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Cage Warriors 152 Main Event Breakdown

This Saturday, after a few weeks away, daytime MMA returns to the lives of United States viewers. UK-based Cage Warriors continues its packed 2023 schedule of events with Cage Warriors 152 from Manchester’s BEC Arena.

It’s the first half of a day-night doubleheader in MMA. After the Cage Warriors 152 main event concludes, the UFC takes the spotlight in Kansas City

Saturday’s event (main card 3:30 pm ET/ 12:30 pm PT, UFC Fight Pass after prelims at 12:30 pm ET/ 9:30 am PT) is the first Cage Warriors card to be held at the venue since last November’s Cage Warriors 146. That night, a championship doubleheader capped the show.

Although the 13-fight card only has one championship fight at the top of the order this week, expect some fireworks in the Cage Warriors 152 main event.

Lightweight Championship at Stake in Cage Warriors 152 Main Event

Incumbent Cage Warriors Lightweight Champion George Hardwick (11-1 MMA, 5-1 CWFC) puts his belt at risk when he faces off against Yann Liasse (9-1, 1 NC MMA, CWFC promotional debut.) Like all MMA championship fights in most promotions, the Cage Warriors 152 main event is an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close out the show.

If Hardwick wins on Saturday, it will be his second defense of the title. However, should Yann Liasse defeat George Hardwick in the Cage Warriors 152 main event, he would become the 16th different man (counting interims reigns) to hold the lightweight championship since Cage Warriors began in 2002.

Cage Warriors 152 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the Cage Warriors 152 main event this Saturday, challenger Yann Liasse stands as the taller competitor at 5-foot-11, compared to the 5-foot-9 frame of champion George Hardwick. Liasse owns a 76-inch reach, with no such information available for Hardwick at press time.

Ordinarily, at this stage in the breakdown, we’d mention which of these two men are favored as per the oddsmakers, but the betting lines for Cage Warriors had yet to be released as of Tuesday afternoon. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.

George Hardwick Can Improve UFC Stock with Win in Cage Warriors 152 Main Event

Champion George Hardwick enters the Cage Warriors 152 main event having posted a 5-0 record in his last five fights. At present, Hardwick, a veteran of Bellator MMA, is on a seven-fight winning streak dating back to his stint in Scott Coker‘s promotion.

Last time out, he scored a second-round knockout with a body shot against Chris Bungard (17-8 MMA, 1-1 CWFC) in Cage Warriors 142 back in November to successfully defend the championship for the first time. Ahead of Saturday’s main event, he talked to MMA UK’s Jared Miller about his UFC prospects with a win.

“The moment the win happens, that’s when it exists. Currently, it doesn’t,” Hardwick said. “It doesn’t. It’s just this fight. But even then, people work all this time to get to a main event slot. It’s not bad to get more fights in that main event slot, in that title fight slot, and getting that experience and that pressure before moving to prelim fights. So, I’ve got no mad rush. I’m just happy what I’m doing, like improving constantly, defending the belt, coaching, and just spamming out short-form content.”

While Hardwick says he’s in no hurry to get to the UFC, one would think that he’d be on the promotion’s radar if he successfully defends the title a second time in the Cage Warriors 152 main event. Will he be able to? Tune in Saturday and find out.

Cage Warriors 152 Main Event Biggest Fight of Yann Liasse’s Career

In the other corner, Yann Liasse comes in having gone 4-0 with one no-contest in his last five fights. All told, he’s currently on a five-fight winning streak dating back to Feb. 26, 2022.

Most recently, he scored a second-round submission (rear-naked choke) of Adrian Gralak (5-1, 1 NC MMA) during KSW 77’s undercard. The Dec. 17 fight was a rematch of a contest between the two that took place on Oct. 14.

That first fight was stopped in the first round and was ruled as a no-contest upon Liasse committing an accidental foul, rendering Gralak unable to proceed in the bout after less than three minutes. Liasse has already become the first competitor from his native Luxembourg to win in KSW, having done that last February, but he’s never fought for a championship in his professional MMA career.

He’s got experience fighting in the main event of a card as a pro, having appeared in one such bout in November of 2021, winning it. The stakes are high for Yann Liasse, so can he rise to the challenge in the Cage Warriors 152 main event?

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the Cage Warriors 152 main event on Saturday looks to be a toss-up. Both George Hardwick and Yann Liasse are grapplers known to score the submission, but they’re also decent strikers. In short, don’t look away from the screen.

Look For Hardwick to Work the Body

If there’s one constant about George Hardwick’s fight game in recent times, it’s that he can devastate his opposition with body shots. Chris Bungard found that out firsthand back in November.

During the second round of a scheduled five, Hardwick repeatedly threw punches and kicks to Bungard’s body, mixing up his strikes with leg kicks, making the latter’s front leg compromised as a result. Midway through the period, the men exchanged feints, yet Hardwick’s leg kicks remained a prominent feature.

These kicks forced Bungard to switch stances, but Hardwick saw an opening to begin throwing punches in addition to the kicks. Inside the last minute of the round, Bungard attempted a body shot of his own, but it was Hardwick’s night, as he landed another leg kick before finally scoring the body shot to put Bungard down to stay. A brief flurry of ground and pound shots ended the fight.

If George Hardwick can chop Yann Liasse with leg kicks, expect him to use those strikes as a prelude to body shots. It may be the turning point in the Cage Warriors 152 main event.

Yann Liasse is Vicious with Flying Knees

In the other corner, Yann Liasse has been known to produce an explosive knockout in his own right. Just ask Abbas Khan.

Round one of their 2020 fight began with Liasse scoring with crisp leg kicks. This gave him the opening to try and unload the major kick. Khan managed to counterpunch, but he largely had to abandon the boxing gameplan due to Liasse’s southpaw stance.

Liasse kept to his leg kicks, a move that would eventually pay off with a single punch to knock him down. Khan got back up in an effort to land a takedown, to no avail.

He knocked Khan down again with the same punch that sat him down the first time, peppering him with ground and pound shots on the second knockdown of the round. After, Liasse mixed in some elbow shots and more leg kicks, putting Khan down to stay with a flying knee on the chin, ending the bout with some punches.

If Yann Liasse can open up his game plan with a variety of punches and kicks, look for him to try the flying knee in the Cage Warriors 152 main event.

Final Thoughts

This could be the most entertaining fight of the weekend in MMA. If you miss this fight on Saturday, you won’t have anything to talk about on Sunday.

Prediction: George Hardwick by Unanimous Decision.

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