Cage Warriors 117 Preview – Flyweight Showdown

It’s fight week for Cage Warriors again, and the top European promotion is looking to pull off the second trilogy of fight cards this week in a record quick rerun of September’s Trilogy event.

Out of the three cards we’re being treated to this week, the first is Cage Warriors 117 on Thursday 10th of December. In many ways, this card is a direct sequel to 114, with many of the same fighters set to make the walk once more.

Prelims – Figlak vs O’Connor

The first to return from September’s card is the undefeated Michal Figlak (3-0), who served rising Welshman Oban Elliot (3-1) his first loss two months ago with an emphatic first-round TKO. Figlak looked to be on fire in September. If he comes back with a similar performance on Thursday, I think this will be the final time we see the Polish prospect in the prelims. This time, Figlak is fighting Englishman Anthony O’Connor (3-4), who last fought in February 2019.

This opponent seems a step down for Figlak after beating an undefeated prospect, and putting an active guy in there with someone who hasn’t fought in almost two years perhaps isn’t the most balanced choice, but MMA is unpredictable and time will tell if O’Connor can surprise us.

Main Card

Stephen vs Sonmez

Moving on, we have Aidan Stephen (7-3) kicking off the Cage Warriors 117 main card against Emrah Sonmez (11-2) in what’s sure to be an exciting match-up based on the men’s records alone. We last saw Stephens in the co-main event of Cage Warriors 116, where he had no success against rising star Paul Hughes (6-0) and lost by way of a third-round rear-naked choke.

Sonmez looks to be no step down for Stephen, though, with an excellent record and a three-fight win-streak coming into the bout. This is an excellent opportunity for Sonmez to make a statement, or for Stephen to prove he’s where he belongs on the main card.

Maia vs Martignoni

The manic Weslley Maia (6-3) also returns at 117, after his truly electric performance at Cage Warriors 115 against then-undefeated Adam Wilson (5-1), who he TKO’d inside the first round.

Maia was one of the most energetic pre-fight athletes I’d ever seen, screaming and pacing and raring to fight. His performance mirrored that energy, and if Maia keeps going like that, then win lose or draw he’s sure to build himself a healthy following of fans. Standing across from him will be Michele Martignoni, an undefeated Italian on a five-fight win streak. I see fireworks pending on this one.

Co-Main Event – Amarsinghe vs Creasey

In the co-main event, we see Adam Amarsinghe (6-2) and Sam Creasey (12-3), both fighters who recently made the walk back in September. Adam put on a dominating performance against Connor Hignett (8-6) last time out, comfortably earning a unanimous decision after three rounds of constant output.

His opponent Creasey also earned a decision in his last bout, beating Frenchman Nicolas Leblond (5-3) in the early fights of 116’s main card. Sam Creasey will be the most seasoned fighter Amarsinghe has faced in the octagon. With both men being very technical, measured strikers, it will be interesting to see who emerges the slicker, more effective striker in the ensuing chess match.

Main Event – Shanks vs Hadley

In the Cage Warriors 117 main event, we see the newly crowned flyweight champ Luke Shanks (7-1) attempting the first defense of his belt against another man who fought at Cage Warriors 114, the undefeated Jake Hadley (6-0).

Luke Shanks put on a blistering performance in September against then-champ Samir Faiddine, outworking him at every possible point to arrive at the easiest unanimous decision I’ve seen since Usman fought Woodley.

Shanks earned that belt through sheer, unprecedented work ethic, and if he gives the same level of effort this time around Hadley has a tall task ahead of him to take that belt home. Fortunately for Hadley, he’s been on a tear since beginning his professional career, with a score of early finishes to his name, from KO’s to submissions.

There is every chance the flyweight belt changes hands once again on Thursday night, but whether it does or not, Cage Warriors 117 is shaping up to be as action-packed as the first trilogy’s opener, which, if you tuned in to watch you’ll know, is no small feat.


Featured Image Credits to Cage Warriors

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