This weekend Cage Warriors make their long-awaited return to the emerald isle with a stacked card which includes both amateur and professional bouts. The last time the promotion held a fight card in Ireland was back in 2014 in the Helix, Dublin when Joseph Duffy submitted Damien Lapilus in the Main Event of the evening.
This time round Karl Moore is set to headline the card against TUF veteran Josh Clark for 205lb strap. This will be Moore’s 4th time fighting under the Cage Warriors banner coming out successful on each occasion. Currently on a 2 fight win streak following his sole loss to current UFC light heavyweight Paul Craig, Moore hopes to pick up the title and replicate the success of the previous title holder, Michael Bisping.
Fighting out of Xtreme Couture, Josh Clark is entering territory this weekend in hope of taking the title back stateside with him. Clark is well-known for competing in the 19th season of the ultimate fighter, after winning his opening fight he lost out on a majority decision to Corey Anderson in his next fight in the competition ending his UFC hopes. Coming off a knockout win in his last fight against Brent Knopp another win in Dublin could reignite his chances of getting a call up to the UFC.
Prior to the card’s headliner, we will get to see Catherine Costigan back in action after 15 months out. Catherine’s return to Cage Warriors will see he go up against Wendy McKenna in what looks to be an outstanding atomweight matchup.
Currently, on a two-fight skid, Costigan is eager to get back to winning ways in front of a home Irish crowd. Despite injuries setting her back last year, Catherine is confident she is t her best coming into this fight and is determined to put on a show for the Irish fans.
Her opponent, Wendy McKenna is only new to the professional MMA scene making her debut back in 2016 where she picked up the decision win at BCMMA 17 against Ella Wu. This time round she faces one of Europe’s toughest females in Costigan, a win here for McKenna here would be a big statement for her moving forward in her career.
Undefeated Joe “The SBG Hunter” McColgan has made a big name for himself around the regional MMA scene recently. His outstanding win over Peter Queally at BAMMA 26 which shocked many was a big statement for McColgan as he claimed another SBG head. This time round he is off hunting elsewhere as he takes on experienced French fighter Arnold Quero in a highly anticipated lightweight bout.
Quero will be looking to get back to winning ways in this fight after his 7 fight win streak was put to an end at Cage Warriors 79 when he was finished by Dean Trueman in 12 seconds. “Silverback” is known to like to stand and trade with his opponents finishing 9 of his fights via TKO/KO, he will be hoping to get past the slick all round game of Joe McColgan and hand him his first career defeat.
In what could potentially be the fight of the night, two of Ireland’s brightest prospects are out to impress in their upcoming fight. Cork native Darren O’Gorman is on a mission to become cork’s first ever UFC fighter with a big win over SBG fighter Blaine O’Driscoll in this bout. O’Gorman was last out against Gary Morris where he submitted Morris with just under 2 minutes left in the fight to bring him back to winning ways once again.
Currently, on a 2 fight win streak, Blaine O’Driscoll has really broken into the regional MMA scene and made quite a name for himself following two dominant performances in his last two outings. Now he will be looking to keep the recent streak going and repeat what his SBG counterpart Frans Mllambo did to his opponent when they met.
This fight card is not to be missed as Cage Warriors make their return to Ireland, tickets are still available on Ticketmaster for the event. The full fight card is as follows:
Karl Moore (7-1) v Josh Clark (10-3) – Cage Warriors light-heavyweight title (205lbs)
Catherine Costigan (5-2) v Wendy McKenna (1-0) – atomweight bout (105lbs)
Joe McColgan (2-0) v Arnold Quero (13-5, 1 NC) – lightweight bout (155lbs)
Darren O’Gorman (4-1) v Blaine O’Driscoll (3-1) – bantamweight bout (135lbs)
Hughie O’Rourke (pro debut) v Arann Maguire (0-1) – bantamweight bout (135lbs)
Håkon Foss (7-3) v Martyn Harris (4-2) – welterweight bout (170lbs)
Lloyd Manning (2-0) v Paul McBain (2-0) – featherweight bout (145lbs)
Eric Nolan (pro debut) v Marcin Zembala (pro debut) – catchweight bout (150lbs)
Bill Farrell v David Piotrowicz – light-heavyweight bout (205lbs)
Richie Stack v Pawel Politylo – featherweight bout (145lbs)
Mark Gallivan v Makinde Adeyemi – welterweight bout (170lbs)
Francis Treacy v Stephen Treacy – lightweight bout (155lbs)
Austin Lynch v Alex Brophy – bantamweight bout (135lbs)
Colm O’Regan v Mateusz Kopyto – catchweight bout (161lbs)
Ivan Blanita v Gary Coffey – welterweight bout (170lbs)
Gary Wallace v Darren Sarsfield – catchweight bout (161lbs)
David Whelan v Brandon Myers – bantamweight bout (135lbs)
Adam Darby v Leon Hill – lightweight bout (155lbs)
Barry Hanna v Matthew Whyte – catchweight bout (132.2lbs)
Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223
UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.
Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.
After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.
A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.
Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.
Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.
A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.
Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet
Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.
“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”
Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.
“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”
Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.
“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”
Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April
MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.
The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.
Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.
An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.
His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).
Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.
PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.
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