Cage Warriors 124 Preview

Night Two of the latest Cage Warriors trilogy takes place in York Hall, London on Friday evening. Cage Warriors 124 features representatives from 9 different nations, including a Finnish and French invasion.

In the main event, The Netherlands’ Agy Sardari (14-2) puts his CW Lightweight title on the line for the second time against Northern Ireland’s Joe McColgan (7-3-1). This is likely to be fought on the feet. Sardari has been more of a points striker in his last couple of outings, playing a safer game. It’s earned him two split decisions in a row. McColgan is a very slick boxer and he finally scored the knockout he’s been waiting for in his last fight. He’s always been a fantastic fighter who has taken the toughest fights possible and lately he’s shown signs of his game clicking and reaching new levels. This is a must watch.

David Bear (9-1) makes his sophomore appearance in the yellow gloves against newcomer and much heralded Justin Burlinson (5-0). Bear looked impressive in his last bout at CW 113 and he has a nice balanced game. The undefeated Burlinson has been chomping at the bit to make his debut and he finally gets the chance on Friday. He is a finishing machine. Whilst predominantly being a submission whizz, he also has good striking. He trains under Andrew Fisher who has seen it all, so he’s in good hands.

Belgium’s Brian Bouland (10-3) will take on Nathan Fletcher (5-0) in the Bantamweight division. There could be an open spot as a contender for the belt on the line here. Bouland’s biggest strength and most likely way to victory here is his striking. The floor should be lava to him in this one. Fletcher is a submission machine and has wowed the audience in each of his 5 pro fights. This is a nice step up for Next Gen’s Fletcher and if he comes through it, he has a skill set that can trouble champion Jack Cartwright.

France’s Jean N’Doye (9-2) was one of the biggest stories of the last trilogy. He scored a highlight reel knockout on Corrin Eaton. Before his seven year hiatus, he was known more for his submission game. Mixing the two styles is trouble for his opponents. He’ll face Harry Hardwick (6-3) who is a tough, durable grappler. His brother George also fights on this card. He has a nice choke game and it will be interesting to see how that matches up with such an accomplished Jiu Jitsu player.

Edward Walls (10-5) is one of two Finnish newcomers on the card. He’s predominantly a kick-boxer who likes to work his levels to open up the head kick. He’s got the perfect foil for a fight of the night in Steve Aimable (15-8). “Diddy Kong” is as exciting as the come and will likely stand in the centre of the cage and throw down with Walls. This should be a barnburner.

In a big fight in the Flyweight division, France’s Nicolas Leblond (6-3) will do battle with former champion Luke Shanks (7-2) in what is the second semi final in the Flyweight tournament. Leblond scored a devastating knockout on Darren O’Gorman at CW 122. Shanks is a talented grappler who’s rounded out his game very well. Like many fights at this weight, we should expect to see a lot of action in this one. The stakes are high.

Dean Trueman (10-6) makes his first appearance since 2019 against George Hardwick (6-1). Trueman is an experienced, well rounded martial artist. He’s comfortable in every facet of the game. The plan here is likely to stay standing. Like his brother, Hardwick is a good grappler who has two Bellator wins under his belt, including a submission victory over Richard Kiely. This is the old school versus the new school. 

Finland’s Jesse Urholin (6-0) makes his debut on this card, coming in with an unblemished record. He is a grappler with vicious ground and pound. This will be a step up in levels for him. Wales’ Aaron Khalid (10-6-1) is no slouch in the Jiu Jitsu game either and will carry a big experience advantage into this one. This one may come down to whether Khalid wants to try and test out their grappling metal. 

We finally get to see Dominique Wooding (6-4) in the yellow gloves. He was on the wrong end of the judges’ cards in his last two Bellator fights. He will be looking to rekindle his earlier form in his new promotion. He is an explosive striker that doesn’t like going the distance. He is particularly dangerous with his knees. He’ll take on fellow CW debutant Cameron Hardy (6-2). Hardy has evolved on the local scene from a knockout artist into a submission threat, making him very dangerous. In this one, he’s going to try and go down the grappling route and avoid Wooding’s power. Wooding’s experience at the top level may prove vital here. 

Italy has a new kid on the block. Bari’s Dylan Hazan (5-0) is coming into his CW debut with an undefeated record and a reputation for his grappling skills. This will be a baptism of fire for him as he takes on one of CW’s most exciting fighters, Josh Reed (11-5). Hazan will be going for takedowns early to nullify Reed’s very active style. Reed is another Shore MMA fighter and trains with top level fighters regularly. Let’s see how Hazan does under the bright lights.

Cage Warriors 124 is live on UFC Fight Pass on Friday at 18:30.

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.