A lightweight main event has been confirmed for Cage Warriors’ return to Dublin, as featherweight champion Paul Hughes moves up to 155lbs to face surging Belgian knockout artist Jan Quaeyhaegens. 

The pair will headline Cage Warriors 161, a historic first night of Mixed Martial Arts at the RDS on Saturday, October 14th. 

The bout will be contested over three rounds, and determine the #1 contender for the Cage Warriors lightweight title, currently held by George Hardwick.  

Hughes (9-1) enters the bout on the back of three consecutive victories, during which time he claimed the interim featherweight title in a thriller against Morgan Charriere at York Hall. 

The Derry man – who has not seen action since unifying the division in a classic against Jordan Vucenic in November 2022 – also holds notable wins over James Hendin and Aidan Stephen.

Belgium’s Quaeyhaegens (11-4) is currently riding a five fight winning streak. 

Returning to Cage Warriors in April 2022, ‘Q-Bomb’ has rattled off three straight in the famous yellow gloves, maintaining a 100% career finishing ratio. 

With eight of his eleven victories coming via strikes, Quaeyhaegens picked up a nomination for 2022’s ‘KO of the Year’ for his devastating flying knee knockout of Erick da Silva.

“We’ve got a superfight with career-defining repercussions lined up for what is set to be another iconic night of action in Ireland…” said CW President Graham Boylan. 

“Paul Hughes is looking to cement his legacy in the yellow gloves by moving up in pursuit of a second title.” 

“Jan Quaeyhaegens is one of the most dangerous lightweights in Europe and has never been the distance.” 

“All the ingredients are in place for an incredible main event on October 14th, as the Irish MMA revolution continues!”

Tickets for Cage Warriors 161: Dublin are available from CageWarriors.com. The event will be broadcast live via UFC Fight Pass and international broadcast partners.