With just under a week to go, anticipation for Cage Warriors’ return to Dublin is hitting fever pitch. Play-by-Play Commentator Brad Wharton takes a look at seven reasons not to miss what looks set to be an epic night of Mixed Martial Arts at the 3Arena!
The Debut of Taka Mhandu
One of the most talked about prospects on the circuit, Team KF’s Taka Mhandu had been wowing crowds with his performances as an amateur before making the jump to the pro ranks in 2021.
Having already competed in the CW Academy Ireland, and with international experience under his belt as a professional, Mhandu’s pro debut in the famous yellow gloves has been a long time coming.
Possessing sniper-sharp accuracy, range and the gas tank to make it count for the duration, Mhandu might just be CW’s next ‘can’t-miss’ prospect.
The Return of Morgan Charrière
One of the biggest names on the CW roster, Dublin fans will be treated to an appearance from French superstar ‘The Last Pirate’ Morgan Charrière.
Charrière made his long-awaited return to competition at the BT Sport Studios last year, outpointing Daniel Bazant in a nail-biting three-rounder.
Having been involved in some of the most emotionally charged bouts in promotional history, Charrière fights are an event in themselves.
Fans will get to witness his next step back towards title contention when he makes the walk in Dublin.
You Might See the Next Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor, you may have heard of him? The apprentice plumber from Dublin went from obscurity to becoming the biggest star in the history of Mixed Martial Arts, and it all started one cold, December night in Dublin.
Having previously defeated Dave Hill to become Cage Warriors’ featherweight champion six months prior, McGregor landed the left hook heard around the world in the main event of CW 51 on New Year’s Eve 2012.
Now regarded as one of the most iconic moments in European MMA history, McGregor’s CW triumph skyrocketed him to international fame and fortune. With a card stacked with Irish prospects, you could well see the next Conor McGregor at CW 153.
A New Title Challenger Could Emerge
In a bout that will have huge implications for the CW welterweight division, Dublin’s James ‘Jimbo Slice’ Sheehan will go one-on-one with ‘The Welsh Gangster’, Oban Elliott.
Elliott will be walking into enemy territory, with a partisan crowd expected to be firmly behind the home fighter on April 29th.
Content to play the bad guy for the evening though, Elliott is relishing the opportunity to silence the 3Arena.
Sheehan has won five straight under the CW banner, with his only defeats coming early in his career against future CW champions Matt Bonner and Ian Garry.
It’s a contest that has ‘Fight of the Night’ written all over it, but more importantly, for the men involved, it could see the next challenger for the welterweight title emerge.
Ryan Shelley vs Tobias Harila
It’s Shelley vs Harila guys, come on.
Neil Seery Completed the Fairy-Tale in Dublin
A firm Irish MMA favourite, Neil Seery perfectly encapsulated the notion of working hard and never giving up on your dreams.
Having started his career when 125lb’ers had to fight up multiple weight classes in order to compete, Seery had almost given up on the game when Coach Andy Ryan convinced him that he had one last run left in the tank.
And what a run it was; Seery went on a four-fight streak in the famous yellow gloves, capped off by winning the CW title in Dublin.
In emotional scenes, the crowd rose to its feet to give the local hero a standing ovation following his submission victory over Mikael Silander.
Seery would go on to compete seven times in the UFC. On April 29th, there will be no shortage of fighters looking to follow in his footsteps.
A Title Unification Bout for the Ages
CW 153’s main event is a title unification bout for the ages! Welterweight champion Rhys McKee of Ballymena meets UK MMA legend and interim champion ‘Judo’ Jim Wallhead.
McKee captured his title in an epic war-voted Cage Warriors’ ‘Fight of the Year’ 2022 in a poll of thousands of fans, and he’ll be looking to bring the same energy to Dublin as he faces the biggest test of his CW career.
Wallhead defeated hot prospect Matt Figlak to capture interim gold, continuing a phenomenal career resurgence in the famous yellow gloves after two decades in the game.
Quite simply, the CW 153 main event is one of the biggest fights in European MMA history.
Tickets for CW 153 are available here.