Cage Warriors’ second event at the O2 Indigo in London of the year is only days away, and this card has the potential to make a fantastic night of MMA action.
The main event sees Mehrdad Janzemini take on Stefano Paterno for the vacant Welterweight title, and boy oh boy, on paper this makes a great fight.
Janzemini comes into this fight with a 9-2 record, and has won his last five fights in a row, all via KO/TKO or submission, and all of these were in the first round, showing “9 shots” has no intention of taking this bout into the championship rounds. Versatile and quick, Janzemini is going to be the favourite for this fight.
Paterno meanwhile is 11-2-1, and is undefeated in his last seven fights, drawing one and winning six. Paterno also shows versatility, winning fights with submissions and KO/TKOs, but has also shown he can take fights into the second and the third round, and if he is able to do this again against Janzemini who hasn’t fought past the first round in his last five fights, he could well win this fight with his stamina advantage.
Both men will have a game plan, Janzemini will want to finish the fight early, while Paterno will want to drag the fight out a bit.
Nathan “Mr Bag and Tag” Jones is also in Welterweight action as he makes his promotional debut against rising Scottish prospect Ross “Hitman” Houston.
Jones (11-8) has had a rough time in his last few fights, having lost his last three fights, two of those losses being against top Welterweight prospects in Alex Lahore and Adam Proctor, his last win being in May last year.
However, this will only make Jones even hungrier for this win, and he will know that a win on a stage as big as Cage Warriors could get his career back on track, and with winning the WKU German Open title and numerous BJJ competitions during his camp, he will be full of confidence.
On the other side of the cage, Houston is 6-0 and is coming into this fight knowing that a win here will at least put him in a title eliminator fight, if not a title fight.
Houston is a highly versatile fighter, having wins by KO, submission and decision, and his cardio is phenomenal, which means he could implant a game plan that will see him take Jones into the later rounds in order to win the fight.
Ed Arthur and Mike Ekundayo will go to battle in the Bantamweight division, knowing that a win here could potentially put them in the fight for the title at Cage Warriors 97 against Jack Shore, and many fans, including myself, will have this as their fight of the night pick.
Arthur comes into this fight on a loss though, after losing a decision to Tural Ragimov at ACB 50 at the end of 2016. But, with just over 18 months out of the cage, this might have given Arthur the chance to re-focus and work on improving a few of his weaknesses, and his ability to go the distance is always something he can use to his advantage, and he has even stated on Twitter: “I can go five rounds no problem. Pressure from their bell, I won’t slow down for a second.”
Ekundayo meanwhile is undefeated with a 6-0 record, his last win being at Bellator 200, where he made Tom Mearns tap out just over a minute into the first round. Ekundayo has unbelievable knockout power, and this might be what Arthur has being preparing most for, however, you can’t forget the fact that if Ekundayo takes this fight to the ground, he can finish it.
In the main cards third Welterweight fight, Brad Wheeler takes on Orlando D’Ambrosio.
Wheeler comes into this fight on a two fight losing streak, but has a 16-12 record, meaning he has a lot more fight experience than his opponent. Wheeler has shown the not only can he finish fights, he can take them the distance, meaning he has a couple of game plans to choose from in the build to this fight, but he has also shown himself to be vulnerable to being finished, something D’Ambrosio will be well aware of.
D’Ambrosio comes in with a 8-2 record, and won his last fight via decision. The Italian will be keen to make an impact on his promotional debut, and who knows, a win could put himself in with a chance of getting in the title picture further down the line.
The second Bantamweight fight on the card is Scott Malone versus Cory Tait.
Malone comes into this fight with a 4-1 record, and the Scotsman will undoubtedly see this as a fantastic opportunity to make that 5-1.
Malone last fought at Cage Warriors 91 in March this year, winning via Decision, the only decision win of his four victories, however, this will be a big step up in opponent for him, and this fight will undoubtedly be his toughest yet.
Tait has just over twice as many pro fights as Malone, with an 8-4 record showing that he will be no pushover and that his past two losses were just minor down points on his career trajectory..
With formidable striking and a fantastic grappling and ground game, Tait might just be able to get back to winning ways.
What do you think about the card, and who are your picks for the night? Let me know by tweeting me @Cobleyreporting.
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