Preview: Cage Warriors 114

Cage Warriors make their long awaited return this week with a trilogy of events. The shows will be held behind closed doors at the BEC Arena in Manchester, England. The promotion has become the first government approved MMA organisation in the UK after putting in place stringent safety measures for these events.

Cage Warriors 114 will take place on Thursday 24th September and will be headlined by a flyweight title fight. France’s Samir Faiddine (11-6) will lock horns with England’s Luke Shanks (6-1). Faiddine shocked the bookies by winning the title in his last bout against Sam Creasey and will likely have to beat them again this time around against the versatile Englishman. Previously known as a submission fighter, Shanks has shown a more rounded skill set in recent bouts, including a TKO win against Pietro Menga.

This card features many hot prospects and Birmingham flyweight Jake Hadley (5-0) is perhaps the brightest of them all. He faces his stiffest test to date against the very durable Shajidul Haque (10-6). Hadley is going to have to use his knack of wearing down his opponents to succeed. Will the “White Kong” be the first to finish Haque?

“The Latvian Express” Madars Fleminas (7-1) is looking to get back on the tracks following his loss to Adam Proctor last March. He will take on Poland’s Mateusz Figlak (3-1) at welterweight, who will compete on the same card as his brother Michal. Figlak is back under the Cage Warriors banner, losing to Ian Garry the last time he wore the yellow gloves. He has a tough night ahead of him against Fleminas.

Aaron Khalid (9-5-1) returns to the Cage Warriors cage for the first time in over a year. The Welshman is looking to return down the road of a Welterweight title following a defeat to Alex Lahore previously. The ultra tough Mick Stanton (6-4) will be the second man in the cage. Expect to see a lot of grappling exchanges between the two, with Khalid holding the bigger finishing skills.

In yet another flyweight duel, Connor Hignett (8-5) takes on Adam Amarasinghe (5-2) in an all-England affair. Neither man believes in boring fights. Hignett lives up to his “Hand Grenade” nickname with an all-action style and can get it done on the feet or the floor. When Amarasinghe lands, his opponent doesn’t usually escape the round. This isn’t the fight to put on the kettle, chaos awaits.

Another of the top prospects, Wales’ Oban Elliott (3-0) takes on the fellow undefeated prospect Michal Figlak (2-0). Elliott is such a prospect that he struggles to find opponents. Stand-up, submissions, he can do it all and he can do it all very well. He has been a human highlight reel to date. Figlak had a very solid amateur career and has followed it up with back to back wins to open his professional journey. This has all the potential to be the fight of the night.

Cork’s John Mitchell (1-0) returns following his fight of the night nominee win against Eric Nolan at CW110 in his hometown. He takes on Alan Brykalski (1-2) in a lightweight contest. If Mitchell is able to recreate the performance from his previous fight, we’re in for a treat.

Englishmen George Smith (5-1) and Matthew Bonner (6-6-1) compete in a middleweight clash. SBG Manchester’s Smith has shown a wide variety of submissions in his career to date and will be looking for another highlight reel finish against Next Gen Liverpool’s Bonner. Don’t let the record fool you, Bonner has been in against the best in the region and is as game as they come. Smith needs to bring his A game.

Somebody’s 0 has got to go in an All-Ireland bantamweight clash. Jack Maguire (0-1) will don his trademark cap to the cage against fellow Irishman Ciaran Mulholland (0-1). Both men were very experienced amateurs on the local Irish scene and both have represented their country in the IMMAF Championships. This will be a tough battle with both men needing a win to kickstart their pro careers.

Cage Warriors 114 takes place on Thursday 24th September. The prelims begins at 19:30 on Fight Pass and cagewarriors.com and the main card begins at 21:00 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.