Cage Warriors 118 Preview

Night 2 of the Trilogy Strikes Back goes down on Friday night. Cage Warriors 118 is back under the lights at York Hall in London.

This card is headlined by a fight that fell by the wayside in the first trilogy. The CW Middleweight title is up for grabs as current champion Nathias Frederick (8-2-1) makes his first defence against Jamie Richardson (9-5). Frederick is a physically imposing striker who comes for a war. He has proven that he can go the championship distance in his previous 2 fights against former champion James Webb. Richardson is a on a 3 fight win streak and will be looking to hurt Frederick early on the feet. Leather will be thrown in this one.

Aaron Khalid (10-5-1) is back after his lightning quick anaconda choke win back in September. He takes on Italian Leonardo Damiani (8-2-1). Wales’ Khalid is a submission specialist with a wide range of submission finishes. Damiani is hoping to seize this big opportunity and get his own submission game going. He has had some great displays on the local scene and wants to prove he can take a scalp at Europe’s top table. This will likely come down to who makes the first error.

SBG Manchester head coach Matt Inman (20-10) makes his eagerly anticipated return to the CW cage against the ever tough Next Gen Liverpool man Matthew Bonner (7-6-1). Inman is a legend on the scene and has seen everything that can be thrown at him. He’s a threat wherever the fight goes. Bonner is likely going to try and drag him into the deep end and to test the ring rust. Bonner is a tougher fight than his record shows.

While we’re on the subject of tough Liverpool based fighters, step forward Mick Stanton (6-5). This grappler is looking to get back into the win column following back to back losses. He takes on the “Latvian Express” Madars Fleminas (7-2), also on a two fight skid. Fleminas likes to start quick, but can also hang for the duration. Stanton will be looking to turn this into a grubby battle.

The next fight has potential to be the fight of the trilogy. Liverpool’s Adam Ventre (8-4) goes up against Ireland’s Decky McAleenan (6-3). This will be an all-action affair with neither man willing to give an inch. Both are willing to take a punch to throw 2. Ventre carries a little more submission threat which could prove to be the difference. This isn’t the fight to put the kettle on.

At the top of the prelims, we have an exciting fight between Liam Gittins (5-1) and Josh Reed (10-4). Both of these lads love a scrap. Gittins’ only defeat came at the hands of the newly crowned FEN champion Jonas Mågård. He has a habit of getting the job done within one and will be pedal to the metal from the get go. I expect Reed to try and work in some grappling to slow down Gittins.

The ever exciting Stephen Aimable (14-8) is up against Tom Mearns (6-5). Both men have hit a 3 fight skid lately so will be looking to grab a much needed win. This will likely be an exciting close three round battle.

Welsh prospect Ben Ellis (2-0) returns after missing the rest of 2020. Ellis has a unblemished record at pro and amateur and hasn’t been out of the first round as a CW pro. He has been given a tough assignment in Kingsley Crawford (5-2) who has had an impressive career to date. This should be a great yard stick to see where each man is at.

A battle of the prospects opens the card with undefeated Nathan Fletcher (3-0) and Leigh Mitchell (3-1). Mitchell’s only defeat came to the talented Liam Gittins. Outside of that fight, both men have won their three fights within the distance. This will be fun while it lasts.

Cage Warriors 118 is live on Friday on UFC Fight Pass. The prelims kick off at 7:15pm.

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.