Europe’s biggest, fastest-growing MMA promotion Cage Warriors, makes the trip across the pond for the first time since January 2009. On three occasions, the promotion has competed in the USA, but this time around Florida won’t be the destination. Humphreys on the Bay in San Diego, California, will see 16 fighters given the opportunity to impress on the big stage.
In a sold-out arena, the American fans will be treated to some familiar faces, with plenty of upcoming talent to look out for. Cage Warriors 36 was the last event held in the states, and we’ll be lucky if it’s anything like last time, with 10 finishes in the 11 fights.
Cage Warriors 126 Preview
Main Event: John Poppie (10-5) vs Kyle Stewart (13-4)
We have a brutal affair in store between two fierce, exciting, and ruthless middleweights in the main event. John Poppie has been involved in some classics, with one of his most memorable coming in a potential fight of the year in 2015, where he was defeated to Andrew Sanchez for the RFA title. The American has a powerful desire to stand and bang, no matter how much damage he’s taken.
Poppie is a versatile martial artist, with four TKO/KO’s and three submissions in his 10 victories. Early in his career, he had the opportunity on The Ultimate Fighter Season 19. A third-round submission by Josh Clark ended Poppie’s UFC hopes in the first round. He has two wins out of two since May 2019, with two finishes after a three-fight skid which left him out of the game for two years.
Kyle Stewart is a fellow scrapper, who will do everything in his power to finish his opponent. He boasted an unbeaten record of 10-0, before the biggest fight of his career for the LFA welterweight title in 2018. After two wins in the promotion, and a contender series victory over Jason Jackson, “Gunz up” was proving to be a dangerous prospect in MMA.
A decision loss in his title shot may have seen him defeated for the first time, but one more victory earned him a shot at the big time. Things didn’t go to plan, as he lost his only two appearances in the UFC. He showed his determination to find somewhere else and carry on, and with the power of his right hook, he can’t let that go to waste.
Co-Main Event: Joseph Morales (9-2) vs Kevin Wirth (8-2)
A fun flyweight fight, you don’t want to miss. Joseph Morales and Kevin Wirth have been boosted to the co-main event, due to recent dropouts in the lineup. Morales makes the walk for the first time in almost three years, whilst it’s been ten months since Wirth competed in LFA.
Morales became the Global Knockout Flyweight Champion in 2016 before a victory in Cage Fury Fighting Championships saw him signed by the UFC. The grappler showed his silky groundwork by winning a Performance of the Night bonus on his promotion debut submitting Roberto Sanchez in the first round with a rear-naked choke.
He faced the wrath of Deiveson Figueiredo in his second fight, which saw him taken down on several occasions, then he was knocked out, tasting defeat for the first time. A second loss in the promotion saw him released and out of the game. That’s until this weekend when he makes his return with a golden opportunity to show he’s good enough to be back in the UFC.
Wirth won’t come lightly though, with Morales coming up against one of the toughest opponents in his career. “Mr. Nice Guy” is slick on the feet, and smooth on the ground, with impressive victories in LFA and King of the Cage. His toughest test came up in his previous bout against the talented Askar Askar. The bout was 10 months ago, so the rust is more likely to land in the hands of Morales rather than Wirth, but that may not even be an issue!
Six More Showdowns!
Unfortunately, Wilson Reis and Johnny Campbell have been removed from the card, with Reis picking up an injury. Nick Angeloni has also picked up an injury, which has led to him pulling out against Ayadi Majdeddine. This doesn’t spoil the show, as we still have plenty of fighters who are desperate to prove themselves and produce some fireworks!
We never want it to get to a point, where a fighter feels like he can’t continue. For Max Rohskopf, his UFC debut against Austin Hubbard got a bit too much. He took the opportunity on short notice, and he believed he didn’t deserve it. He wasn’t ready, but under the lights in San Diego, it will be his time to shine and re-rejuvenate his career against upcoming grappler Jeff Creighton.
Undefeated on three occasions in LFA, Zac Pauga looks to pour his wrath all over wrestler Terrance Jean-Jacques in a light-heavyweight battle. Both sharing records of 5-2, lightweights Brandon Laroco and Alex Trinidad make up the main card.
On the prelims, we have Joshua Nakagawa looking to keep his undefeated record, whilst on the hunt for a first career finish against James Lynch, who holds a record of 2-1. Two of the most exciting prospects on the card, John Buttner and Damon Wilson will more than likely produce a stunning contest, as one of them has to lose their zero. Opening the card will be two more undefeated prospects, with Cody Davis scrapping it out with Enrique Marte at flyweight.
Cage Warriors 126 takes place this Sunday, 1st August, with the prelims due to get started around 6 pm PT.
Featured image credits to Cage Warriors