With the draw edging ever closer, it’s time to profile another entrant in the Cage Warriors PrizeFighter tournament!

Tickets for CW 174 X PrizeFighter are available here!

The brainchild of CW President Graham Boylan, in association with Mola and Fairtex, PrizeFighter is a one-night tournament with a life-changing $50,000 prize and the promise of a shot at the World Title for the winner.

Cage Warriors resident Play-by-Play man and MMA tournament fanboy Brad Wharton is back with thoughts on the tourney’s youngest entrant, Shirzad Quadrian.

Who is he?: Perhaps the dark horse of this violent little adventure, Shirzad Qadrian is one of the most intriguing entrants into the bantamweight PrizeFighter.

Fighting out of London’s Diesel Gym, ‘The Lion’ is just 23 year of age and is already making waves on the CW stage.

What separates him from many of his peers is a willingness to take the toughest fights possible at the very start of his career; Qadrian’s first six opponents combine for an eye-watering 28 wins against just 11 defeats – Usually those numbers are flipped around, or worse.

All of which is to say, there’s not an ounce of fear in this kid.

The Lion is hungry, and hunting season is open.

How does he win?: With a fighter developing as rapidly as Qadrian, you never know when you’re going to see new tricks. Sometimes though, it’s best to fight to your strengths, and the pressure-cooker of a one night tournament is nothing if not one of those times.

‘The Lion’ excels on the ground; his wrestling gets him there and his gas tank and ability to batter and strangle a man from top position closes the show.

While conventional wisdom says you should always be looking for a quick out when fighting more than once on the same night, if Shirzad can fight to his own pace and – crucially – not take damage, he could be setting himself up at favourable odds against a battle-worn opponent in the finals.

Who should he fight?: This isn’t just about $50,000 for Shirzad Qadrian…well, it mostly is, but there’s also the small matter of something that 50gs or 50mil can’t buy: The satisfaction of revenge.

‘The Lion’ has already crossed swords with Weslley Maia, coming up short against ‘The Magic Man’ on his debut in the Famous Yellows last summer.

The only thing better than boosting your bank account is boosting your ego at the same time. What better way for Qadrian to do both than getting some payback on the man who spoiled his Cage Warriors coming out party?

Why should you care?: Chris Aguiar, host of the Yellow Gloves Podcast and avid follower of all things CW, was bullish on Qadrian’s chances.

“Shirzad Qadrian may well be the brightest prospect in the Prizefighter line-up.”

“His ability to finish fights late, combined with a deep gas tank, gives him an advantage over his competitors.”

“Qadrian’s wrestling is what sets him apart from the rest but his striking, especially when he fights behind that slick jab, is the real ace up his sleeve.”

Qadrian’s only career defeat is to fellow PrizeFighter competitor Weslley Maia which gives his story on the night a unique edge. $50k & a side of revenge? I wouldn’t put it past him.”

Which fight should you watch?: When you have 15 minutes to spare, the Rory Evans fight is the bout to watch.

Not only do we see arguably Shirzad’s best win, we see him get out of a few bad spots early, before slowly and methodically imposing his will on a much more experienced opponent.

It’s the kind of maturity under pressure you love to see, let alone from a man in his early 20s.

Got another 15 minutes to spare? Whack the Maia fight on too; it’ll get you in the mood for a little red-blooded revenge.

The 135lb PrizeFighter will air on UFC Fight Pass and International Broadcast Partners as part of CW 174: London.