New Year’s Eve is a celebratory time. You take the day and night on Dec. 31 to have a party, order some pizza, make resolutions, enjoy a bowl game or two in college football, or check out The Twilight Zone marathon on Syfy Channel.
For the first two years of its seasonal format, the PFL would utilize Dec. 31 as the date for its championship finale. This would be discontinued in 2021, a season after the promotion moved its seasonal cards to ESPN’s properties, due to the network airing a majority of the team-competitive bowl games, including those on New Year’s Eve.
This Saturday, the MMA schedule of events closes out with Cage Warriors 148: Team Europe vs. Team USA, so named because five of the 12 scheduled bouts will pit a European fighter against an American opponent. Three title fights will take place during the show, including the Cage Warriors 148 co-main event.
Vacant Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight Championship At Stake in Cage Warriors 148 Co-Main Event
In the penultimate MMA fight of 2022, London’s Indigo at the O2 Arena plays host to a battle for the Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight Championship. Just like Jesse Taylor (33-16 MMA, 2-1 CWFC) is aiming to do later on Saturday in the Cage Warriors 148 main event, one fighter is looking to take the division title for the second time in Cage Warriors.
Former Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight Champion Modestas Bukauskas (12-5 MMA, 6-1 CWFC), an alum of the UFC, will attempt to reclaim the title that was most recently his when he takes on Bellator MMA and A1 Combat veteran Chuck Campbell (5-1, 1 NC MMA, 2-0 CWFC.)
As with all MMA championship fights, this co-main event will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.
Cage Warriors 148 Co-Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the Cage Warriors 148 co-main event on Saturday night, Chuck Campbell stands as the taller man at 6-foot-4, compared to the 6-foot-3 frame of Modestas Bukauskas. Campbell owns a half-inch reach advantage (78 1/2 inches to 78 inches even) over Bukauskas in this fight.
As per the oddsmakers, Modestas Bukauskas enters as a -275 favorite to win the championship, with Chuck Campbell countering as a +200 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Modestas Bukauskas Hungry For Return to Championship Status in Cage Warriors 148 Co-Main Event
Modestas Bukauskas has posted a record of 2-3 in his last five MMA fights. Most recently, he stopped a three-fight losing streak on Nov. 4 with a unanimous decision victory against Lee Chadwick (28-17-`1 MMA, 3-2 CWFC) during Cage Warriors 145 in London at the selfsame Indigo at the O2 Arena where the Cage Warriors 148 co-main event will take place.
The fight was Bukauskas’ first appearance in MMA since being cut from the UFC’s active roster in October of 2021. A knee injury kept him out of action for more than one year.
After the win, he talked with Edith LaBelle, where he said that he deserves another shot at the belt.
“You know, I was the only champion at light heavyweight for quite a long time,” Bukauskas said. “I feel, beating a guy such as Lee, that I deserve a title shot straight away. I know there’s a Team USA v. Team Europe card coming up very soon, New Year’s Eve. What a hell of a way to end the year, fighting against an American lad, me being Team Europe, for the belt, and go get that belt again.”
Come Saturday night, Bukauskas will represent Team Europe in the Cage Warriors 148 co-main event. Can he recapture the light heavyweight strap as 2022 ends? Watch to find out.
Chuck Campbell Looks To Build Off Knockout
In the other corner, Chuck Campbell has posted a record of 3-1 with one no-contest in his last five fights. Like his adversary in the Cage Warriors 148 co-main event, he also fought last month, when he bested Andy Clamp (11-2, 1 NC MMA, 0-1 CWFC) by first-round knockout in Cage Warriors 146 on Nov. 12,
After the fight, Campbell mentioned that he’s always ready to do battle.
“I got this fight two weeks ago,” Campbell said of his short-notice victory against Clamp. “But I’m always training. With the partners I’ve got at AKA (American Kickboxing Academy), nobody can stop us. Our hardest part at AKA is making it to the fight, and getting out of a tough training camp. If you got out of a training camp at AKA, the fight’s the easy part, so when they called me on two weeks’ notice, I said ‘Hell yeah, I’ll do it.'”
Will Campbell’s marathon training sessions pay off? Can he parlay a championship win into a defense of the belt on March 3 in San Diego at Cage Warriors 149?
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the Cage Warriors 148 co-main event is a toss-up. Both men are kickboxers, though Bukauskas has been known to grapple in the past.
Modestas Bukauskas Can Punch His Way to a Win
One aspect of Modestas Bukauskas’ fight game that’s shown up on video is his ability to throw the big punches. His 2019 victory against Marthin Hamlet is proof.
During the fourth round of a scheduled five, Bukauskas threw feints to keep Hamlet honest and bided his time in hopes of landing the big shot. About 90 seconds into the round, he landed a two-punch combination, peppered with a lead hand.
Although Hamlet backed him up into the clinch and absorbed a few punches, Bukauskas was able to return fire with a leg kick and another two-punch combo, yet Hamlet followed it up with another clinch, punctuated by an elbow.
With just about a minute to go into the round, Bukauskas knocked Hamlet down with a punch to the head. A flurry of headshots ended the fight.
If Modestas Bukauskas is able to land copious punches, he can reclaim the championship in the Cage Warriors 148 co-main event.
Chuck Campbell is Nasty With Knees
In the other corner, Chuck Campbell has been known to get the job done with his knees in the past. Back in April of 2019, he fought Bruno Casillas in the latter’s pro debut.
Just over 90 seconds into the fight, Campbell threw a feint, followed by a punch, taking Casillas into the clinch. He wouldn’t stay there for very long.
Immediately after getting Casillas in the clinch, he unloaded with a single knee shot to take his opponent down and out in under two minutes. If Campbell lands as little as one knee, it could be game, set, match, and championship.
Barring a no-contest, the Cage Warriors 148 co-main event will see someone becoming the new champion at 205 lbs. For Bukauskas, a win starts his second stint as light heavyweight titleholder, and for Campbell, a win gives him a championship after just seven fights.
As is the case with the main event, don’t forget to watch. Someone’s life will change.
Prediction: Chuck Campbell by Unanimous Decision.
main image credits: Getty Images