For over twenty years, Cage Warriors – Europe’s Leading MMA Organisation – has been regarded as ‘The Draft’ of European MMA, with well over 100 (and counting) athletes graduating to the UFC, The Ultimate Fighter or, in recent years, Dana White’s Contender Series.
Founded in 2017, the series has been dubbed ‘The toughest job interview in sports’ and gives UFC hopefuls the chance to perform in front of company President Dana White.
Each season sees athletes battle it out on a weekly basis, with those who win and – crucially – impress the boss, handed a contract with the world leader.
Now in its seventh season, over two hundred contracts have been awarded over the last six years.
Numerous Cage Warriors alumni have appeared on the show, with the likes of Cory McKenna and former CW flyweight champion Jake Hadley scoring the coveted UFC deals.
2023’s season will see multiple CW athletes get their shot at glory, and it all starts tonight as Week 2 gets underway.
‘The Anatolian Wolf’ Emrah Sonmez is a four-fight CW veteran, who most recently saw action on New Years’ Eve 2022.
A suffocating wrestler fighting out of GB Top Team under UKMMA legend Brad Pickett, the Turkish national has wins over Darryl Golding and Adam Meskini in the famous yellow gloves, and will take a 13-4 record into his DWCS bout against Hyder Amil.
The main attraction on Tuesday night is CW lightweight champion George Hardwick, who faces Fury FC champion Abdul-Kerim Al-Selwady.
Known for his relentless forward pressure, crafty guillotine and brutal bodywork, the Middlesborough man capped off a phenomenal CW run with a first round KO of Yann Liasse in April, and is regarded by those ‘in the know’ as arguably the best prospect of the entire season.
In week three, ‘The Welsh Gangster’ Oban Elliot faces Brazilian KO artist Kaik Brito.
Elliott is coming off a career-best performance against James Sheehan in Dublin earlier this year, the icing on the cake of a four-fight winning streak that included victories over Sean McCormac, Herkus Lukošiūnas and former CW middleweight champion Matt ‘The Beast Bonner’.
Fans in the UK can catch all the DWCS action live on UFC Fight Pass at midnight each Tuesday…with more CW alumni rumoured to appear later in the season, ‘The Draft’ of MMA is showing no signs of slowing down!