This Thursday, Cage Warriors returns with another trilogy to feast our eyes on! We will be witnessing 11 fights on Cage Warriors 123, and the middleweight title is on the line. With the main event between Nathias Frederick and Matthew Bonner previewed, we look at what else the trilogy has in store for us on Thursday night.
Cage Warriors 123: Ten Tremendous Matchups
Co-Main Event: Christian Duncan (3-0) vs Will Currie (5-1) ll
With Christian Duncan beating Will Currie via second-round TKO back in March, this fight is a must-see rematch. Unfortunately for Duncan, his victory was disheartened by a questionable early stoppage from the referee.
It was one powerful knee from Duncan that hurt Currie in the opening seconds of the second round. Duncan was looking for the finish; Currie held onto his legs to try and pursue the takedown. For some reason, the referee stopped it there, assuming Currie was done for it, but in fact, he was completely ready to continue fighting. Due to the confusing stoppage, this fight was a must-needed re-match, with the pair being two of the biggest prospects in the promotion.
Currie is a quality wrestler and has four submissions to his record, with Duncan stealing his undefeated title in the previous bout. Duncan is a classy striker who has three TKO/KO’s in his three professional bouts. Don’t be surprised if this one ends up being fight of the night on Cage Warriors 123.
Sam Creasey (13-3) vs Aaron Aby (11-3-1)
Creasey has been with Cage Warriors since 2016 and makes his 12th appearance in the promotion on Thursday night. He’s been unsuccessful twice in his hunt for the flyweight title. With a win over Aby, Creasey will be making a huge statement for another title shot in the future. Two of his three losses came in the title fights against Nathan Greyson and Samir Faiddine, where he was finished on both occasions.
Aby has one of the most heroic, unbelievable stories in the sport. He’s suffered from Cystic Fibrosis his entire life, and only in 2019, he beat testicular cancer after a long two-year battle. No doctor could tell him to stop fighting, and now he fights in potentially the biggest fight of his career. He’s competed all around the world, including ACB and Probellum, before signing with Cage Warriors.
Liam Gittins (6-2) vs Emrah Sonmez (11-3)
A bantamweight banger between Liam Gittins and Emrah Sonmez takes place on the main card at Cage Warriors 123. These two knockout artists will go all guns blazing for the finish, but for Gittins, he may not want to go down that route after his last performance.
At Cage Warriors 122, Gittins came out of the blocks hunting his opponent Brian Bouland down for the finish. Bouland waited and caught Gittins with a sneaky punch, and it dropped him. Bouland pounced for the finish, and the referee stopped the fight. Gittins was furious with the stoppage, but he doesn’t have the best argument. He’s previously proved to be a force in the division, with a submission over a tough opponent in Josh Reed at Cage Warriors 118.
Sonmez has only competed in the promotion twice, with him working through the smaller British promotions. He was the British Challenge MMA Lightweight Champion in 2017, and after exploring in a few more promotions, he was signed by Cage Warriors in 2019. Sonmez was victorious on his promotional debut against Daryl Golding via unanimous decision. In his second fight with Cage Warriors, he was defeated by Aidan Stephen via unanimous decision at Cage Warriors 117.
George Smith (5-2) vs Mick Stanton (6-6)
Two middleweights, George Smith and Mick Stanton, will be gunning for gold. Both have something to prove after losing their previous bouts in the promotion.
Last time we saw Smith was September 2020, when he was knocked out to the middleweight title challenger Bonner. Smith has two wins in three appearances with Cage Warriors, and he will look to show his wrestling skills against a fellow grappler at Cage Warriors 123.
Stanton loves to go to war, and he has been doing so since joining the promotion in 2017. He went on a fantastic three-fight win-streak in 2019, coming away with two decision victories and a rear-naked choke over Michael Younis. Unfortunately, he was then defeated by James Webb, which started a harsh decline. Things continued to go downhill when he lost two more fights to Aaron Khalid and Madars Fleminas. Stanton now has a chance to turn things around at Cage Warriors 123.
Manny Akpan (3-0) vs Keir Harvie (3-1)
Now, the Cage Warriors 123 prelims have plenty of stars competing, and we have two wonderful prospects you need to watch out for in this matchup.
Manny Akpan proved his potential during his last bout against Ben Ellis at Cage Warriors 120. Ellis was potentially winning the first round before Akpan came out of nowhere swinging these deadly right hooks that knocked Ellis off planet earth. He lived up to his hype in his second performance in the promotion.
Keir Harvie is another young prospect who makes his well-deserved debut in the promotion. The Scot may have lost his previous bout against Milad Ahady in Celtic Gladiator, but losing is a learning curve for everyone. Harvie may look to take this to the ground to show off his skills by producing the types of submission finishes he had during his amateur career.
Rory Evans (3-3) vs Weslley Maia (6-4)
This matchup features the return of two exciting fighters we were waiting to see in the Cage. Last time we saw Rory Evans was October 2019, when he submitted Brad Evans with a rear-naked choke in round one. Weslley Maia missed out on the last trilogy, but he fought in December, where he was edged out to Michele Martignoni on the judges’ scorecards.
It’s another grappler meets striker affair, with Evans holding two submission finishes in three professional wins. Maia loves to stand and bang, showing us what he can do by knocking out the previously undefeated Adam Wilson at Cage Warriors 115. This a must-see matchup, and it’s surprising to see it on the Cage Warriors 123 prelims.
Omeil Brown (1-0) vs Jack Tucker (0-0)
After Omeil Brown made his pro debut at Cage Warriors 121, it’s now Tucker’s time to make the walk.
Omeil Brown is a classy fighter who loves to work it on the ground. His debut performance was one to remember, with him submitting Joshua Onwordi inside the first round with a guillotine choke.
This will be the seventh time Tucker competes for Cage Warriors, but this time it’s as a professional. He held an amateur record of nine wins and three losses. Tucker last competed in the 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA European Senior & Junior Open Championships, where he was defeated at the quarter-final stage. Cage Warriors 123 has a grapple off on their hands between these two welterweights.
Adam Cullen (1-0) vs Josh Plant (2-4)
Adam Cullen is another prospect in the promotion after making an impressive professional debut in the December 2020 trilogy against Oscar Ownsworth. A first-round rear-naked choke was enough to finish his opponent and earn himself his first professional MMA win.
Josh Plant is the only person on the card to hold a negative record. It’s safe to say he’s faced some tough challenges along the way, losing to the likes of Mateusz Figlak and George McManus. Plant will look to land some powerful shots and hopefully beat the wrath of another wrestler.
George McManus (2-2) vs Liam Shotbolt (0-0)
Another debutant at Cage Warriors 123, Liam Shotbolt, looks to impress after a 5-5-1 record in his amateur career. Shotbolt beat fellow debutant Jack Tucker in his amateur career via arm-triangle choke in the first round. He will have his hands filled with a tough opponent in his pro debut.
McManus looks to get back in the win column after being brutally knocked out by Ian Garry at Cage Warriors 115 in his previous bout. McManus’ only win in the promotion has come over Plant, but he was denied a shot to face Oban Eliott in the March trilogy due to Eliott pulling out.
Bakhtyaar Oryakhail (0-0) vs Abdul Choudhury (0-0)
For this fight, we have debutant vs. debutant at Cage Warriors 123. Bakhtyaar Oryakhail turned his amateur career around in 2018 after taking over a year off due to losing all three times of his fights. He clearly changed his game and worked hard to find answers, with him winning his next six fights before turning pro.
Abdul Choudhury has beaten the likes of Luke Shanks and Connor Wilson in his amateur career. He loves the ground game, and that’s likely where he’ll be taking the fight.
Which fight are you most looking forward to on the Cage Warriors 123 main card? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image Credits to: Cage Warriors