Preview: Cage Warriors 116

The final night of Cage Warriors “The Trilogy” takes place on Saturday night at the BEC Arena in Manchester. Two vacant championships were due to be up for grabs, but now only one division gets a new champion due to Covid-19, with plenty more at stake elsewhere on a superb card.

Lightweight Champion Mason Jones (9-0) is looking to move up a division and win a second championship at welterweight. He takes on Adam Proctor (12-1), who has been on an absolute tear since debuting in 2014. Size may play a factor in the fight, with Proctor being the bigger man. These guys are true elite talents in Europe and are knocking on the door to the UFC. This is a huge matchup with lots to play for.

Fan favourite Morgan Charriere (15-7-1) was set to make his return to the cage, aiming to trade in his interim featherweight title for the undisputed against “Mad” Max Coga (22-6-1) but that is no longer happened due to the pandemic.

Undefeated Kieran Lister (6-0-1) faces Tom Mearns (6-4) in a lightweight contest before that. Hard hitting Lister hasn’t needed the judges in his last 5 wins, stopping all fights within 2 rounds. Mearns hasn’t been in the best form as of late, losing 4 of his last 5.

Irish prospect Paul Hughes (5-0) takes on his toughest challenge to date in fellow prospect Aidan Stephen (7-2) in what is arguably the stand-out non-title fight of the week. Hughes is a finisher on the feet and on the mat and has made short work of anyone who has faced him at pro. Stephen is equally adept at getting his opponents out of there, including an impressive win via elbows against Jack Collins in his last fight.

In a flyweight battle, Sam Creasey (11-3) wants to bounce back from his upset defeat to Samir Faiddine in his last fight. He will compete against France’s Nicolas Leblond. This fight will be a fast paced affair with Creasey looking to use his experience to drag the Frenchman into danger.

Cage Warriors mainstay Steve Aimable (14-7) also goes against Jordan Vucenic (5-1). There are few guarantees in life, an exciting Steve Aimable fight is one of those. Young up-and-comer Vucenic is going to have to learn on the job quickly against the veteran.

Christian Duncan (0-0) will make his professional debut against Fight Academy Ireland’s Kyle McClurkin (3-1). Duncan had an extensive amateur career, including representing his country at the IMMAF Championships on multiple occasions. McClurkin will be a very tough debut opponent and has beautiful striking. While Jack “Sparrow” Collins (3-1) is also off the card due to the pandemic as Team KF’s Leon Hill (0-0) steps in on short notice, having quarantined to help Ian Garry prepare, to fight Joshua Onwordi (1-1).

Cage Warriors 116 takes place on Saturday 26th September. The prelims begins at 18:30 on Fight Pass and cagewarriors.com and the main card begins at 19:30 exclusively on Fight Pass.

Seán Denny is a Dublin man who writes mostly on the European scene, with a keen interest in the Irish, UK and Polish scenes in particular. Follow me on Twitter at @DennyRants.