Cage Warriors

Cage Warriors 136 Main Event Preview: Melan vs. Duncan

Image for Cage Warriors 136 Main Event Preview: Melan vs. Duncan

On a weekend where the UFC is on hiatus, most people would settle for a quiet evening at home, but not diehard MMA fans.

This is where UK-based promotion Cage Warriors comes into save the day.

Middleweight Supremacy At Stake in Cage Warriors 136 Main Event on Saturday

The promotion will return to BEC Arena in Manchester, UK for its first doubleheader weekend of action since last December this Friday and Saturday– and it culminates with the battle for the Cage Warriors Middleweight Championship in the Cage Warriors 136 main event on Saturday night.

In your headliner, current titleholder Djati Melan (8-0 MMA, 2-0 CWFC) will defend his 185-lb. championship for the first time against challenger Christian Leroy Duncan (5-0 MMA, 5-0 CWFC), and someone’s 0 will have to go.

As with all MMA championship fights, Saturday’s main event will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show from Manchester.

Cage Warriors 136 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the main event of the evening at Cage Warriors 136 on Saturday night, challenger Christian Leroy Duncan is the taller combatant, standing 6-foot-2, while champion Djati Melan counters with a 5-foot-11 frame.

Ordinarily, at this point in the breakdown, we would mention which of the two fighters owns the reach advantage in this matchup on the tale of the tape, but unlike most MMA fight breakdowns featured on Overtime Heroics, there is no such information accessible for the Cage Warriors 136 main event online.

Djati Melan Looks to Make Good on First Title Defense on Saturday

A universal storyline going into the main event of the evening on Saturday is that both fighters are undefeated so far in their respective professional MMA careers.

For incumbent champion Djati Melan, his most recent fight ended with a unanimous decision against Matthew Bonner on Dec. 10 last year during Cage Warriors 131, capturing Bonner’s middleweight championship in the process.

Although the French-born Melan is making his first title defense in Cage Warriors this coming Saturday, the UFC could soon come calling.

A few months ago, published an article in which Djati Melan was listed third among 10 contenders that should be on Dana White’s radar during this calendar year, calling his latest victory against Bonner his most quality win to-date in his still-young MMA career.

With Cage Warriors acting as a feeder organization to the UFC throughout Europe, it stands to reason that his first defense of the promotion’s 185-lb. strap could potentially be his only defense of the title.

To that extent, with no UFC event happening this coming weekend, it stands to reason that Dana White is going to be watching both Cage Warriors 135 and 136 to look for the men and women who could be the next hottest prospects in MMA’s top promotion.

Djati Melan could be as little as one fight away from earning a contract in major MMA, and his performance this coming Saturday night in the Cage Warriors 136 main event will be the determinant as to which promotion he fights in next.

Christian Leroy Duncan Ready to Go in Title Bid During Cage Warriors 136 Main Event

In the other corner, Christian Leroy Duncan’s last bout resulted in a first-round submission due to a rear-naked choke against Justin Moore on Dec. 10, during the same Cage Warriors 131 where Djati Melan appeared.

If a recent interview with MMA UK is anything to go by, the challenger is primed for this headlining bout.

“It feels like a great opportunity,” Duncan began. “I’m not trying to get to my head, I’m going to take it as any other fight. I’ve still got the same mentality as if it was… all of my fights have the same mentality, you know, so I want to come with as if it’s a championship fight each time. So, this is, to me, another fight, just as important as the others, but I know this one could, again, propel me forward even more, and with the fight that it is, it’s going to be a great test of skills once again.”

Confident words from the challenger, yes, but the time for talking will soon be over.

Once the cage door shuts in Manchester this Saturday night, can he back up his words or is he just all talk?

Tune in and find out.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

With both men in the Cage Warriors 136 main event on Saturday night entering the cage with a combined record of 13-0 across all professional competitions, this one could very well be one of those toss-ups.

Look For Djati Melan to Land Takedowns and Slow the Pace of the Fight

If Djati Melan’s most recent victory against Bonner is any indication, he’ll try to land takedowns with high frequency in the name of controlling the pace of the contest.

About 45 seconds into the first round of a scheduled five, Melan scored a double-leg takedown and almost immediately took top mount in an effort to land some ground and pound shots to try and soften Bonner up for a possible submission attempt, something which only continued throughout the contest as a whole.

This severely limited Matthew Bonner’s ability to create any offense of his own over the course of the 25 minutes.

If Djati Melan comes out of the gate and continually lands those takedowns on Christian Leroy Duncan, Saturday could be a long night for him.

Christian Leroy Duncan Can Sink in the Submission Early

In the other corner, Christian Leroy Duncan has been known as a striker, but can lock in a finish via submission in the early stages of the fight, as he displayed last time out against Justin Moore.

During the first round of a scheduled three, Duncan immediately attacked Moore with a flying knee, stunning him in the process, before Moore put him in the clinch against the cage fence in an effort to take him down, eventually scoring a double-leg takedown and landing some ground and pound shots to soften him up.

From there, he was able to apply the needed pressure to secure a slick rear-naked choke from the back mount to score the victory.

All it will take for Duncan to win will be as little as one takedown and some vicious ground and pound, because that could be the opening he needs to end the fight.

Final Thoughts

Much like the Cage Warriors 135 main event, the Cage Warriors 136 main event could be a wildly entertaining contest on Saturday, and with no other major MMA to watch this weekend, the night will belong to Cage Warriors, so you might as well tune in for the action.

Featured image credit to Cage Warriors

Share this article

Drew Zuhosky has been writing about MMA since the spring of 2018. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew enjoys a good game and an even better fight. When he's not writing, you can find him playing video games and listening to music.