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Cage Warriors 124: The Preview

This Friday, Cage Warriors returns with the second installment of the latest trilogy at York Hall. We have ten thrilling bouts in store for us, with lightweight champion Agy Sardari putting his belt on the line against a previous challenger of the title Joe McColgan. Two Finnish talents, four fierce Brits, and an undefeated Italian make their promotional debuts at Cage Warriors 124.

Cage Warriors 124: Smaller Weight Classes Dominate Exciting Event

Lightweight Title Main Event: (C) Agy Sardari (14-2) vs Joe McColgan (7-3-1)

Sardari defends his title for the second time, with McColgan looking for redemption from his first-round defeat to UFC lightweight Mason Jones at Cage Warriors 113. All eyes will be on the two lightweights in the only title fight on Cage Warriors 124.

Sardari was offered the chance of a lifetime when the vacant lightweight title was up for grabs, with Jack Grant matched up to face him. “The Wolverine” finished five of his six wins on his hot streak throughout several of Europe’s promotions. In a close affair against Grant, the bout was edged via split decision in Sardari’s favor, who was strong with the clinch control and takedowns in the later rounds to win the title.

It was almost a mirrored performance from Sardari, with the same outcome in his title defence against Donovan Desmae at Cage Warriors 121. The Dutchman came away with another split decision victory to keep the belt in his possession.

The Northern Irishman McColgan only needed one impressive win after his loss to Jones for the vacant belt in March 2020. A first-round defeat to Jones saw him take a 9-month break to freshen up and train hard. This saw him hammer Kieran Lister with punches to finish him in the first five minutes.

McColgan has been given the opportunity of a second title-shot after the first knockout of his career. He’s still a complete force on the ground, with four submissions in his seven wins.

David Bear (9-1) vs Justin Burlinson (5-0)

David Bear makes the walk into the cage for the second time in the promotion, as he goes up against the undefeated Justin Burlinson, who has recently signed up to make his promotional debut.

Bear is one of many dangerous Frenchmen in the promotion, with only one loss in his professional career. His defeat came from current Brave CF Super Welterweight Champion Jarrah Hussein Al-Silawi in March 2018. Bear seems to take long gaps in between his fights, with his only other bout in Brave coming in December 2018, finishing Pawel Kielek in the first round.

Fifteen months later, he faced veteran wrestler Nathan Jones at Cage Warriors 113. Bear dominated the bout, winning 30-27 on all three scorecards. Now nearly fifteen months later, and he’s faced with a challenge against the extremely talented Burlinson.

Burlinson amassed a brilliant amateur record of 16-1, and he progressed his skills into his professional career, with five finishes in his five bouts. Four of those finishes have come in the first round, with the previous two coming in Bellator. He holds one of the promotions quickest finishes of nine seconds over Wendle Lewis in his last fight in June 2019.

Due to Burlinson still contracted to Bellator, the Englishman has faced issues with Cage Warriors, having to pull out of a potential matchup with Aaron Khalid at the December trilogy. The pair could put the welterweight division on notice, with a potential fight of the night at Cage Warriors 124.

Nathan Fletcher (5-0) vs Brian Bouland (10-3)

We have a potential bantamweight title eliminator here with the undefeated Nathan Fletcher looking to keep up his 100% finishing record against the deadly Brian Bouland. Fletcher will be looking to avenge his NextGen teammate Liam Gittins, who Bouland finished in 52 seconds at Cage Warriors 122.

After a fantastic performance filled with hunger and determination by Fletcher against Michele Martignoni in March, we saw him keep up his brilliant finishing record in the final minute of the three-round bout. He’s a tough cookie on the feet, but on the ground, he’s another level. You don’t want to be stuck with Fletcher on the canvas, or he’s going to find a way to pull off the rear-naked choke.

Bouland was defeated in his first shot at the title against UFC Bantamweight Ilia Topuria when he was submitted after one minute and 39 seconds at Cage Warriors 94. After two more victories, a second promotional defeat to Chris Miah saw him take a 17-month hiatus from the sport.

It was a strong finish by Bouland over Gittins, who hunted his opponent down for the finish since the opening seconds of the fight. The Belgian was calm and caught Gittins with a cheeky right hook to drop him and ultimately get the finish. Fletcher vs Bouland is a brilliant and unpredictable contest that Cage Warriors 124 has to offer.

Harry Hardwick (6-3) vs Jean N’Doye (9-2)

Another interesting fight on Cage Warriors 124 is between Jean N’Doye and Harry Hardwick. N’Doye came away with the most extraordinary knockout in the previous trilogy, with a stunning knee over Corrin Eaton. Harry Hardwick makes his promotional debut, with his brother George Hardwick competing on the prelims.

The Frenchman N’Doye is an extremely versatile fighter who’s tricky on the feet and ground. He has one defeat with Cage Warriors, a split decision loss in 2012 against Liam James. During his five other fights with Cage, Warriors N’Doye finished all five of his opponents. With four TKO/KOs and four submissions on his record, N’Doye is certainly a tricky customer to worry about.

Hardwick has improved his ground game over time, and it’s paid off, with the Englishman now holding four submissions on his record. He recently fought in April, winning by rear-naked choke in the first round against Karlo Capu. He had a brief two-fight stint in Bellator, winning on his debut but losing his second and last fight in the promotion.

Edward Walls (10-5) vs Steve Aimable (15-8)

Edward Walls is one of the two Finnish talents who makes his promotional debut at Cage Warriors 124 against one of the most experienced fighters in the promotion, Steve Aimable.

Walls has competed in his home country of Finland for all of his career, leaving the promotion CAGE after nearly four years of competing there. He’s a pacy, agile striker who’s tricky on the ground when the opportunity comes. His only two defeats during his last eight fights came via split decision.

Aimable had his first Cage Warriors appearance in 2014, losing the bout via unanimous decision to put on a negative record of 2-3. He worked hard and knocked people out for fun outside of Cage Warriors before re-joining in 2018. Aimable’s victory over Tim Mearns at Cage Warriors 118 revitalized his career, finding himself on a three-fight losing streak against some of the toughest featherweights in the division. Jordan Vucenic, Perry Goodwin, and Mads Burnell all defeated Aimable via decision.

Nicolas Leblond (6-3) vs Luke Shanks (7-2)

One of the potential fights of the night will entertain us on the Cage Warriors 124 prelims, with Nicolas Leblond facing the former flyweight champion Luke Shanks.

Leblond put on a stunning display in the trilogy in March, with the Frenchman putting Darren O’Gorman to sleep with a ridiculously powerful left-hook. For his first KO of his career, it’s one he won’t forget and potentially never beat. Leblond can also work on the ground, with three submissions in his six victories. His only other appearance in the promotion came in a defeat via unanimous decision against Sam Creasey.

Shanks returns to the cage six months after his losing his belt to Jake Hadley. He was dominated throughout the five rounds and now finds himself hungrier than ever to win his belt back. Shanks originally won the title at Cage Warriors 114, where he outclassed Samir Faiddine via unanimous decision.

Dean Trueman (10-6) vs George Hardwick (6-1)

Another former champion, Dean Trueman, returns to the Cage after a 20 months hiatus from the sport. His opponent will be George Hardwick, who returns to the promotion from a successful spell in Bellator.

Trueman moves up to lightweight for the first time after finding success as a featherweight, becoming the champion when he knocked out Aiden Lee in December 2018. Six months later, Burnell stepped up to the challenge and succeeded, pulling off a Japanese necktie to steal the belt from Trueman. Later losing to Morgan Charriere, Trueman found himself on a two-fight losing streak. He’ll be gunning for the finish against Hardwick to get his confidence back.

The second Hardwick brother on the trilogy returns with a motive of redemption after losing against Madars Fleminas. Hardwick will look to take the fight to the ground and show off his skills. He did so in his Bellator debut, where he came up with a mounted guillotine choke against Richard Kiely. He won his second fight in the promotion, but he now returns to Europe on a quest towards the lightweight title in Cage Warriors.

Jesse Urholin (6-0) vs Aaron Khalid (10-6-1)

Undefeated Finnish star Jesse Urholin is another scrapper who joins Cage Warriors after impressing in Finland’s promotion CAGE. Urholin has five finishes in his career, with three coming via ground & pound. He’s strong on the ground and loves to hammer his opponents. Urholin will be facing a fellow wrestler in Aaron Khalid at Cage Warriors 124.

The Welshman Khalid has been with the promotion since 2014, and he makes his 11th appearance in Cage Warriors on Friday night. He has seven submission finishes, with impressive wins over the likes of Mick Stanton and Jamie Richardson.

Dominique Wooding (6-4) vs Cameron Hardy (6-2)

Next is a battle of the beasts, with knockout artists Dominique Wooding and Cameron Hardy going to war in their promotional debuts. Wooding makes the move over from Bellator after a two-fight skid ending his contract. All of his wins came via TKO/KO as he looks to finish Hardy at Cage Warriors 124.

Hardy hasn’t competed in 26 months, with Harry Hardwick submitting him via guillotine choke for the Made4TheCage Featherweight Champion in his last fight. Both of these love to go out there and scrap, and we expect this one to be a “bloody” affair.

Dylan Hazan (5-0) vs Josh Reed (11-5)

One of the most experienced guys in the promotion, Josh Reed, looks to take the undefeated record of the Italian Dylan Hazan as he makes his promotional debut at Cage Warriors 124.

Reed was 7-0 before his shot at the title against Nathaniel Wood at Cage Warriors 86. Reed was knocked out in the first round, and he also lost his next two in the first round. Hazan only fought last month, extending his win streak to five in a row. With this being the first fight of the evening, it shows how strong this card actually is!

Which fight are you most looking forward to on the Cage Warriors 124 main card? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow me on Twitter @JakeBroderick98 for more combat sports news and discussions. Also, make sure to follow @OT_Heroics for all things MMA.

Featured Image Credits to: Cage Warriors

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