This Saturday we will see the final event on the Cage Warriors Trilogy, which is being hosted in London, England. The event has scheduled eight bouts, with a featherweight title as the main event. We will also see the return of a certain ‘scouser’ in a lightweight bout.
Cage Warriors 122 Main Card Preview
Featherweight Title Main Event: Morgan Charriere (16-7-1) vs Jordan Vucenic (7-1)
Morgan “The Last Pirate” Charriere won the Cage Warriors Vacant Featherweight Championship in his last bout at Cage Warriors 119. Mads Burnell, the former champion, vacated the belt to sign with Bellator. Charriere fought Perry Andre Goodwin for the title back in December, and after a dominating display, he finished Goodwin in the third round with a lethal body-shot.
The Frenchman started his professional MMA career in 2014, and after his first five bouts, he had three losses to his record. Charriere has had an extremely mixed career, having only been finished once in all of his losses, while having eight knockout and four submission victories to his name.
Charriere joined Cage Warriors in 2019. His debut came to an unfortunate end as he was defeated by Soren Bak in a majority decision. He turned the corner in his next two bouts leading up to a title fight, beating Lewis Monarch on a split decision and knocking out Dean Trueman in the third round. His opponent this weekend could potentially be his toughest test yet.
Vucenic has only lost one bout in his career, this was when he lost a decision to Luke Ord at UNITY Fighting Championship. He bounced back with two knockouts over Martin Paterson and Rachid Haz to earn himself a place in Cage Warriors.
He currently holds a three-fight unbeaten streak in the promotion, after a unanimous decision win over Konmon Deh and a split decision victory against Steve Aimable leading up to the fight against Hughes. After defeating the Irishman, Vucenic would be fighting for the title for the first time in the promotion.
Lightweight Co-Main Event: Paddy Pimblett (15-3) vs Davide Martinez (8-2)
Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett has been one of Cage Warriors’ most prominent figures in recent years, being with the promotion since 2013. But he had a short spell away from the promotion in 2015 when he fought for Full Contact Contender.
His first bout in the promotion came at Cage Warriors 56, where he beat Florian Calin on a unanimous decision. He caught the eyes of many considering he was only 18 at the time.
In his second bout in the promotion, Cage Warriors set Pimblett up against another prospect in the promotion. Cameron Else, who recently fought Kyler Phillips in the UFC, submitted Pimblett with anaconda choke just 35 seconds into the first round.
Pimblett bounced back and fought seven times in just over two years. He stopped five out of seven opponents, and it was time for Paddy The Baddy to fight for a title. At Cage Warriors 78 he fought for the featherweight title against Johnny Frachey. The fight didn’t last long with 1:35 into the first round, Pimblett became champion by knocking out Frachey with the ground and pound.
He defended his title against current UFC featherweight Julian Erosa. A solid performance from the champion, the judges, awarded him a unanimous victory to retain his title.
A second time came at defending his title at Cage Warriors 82 against Nad Narimani. Pimblett looked unbeatable before this fight, but Narimani shocked the world, by putting in a top-class performance and stealing the title away from the hands of Pimblett, by winning on a unanimous decision.
With 10 months out, Pimblett made a career change. He stepped up to the lightweight division for the first time. In round two of his first bout at lightweight, he submitted Alexis Savvidis in the second round.
After Chris Fishgold vacated the lightweight title to sign with the UFC, Pimblett only needed one victory to be given a shot at the vacant title. He faced Bak for the belt. After five rounds, Bak won the title by a unanimous decision. Pimblett lost the third bout of his professional career.
Pimblett’s last bout was a year ago, after he knocked out Decky Dalton, no excuse of ring rust though with his opponent on Saturday, having not fought since July 2019.
Davide “Ispanico” Martinez is one of Italy’s most exciting prospects on the MMA scene. The pair were originally meant to fight in March 2020, when Pimblett beat Dalton, but Martinez had to withdraw due to Italy’s quarantine issues.
Martinez lost two of his first four bouts when he started his professional career back in November 2013. Since being knocked out to Ottavio Soro in December 2014, the Italian has been on a six-fight unbeaten streak in various promotions.
COVID-19 affected Martinez from fighting last year, so it’s been around 20 months since his last bout against Ion Vodă, where he came away victorious on a unanimous decision. A win for Martinez would surely put him in contention for a shot at the lightweight title.
Bantamweight: Brian Bouland (9-3) vs Liam Gittins (6-1)
Brian Bouland is looking to get his career back on track after losing to Chris Miah in his last bout all the way back in October 2019, with a tough opponent in the bantamweight division on Saturday night.
Bouland was so impressive in his first two performances, he fought for the bantamweight title at Cage Warriors 94 against UFC featherweight Ilia Topuria. 1:39 into the first round and Topuria submitted Bouland with an anaconda choke to come away with the belt.
Liam “Nightmare” Gittins is another British prospect on the Cage Warriors roster. After knocking out Iain Postlethwaite in the first round at Almighty Fighting Championship 8, Gittins was signed up for Cage Warriors for his second bout.
On his debut, Gittins showed Cage Warriors he wasn’t here to mess around. In the first round, he knocked out Leigh Mitchell. In his two following fights, he knocked out both opponents Kevin Cordero and Elliott Hoye late on in the first round, which has seemed a theme in his first four fights, finishing them all inside the first five minutes.
His first loss in his professional career came at Cage Warriors 112, losing on a unanimous decision to Jonas Mågård. Gittins bounced back with a submission victory over Josh Reed at Cage Warriors 118.
Featherweight: Tobias Harilla (8-1) vs Aidan Stephen (8-3)
Tobias “Bad Intention” Harilla is looking to prove himself this weekend, as he makes his Cage Warriors debut. The Swede has seven knockouts out of his eight victories.
His first loss came in his third professional bout against Kenneth Evensen, Someone who he beat in his first professional bout. Evensen submitted him in the rematch.
Harilla’s last bout was the first time one of his fights lasted all three rounds. He was victorious over Adam Westlund on a split decision in November 2020.
Aidan “The Phenomenal” Stephen made his Cage Warriors debut in 2018 against Kris Edwards. A stunning Kimura earned the Scot a debut victory in the promotion.
Two losses, against Steve Aimable and Paul Hughes, have put a dampener on Stephen’s career. He stepped up at Cage Warriors 117 and defeated Emrah Sonmez on a unanimous decision. A win over Harilla would certainly put him back on track.
Featherweight: Corrin Eaton (10-3, 1NC) vs Jean N’Doye (8-2)
Eaton was undefeated in his first six fights of his professional career, until being knocked out by Athinodoros Michailidis and then submitted by Stephen Martin. The Englishman’s only bout in Cage Warriors came in a loss to Dean Trueman via a unanimous decision at Cage Warriors 92.
After a five-fight unbeaten streak at the start of his career, a loss came against Liam James in his second fight in the promotion. He went onto win three more fights, before moving to Bellator. He lost his only bout in the promotion to Ciaran Clarke before coming back to Cage Warriors to fight Eaton.
Cage Warriors 122 Prelims Preview
Flyweight: Nicolas Leblond (5-3) vs Darren O’Gorman (6-5)
This fight is a re-scheduled bout with the pair originally meant to compete on Cage Warriors 117, as Leblond was not cleared to fight.
Lightweight: Tom Mearns (6-6) vs Yassine Belhadj (6-3)
Tom Mearns will be one of the most desperate fighters in the promotion for a victory. Mearns has lost his last four bouts in Cage Warriors. His last win came against Decky McAleenan in September 2019. Mearns actually won his first five fights in his professional career.
Bantamweight: Nathan Fletcher (4-0) vs Michele Martignoni (6-0)
Nathan Fletcher is one of the most exciting prospects in British MMA, he puts his unbeaten record on the line this weekend.
The versatile bantamweight has finished all of his four opponents in his career, which were all competed in Cage Warriors.
Martignoni fought one bout in Bellator and came away with the joint-quickest knockout in Bellator history after knocking out Simone D’Anna with a stunning head-kick on six seconds.
With all the fights previewed, which bout are you most looking forward too on Saturday?
Featured Image Credits to Cage Warriors