With all of the uncertainty, cancellations and event postponements this year, Cage Warriors is setting up a wild gamble on a blockbuster three-night affair featuring some of their premier talent and some title fights. Dubbed The Trilogy, this set of events should provide plenty of action throughout the week and settle some scores from one of the top European proving grounds.
For today, we’ll be looking at the first two cards, then breaking down the third one later on. There’s major potential from so many of these fighters, and you’re in for a treat watching these.
Cage Warriors 114 is headlined with a stellar flyweight title fight as Samir Faiddine (11-6) defends his title against England’s Luke Shanks (6-1). Faiddine is a product of Fernand Lopes’ MMA Factory in France, former stomping grounds of Francis Ngannou. Faiddine is a special talent that’s made improvements recently, being a wily athlete that possesses great handspeed and positioning paired with good submission defense and ground control.
Aaron Khalid has had some rough spot in recent years with back to back losses against Ross Houston and his most recent defeat against Alex Lohore. The good news? Those are very good losses in retrospect because they came against very good opposition. Submission wins over Håkon Foss (slept him) and Jamie Richardson have shown him to be a massive submission threat.
And he’s gonna need every bit of that against Mick Stanton (6-4), another opportunist that loves to grapple. Persistent with takedowns, he’s big on softening up opponents on the ground before starting his submission attacks. A bit of a slow starter, but he can get the job done.
Flyweight Adam Amarasinghe (5-2) is a guy to keep your eye on, because he’s looking primed for big things. Patient, accurate, and relentless, the former IMMAF competitor has put in some cage time prior to being in the pro ranks, and it shows.
His opponent Connor Hignett (8-5) packs a wallop in that right hand of his. Back to back wins and all victories by finish, he’s got leg attacks, positional awareness and lovely power.
It’s not unreasonable for the winner of this one to get the next crack at the belt, so be sure to look out for this one.
Then comes Cage Warriors 115 on Friday.
Bantamweight gold is on the line when Jack Cartwright (8-0) meets Gerardo Fanny (9-1) for the bantamweight title. Have you met Jack? You’re gonna like Jack. A whole lot. A patient striker with a barracuda attitude towards submissions? He’s a champ for good reason, and has been a menace that has a lot of upside.
He’ll be up against Gerardo Fanny (9-1), a Dutch/Curaçao phenom that has wild scrambles, harsh low kicks and sways effectively to dodge punches and nail monster counters. Ground strikes? He’s got those too. Look, I can’t overstate how good this fight is going to be. It’s an excellent fight on its own, and having it for a title makes it even more intense. Two talented competitors that are very athletic and just about to hit their peak? This is undoubtedly be one of the must-watch fights of the weekend during a very packed fight week.
Jack Grant (15-5) is another certified wildman, leaving a trail of bodies across BAMMA and other orgs, and has kept his reputation for being one of the toughest British fighters in the game right now. Whether it’s sparking Warren Kee in 2015 or sleeping Perry Goodwin with knees, Grant’s a finisher first and foremost and he’s gunning for a title shot with a win here.
None of that will come easy, since he’ll be sharing the cage with Yassine Belhadj (6-2), who makes his Cage Warriors debut. An outstanding counterstriker with some good escape skills off his back, he’s got some pretty clever submission attempts to go with that.
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