With the news of Jai “The Black Country Banger” Herbert (10-1) signing a multi-fight deal with MMA giant UFC, the Cage Warriors Lightweight title would therefore be vacated, leaving the highly-talented division purring at the opportunity to get their hands on the strap. Below, I will be taking a look at some of the top prospects within the division and offering my opinion on who should face each other in 2020.
Paddy Pimblett (14-3)
Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (14-3) is one of the promotion’s highly-rated talents, and it’s easy to see why when you watch him fight. He is extremely well-rounded and possesses the ability to end the fight using his submission offence and his dangerous striking ability. He is also able to dig deep and go the distance to gain a decision victory. His record speaks for itself at 14-3, with four of those victories coming by way of TKO/KO, six coming by way of submission, and four coming by way of decision. To drill into that submission stat even further, he has used the Rear-Naked Choke three times, the Flying Triangle two times and a Triangle Armbar once in his professional career.
Paddy has had a bit of a roller-coaster ride since his last Cage Warriors appearance, having had three fights scheduled and all three cancelled. He will no doubt be hoping to get back into the winners column when he faces off against Donovan Desmae (14-6) at #CWLondon.
My opinion: Personally, I would love to see Paddy take on Oban Elliott (3-0) if he manages to get past Desmae. However, this may be a tad too early into Elliot’s career, so if not Elliott, I would go for Mason Jones (8-0).
Mason Jones (8-0)
Mason “The Dragon” Jones (8-0) is another one of the many talents coming out of the Cage Warriors promotion. He is making waves within the Lightweight division and has formed himself a current eight fight win-streak. Out of those eight victories, two have come by way of TKO/KO, three have come by way of submission and three have come by way of decision. Drilling into that stat further, Mason has used the Rear-Naked Choke twice and has one victory by executing a Kimura. He has proven already in his short professional career that he has the versatility to approach any fighter in the division. He’s capable of stopping you on the feet, submitting you on the ground, but also having the ability to go the distance, which makes him a very awkward customer for any fighter.
Mason is due to return to the cage at #CWLondon, where he faces off against well-respected and former UFC fighter Danilo Belluardo (12-5) and will, without doubt, be looking to continue his surge in the Lightweight division, as he tries to get closer to a title fight.
My opinion: There are a lot of fighters who would be looking to avoid Mason in my opinion, if he is to get past Belluardo I would love to see him take on Joe McColgan (6-2). Stylistically, this could be a very high-level match-up and could produce a potential Fight of the Night.
Oban Elliott (3-0)
Oban ‘Evil’ Elliott (3-0) has emerged as a potential future champion, after going 3-0 in his first three professional fights, all coming in 2019. Out of his three professional victories, one has come by way of TKO/KO and two have come by way of submission. Oban also has an amateur record of 6-0 where he recorded five victories by way of TKO/KO and one by way of submission. Up to now, nobody has managed to take Oban the distance and that speaks volumes for the type of fighter he is. He wants to finish you and has already proven he can do that any way he chooses, whether that be by TKO/KO or by submission.
Oban returns at Cage Warriors Academy, where he will face-off against Shaun Luther (4-4) and will no doubt be looking to extend his win-streak upon his return and continue to rise through the division. I think 2020 will be a massive year for Oban which could very well end with him getting his hands on the Cage Warriors Lightweight title.
My opinion: I wish Cage Warriors had booked Oban vs Mehdi Ben Lakhdar (4-0-1) before scheduling Mehdi with another bout. Personally, I would love to see this fight regardless of the result of Lakhdar’s upcoming fight.
Paddy Pimblett secures victory by Flying Triangle Submission at CW90:
Mason Jones secures victory by TKO at CW97:
Oban Elliott secures victory by TKO at CW104:
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