With just days to go until the PrizeFighter draw, it’s time to profile another entrant in the one-night bantamweight 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 the guy who has a picture of the 2000 PRIDE GP bracket in his wallet instead of his girlfriend, Brad Wharton, is back with his take on a former champion risking it all.

Who is he?: Who is The Italian Thunder? It’s all in the name: Michele Martignoni is quick as a flash and ready to rumble.

More importantly he’s a former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion, one who never lost his title at that.

Giving up the strap so that friend and training partner Dylan Hazan could have a crack at it while he went for a spin with 125lb champion Shaj Haque, the Italian came up short.

Still, he dared to dream, which is more than most can say in these days of minimal risk-taking.

Returning to 135lb with a blistering knockout earlier this year, Martignoni could have hopped into a title should should he have wished.

Instead, he fancies adding $50k to his bank balance, and he’s will to risk it all against two men in one night to do it.

That’s the measure of the man.

How does he win?: If there was a man you’d bet next month’s rent on repeating Jack Cartwright’s infamous 2019 one-night KO-fest, it’s Martignoni.

Quick as a hiccup and packing ungodly stopping power for the weight, Martignoni is perhaps more of an instant threat than anyone in the bracket.

Hitting hard, fast and early is the tactic, but with such a diverse field of skillsets in front of him (all of whom would love to scalp a former champ, no doubt), he’ll have to mind his Ps & Qs if he’s going to hunt heads.

Who should he fight?: With a win over Weslley Maia already under his belt, you might think that the Brazilian would be the obvious option.

Still, you never know quite how such methodology plays out; will Martignoni have the same motivation? Will Maia’s thirst for revenge give him an edge?

From a fan perspective, my dream semi-final would be Martignoni vs Qadrian: The man with the most high-level experience in the tournament versus the young gun.

It’d also make for a glorious clash of styles; what’s better for tournament play, a quick KO or a two-round mauling?

Hopefully we’ll get to answer that question on July 20th…

Why should you care?: Who better than the capo di tutti capi of Italian MMA, Phre, to weigh in on his countryman’s chances?

“Il Tuono. The Thunder. Just like thunder, Michele Martignoni will bring chaos to the cage.”

“The Aurora MMA representative has all the attributes to win the upcoming Cage Warriors PrizeFighter bantamweight tournament. He’s capable of ending a fight in literally seconds (ask his former foe, now friend, Simone D’Anna), but he can also wear you down all night, furiously beating his opponent with punches and elbows.”

“He can quickly finish his opponent with his strikes or with his BJJ, but he’s also proven that he can be a slow starter and then dominate the man across the cage until the bell of the fifth round.”

“Quick on his feet and confident on the ground (both on top and on his back), the IMMAF alumnus is not afraid to showcase his stand-up game, possessing a solid chin and rapid combos.”

“He has shown more than once that being knocked down or rocked doesn’t mean he’s finished. On the contrary, it will likely ignite his inner beast, and he’ll end up winning the fight.”

Which fight should you watch?: If you want a reminder as to exactly how much of a menace Martignoni can be at 135lbs, you need look no further than his recent return to the division against Israeli prospect Raz Bring.

You can catch the full fight on UFC Fight Pass, but if you’re here for the sizzle rather than the steak, see below for the blistering finish.

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