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 thirst-victim Brad Wharton is back with musings on the great Scottish hope.

Who is he?: One of the premier grapplers on the Cage Warriors roster, Aidan Stephen might already be vying for a Cage Warriors title were it not for one small problem: If it wasn’t for bad luck, he’d have no luck.

After a not-to-be-sniffed at 5-3 run at featherweight (only dropping bouts to elite level competition in Paul Hughes, Tobias Harila and Steve Aimable) Stephen made the decision to drop to a more natural 135lbs.

He’d already tested the waters with an impressive points victory over Edward Walls in December 2021, but after a year out, his 2023 was met with disaster upon disaster, none of which had anything to do with him.

First, Matt Camilleri hospitalised following complications with his weight cut just hours before the pair were due to hit the scales. Next, Daan Duijs suffered the same fate post weigh-in.

When he finally returned to the cage in April of this year, it’d been the guts of 30 months since he last strapped on the Famous Yellow Gloves, but with a successful bantamweight debut under his belt, it’s now or never for the 32 year old Scott.

How does he win?: Hellbows? Hell yes. Stephen loves them, especially on the ground where he can grapple his way to strong positions and generate leverage to smash and slice with the fifth and sixth limbs.

There’s a caveat though; due to the tournament rules, elbows won’t be allowed in the semi-finals.

Smart money favours a takedown-heavy semi-final gameplan then; put your man on the mat, take away their tool, endure minimal damage in favour of going hell for leather in the finals.

Who should he fight?: Revenge is a prevalent theme in the combative arts; whether it’s for sport, standing or purely to satisfy your own ego.

Stephen dropped a bout to Tobias Harila back in 2021, so kicking off the tournament with a win over teammate Alexander Loof would surely make the road to fifty grand that little bit sweeter.

It’d also give fans the ultimate style clash: Suffocating grappler versus hard-nosed brawler…and we all love a bit of that, right?

Why should you care?: MMA UK‘s Stoomboy – An ardent supporter of all things Scottish combat sports (except Peter Knox’s kebabs, presumably) had thoughts on Stephen’s chances.

“I think Aidan will win this as he is one of the top bantamweights in Cage Warriors; the pressure from his grappling ability will be too much for the other fighters.”

“This is Aidan’s time and its going to be ‘Phenomenal’!”

Which fight should you watch?: Want to whet your appetite for the kind of pressure-heavy grappling performance you could see from ‘The Phenomenal’ one come July 20th?

You could do worse then check out Stephen’s three-rounder against Finland’s Edward Walls. It was the Scotsman’s first time fighting below 145lbs for some time, and showed the extra cut wouldn’t affect his ability to execute the gameplan he loves.

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