There’s a fight at the end of the Cage Warriors 114 prelims this Thursday night that I guarantee you won’t want to miss. In a clash of undefeated records, Welshman Oban “The Gangster” Elliott (3-0) is set to take on Polish prospect Michal Figlak (2-0) and an 0 has got to go.
Don’t let the position of the fight fool you – this is a main card fight in everything but name. With both men riding the momentum of their previous wins and willing to stake their flawless records, the 114 prelims are guaranteed to end with a bang.
“Evil” Oban Elliott has been steadily building a name for himself since his amateur debut. His talent for trash-talking and witty post-fight catchphrases recalls the glory days of master fight-promoter Chael Sonnen, who Oban cites as a massive influence.
Add to this a 100% finish rate at both amateur and pro, and we can see this Welshman isn’t all bark and no bite. His combination of fighting skill and memorable lines echo the rise of one Conor McGregor in more ways than one.
Standing across the cage from Oban will be Michal Figlak, who looks to be no stepping-stone in another man’s career. Dangerous in his own right, Figlak has purportedly found it difficult to find opponents willing to step up and fight him. It’s no wonder considering Figlak only saw two defeats at amateur, one of them being former Cage Warriors champ Jack Shore, now a UFC contender.
Regardless, a victory over a man with such a name for himself already in Oban would surely catapult Figlak towards title contention and ensure the lightweight division knows his name.
So how will it play out? It’s no secret that The Gangster is a striker first and foremost. His amateur career saw him finish 6 out of 7 guys with TKO or KO stoppages. At pro he has more submissions, but only because the fights end up on the ground after Oban’s slick striking softens them up to the point they end up underneath him trying to survive.
Oban is light on his feet, extremely aggressive, and has lightning-fast hands, proving himself a massive problem for anyone who can’t immediately match his pace.
Fortunately, I believe Michal Figlak may do just that. He may not have the extensive list of TKO’s that Oban does, but his striking is slick enough that he may offer Oban something to think about.
Figlak is somewhat similar to Oban on the feet – walking forward, applying pressure, quick hands and some great shot-selection. If he comes out ready to rock from the word go, we could have a bit of back and forth scrap on our hands.
One thing Figlak has that Oban doesn’t, is time in the cage, too. Figlak has many a decision to his name, so is far more experienced in the latter half of a brawl. That’s not to disparage Oban – we all love a finish and there’s no point dragging a fight out if you can end it early. But we don’t know what happens yet if someone can weather the storm of The Gangster since Oban’s career has yet to see a third round.
If Michal puts up a solid defence through the early moments of the fight, or if he’s tough enough to endure what Elliott throws at him, we enter unexplored territory as far as Oban Elliott is concerned. Things could get very interesting, and I for one would love an opportunity to see the extent of The Gangster’s gas tank.
Regardless, this is one prelim to tune in for. How this isn’t a main card fight is beyond me. If anything, it proves just how stacked The Trilogy’s fight cards are. Especially since Oban’s seen a co-main slot already, in his last outing at Cage Warriors 108 in Cardiff (which yours truly was present for). As it stands, this fight is an excellent end to the prelims, and proves that Cage Warriors are taking no prisoners for their first events in months.
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