Cage Warriors 164 Preview

Cage Warriors return to the Northeast of England this Saturday evening with CW 164. The Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle will host fifteen bouts, including two for CW titles. The fans have been awaiting the return of MMA action to Tyneside, and they’ve sold this show out.

The vacant CW Bantamweight crown is up for grabs in the main event. Liam Gittins (11-4) is one of the most exciting fighters on the roster and he’s riding a four-fight win streak. The Next Gen Liverpool talent is a flashy striker with big power. The Southport man lands damage constantly, and he mixes it up well with combinations. Seven of his wins have been via knockout. Reece McEwan (7-1) has been undefeated in the four fights he’s had in CW. The Scot is a very good wrestler with a slick submission game. The 28-year-old uses ground and pound to open up his choke game. We’ll likely see a decent crowd make the trip down from Greenock to see him.

The co-main event will see Mick Stanton (12-7) make the second defence of his CW Middleweight championship. The Englishman beat Will Currie to win the strap, and he successfully retained in a thrilling bout against James Webb back in July. The 36-year-old has a dominant wrestling game, which he combines with a big power punching style. He’s not called “The Huyton Hammer” for nothing. Dario Bellandi (6-1) has been a revelation since joining the company. The Italian has won 4-in-a-row. The IMMAF veteran has had great success with his wrestling, where he utilised big ground and pound and locked in his chokes. It’s a big test for the up-and-comer and he gives up a lot of experience.

The third fight from the top will arguably be the people’s main event. Chris Bungard (18-8) is going to bring vocal support with him to Newcastle. The Scot is a Bellator veteran and is well known for his fantastic grappling. The 34-year-old has a choke for all occasions and isn’t afraid to mix it up on the feet. Perry Goodwin (11-9) returns to the promotion after a few fights away. The 31-year-old trains nearby at Team Fish Tank in Sunderland. The Englishman is a striker with stopping power. All he needs is a gumshield to put on a show.

Darren Stewart (15-9) has a hat-trick of wins since returning to CW. The former UFC man has shown a well rounded game of late, showing he can compete wherever the fight goes. “The Dentist” is very dangerous with his knees and can pack a punch. Antonio Zovak (9-6) isn’t one to shy away from a scrap. The Serbian has arrived in England ready to go at a moment’s notice. The 28-year-old is a kickboxer with huge knockout potential. He’s competed in pro kickboxing and boxing in addition to his MMA bouts.

Milad Ahady (6-1) is another Team Fish Tank fighter and he’s won all three of his CW fights to date. The IMMAF veteran was born in England and is of Afghani descent. “The Baddy” won his last bout with a lovely body shot, and he’s generally solid everywhere. Ville Mankinen (5-2-1) is a good grappler and very dangerous with armbars and arm locks. The Finn is undefeated since 2019.

Kennedy Freeman (3-0) is the daughter of U.K. MMA legend Ian Freeman. The Englishwoman trains out of Stanley, a stone’s throw away from Newcastle. This will be her first appearance since 2018 and she has shown good kickboxing and wrestling in her previous fights. It will be interesting to see what improvements have been made in the last five years. Annabruna Rados (2-2) hails from Italy and competed in The Golden Cage and Venator as an amateur. The Wolf Temple student has had the most joy in a decent striking game.

Orlando Wilson Prins (4-2) has had a tumultuous time so far in the yellow gloves. The Dutchman won a split decision last time out after dropping his first two battles. The Groningen man is a good Jiu Jitsu player. Bailey Gilbert (8-5) is a young local lad. The 23-year-old Geordie is a master of trigonometry and specialises in various triangle chokes. He was unsuccessful in his debut, a decision loss to Tom Mearns.

Chris Douglass (6-0) is an undefeated Middlesbrough man, another nearby city. The 37-year-old makes his return to MMA after an eight year hiatus. Back when he was active, he was a good submission player. Naglis Kanišauskas (6-3) is as tricky a customer as his name is to say. The Lithuanian is dangerous in the Jiu Jitsu realms. The 23-year-old’s losses have been to top, top competition and he’s a solid prospect.

Aidan Stephen (9-4) drops down to the bantamweight division. The Scot is a high level grappler who is dangerous in the clinch. He’s another lad whose losses were to elite European opponents. You don’t want to get into cage wrestling against him. Daan Duijs (9-2) is the welcoming party. The Dutchman landed a huge left hand to win his last bout. Generally he’s more known for his submission game and heavy ground and pound.

Leon Armes (debut) is another Middlesbrough lad. The Englishman had some nice knockout wins on the amateur scene. Cesari Simon Kevin (1-1) hails from France and comes from a karate background. His sole win came via a guillotine choke.

Reza Arianto (5-0) is one of a few Indonesian fighters on the card. The 23-year-old is a good wrestler with vicious ground and pound. Julien Pierre Lopez (5-3-1) is a more rounded martial artist. The Frenchman is decent in the submission game, however he’s also solid on the feet.

Michael Tchamou (3-3) is an explosive striker and will be fighting in his hometown. First round knockouts are his speciality and his power is massive. Stand with him at your peril. Carlos Graca (3-2) has the bravery to do just that and his biggest assets are his hands. Two of his wins were knockouts.

Dylan Hazan (9-1) is a former title challenger looking to work his way back to the belt. The Italian trains in the acclaimed Aurora MMA in Rome and is an elite wrestler. Most of his victories come from his smothering style with added ground and pound. Amir Malekpour (5-2) had a nice win in his debut, a ground and pound TKO. The Swede is an IMMAF veteran and causes a threat in the stand-up exchanges.

Yoga Prabowo (5-2) came up short in his first outing in the yellow gloves, a decision loss. The Indonesian is known for his grappling abilities and Jiu Jitsu game. Yohan Salvador (3-5) is 3-2 in his last five, following losing his first three. The Frenchman is a decision merchant, with two split wins on his record. He shouldn’t cause too much of a fuss here.

Cornellius RJ Aritonang (2-0) completes the Indonesian contingent making the trip to Newcastle. The 22-year-old won his CW debut by decision and has a dangerous submission game. Matthieu Moya (1-2) is also a fighter who likes things to play out on the mat. The Frenchman is an armbar specialist.

Cage Warriors 164 is live and exclusive this Saturday on UFC Fight Pass. The action kicks off at 17:30.

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.

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