercard
A host of CW fan favourites make up an incredibly stacked Fun Fight Friday undercard.
Sublime striker Mehdi Ben Lakhdhar (5-0-1) looks to kick start his momentum and get right back into the title picture against newcomer Xavier Sedras (8-2-1).
With ‘The Last Uchiwa’ having been previously tabbed to fight for the title on numerous occasions and Sedras having a win over current challenger Chris Bungard, this one could have huge implications for the division.
Speaking of implications, Steve ‘Diddy Kong’ Aimable (18-8) and Harry ‘Houdini’ Hardwick (8-3-1) will meet as both look to take a step closer to featherweight glory.
Aimable, who previously earned a title shot in 2019, will aim to extend his current winning streak to five, while Hardwick comes into the bout off the back of a ‘Fight of the Night’ majority draw against Federico Pasquali.
‘The Young Gun’ Jamie Richardson (11-7) brings his crowd-pleasing style back to The Indigo, as he looks to make it three in a row since returning to the welterweight division.
Opposing Richardson is Team Ryano project James ‘Jimbo Slice’ Sheehan (5-2), victorious in his last four outings with the sole blemishes on his ledger being early career losses to former champion Matt Bonner and UFC star Ian Garry, neither of whom were able to finish him.
In true gangster style, Oban Elliot (6-2) moves up to middleweight on just a week’s notice following an injury to original opponent Daniel Skibinski.
Wales’ Elliot, who netted a career-best victory over Matt Bonner at welterweight last time out, draws Paul Hughes’ teammate Sean McCormac (2-1).
Elsewhere on the card, former title challenger Josh ‘The Crazy Horse’ Reed (12-7) takes on the undefeated Ryan Shelley (5-0), whose brother Adam (2-2) looks to get back on track against France-based Senegalese ‘Gaindeh’ El Hadji Ndaiye (4-1) in the evening’s opening bout.
All the action from Cage Warriors 145 goes down tomorrow night and airs live on UFC Fight Pass, starting with the prelims at 19:15 (GMT) and the Main Card at 21:00 (GMT).