‘Square Go’: In Scottish slang, a term denoting a fair fight between two people. No weapons, no mates jumping in, just two lads with an issue putting it to bed. Some might call it uncouth, but in an unfair world, it might just be the fairest solution. 

There’s no hate-mottled history between Chris ‘The Bad Guy’ Bungard and Dumitru ‘Dima’ Girlean. No past debt to clear, no misunderstanding that went too far.

It’s far more simple than that; two men, same goal. To win. To take another step towards the lightweight title. To get their hands on that big, gold belt.

So as Cage Warriors returns to Scotland for the first time in over a decade, it’s only proper and correct that this bout takes centre stage.  

For Holytown’s Bungard, it’s a milestone moment in a career spanning over a decade. 

While Cage Warriors 50 was headlined by Glasgow’s Paul McVeigh, ‘Metabolic’ originally hailed from Northern Ireland. When the promotion returned in 2013 for CW 53, an American (Jim Alers) main-evented against a Finn (Joni Salovaara). 

Now, in what is only the promotion’s third journey into the UK’s northernmost territory, he’s the first Scotsman to headline on home soil.

Who else but The Bad Guy?

It’s a distinction he appears to be taking to heart. Face on the poster, name on the marquee; Bungard seems happy to lead from the front.  

The wild man of the lightweight division

He’s done the interviews, he’s made the appearances at sporting events and trust, he’s ready for the fight. 

He’ll have one of the biggest crowds since the days of Paddy Pimblett in the Echo behind him on fight night but as the near 30-fight veteran knows, in the end all the noise is just noise. 

He has a real life problem to deal with in the realest of proving grounds. A man who knows what it means to snatch people’s dreams out from under them. 

Someone happy to play the spoiler in Scotland. 

Understated and underrated, Dumitru Girlean is the quiet man of the Cage Warriors lightweight division, at least when it comes to his activity outside of the cage. 

He’s not one for big talk, trash talk, or talking much at all. 

It may be a cliché, but the Moldovan-born, Italian-bred scrapper says what he has to say when – in the words of ‘Granite’ Grant Waterman – “the bullshit stops and the cage door locks.”

Girlean has form for ripping up the script of a fairy-tale ending. 

He played spoiler in Manchester, for what was supposed to be Adam Cullen’s coming out party. 

Dragging the Liverpool man into deep water for the first time in his professional career, Girlean shocked the world and silenced the crowd with one of the most visually stunning stoppages in CW history, just seconds into the third round. 

Girlean shows off his game changing power

He played a similar hand against Simone Patrizi in Rome; public opinion had the pair’s CW 162 main event rematch booked as a revenge mission for ‘The White Shark’, but once again Girlean dulled his pointed teeth.  

Should he repeat these feats in Glasgow, it would turn a sweet night for Scottish MMA sour. 

But that’s the point of this special thing of ours, isn’t it?

The jeopardy.  

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

The thrill of risk, the passion of victory, the agony of defeat. 

That’s why on Saturday night, thousands in attendance and millions watching around the world will give up their precious time and hard-earned money to watch two hard bastards venture everything

A good, old-fashioned square go.

By Brad Wharton

Cage Warriors 171 will air live on UFCFightPass and international broadcast partners. Final tickets are available via CageWarriors.com