Europe’s leading and longest-running mixed martial arts promotion Cage Warriors has put together another stacked card, this time with two world title fights toping the card.
This Saturday in Liverpool, Chris Fishgold will look to defend his Cage Warriors Lightweight title for the third time and Lee Chadwick fights for the vacant Middleweight belt on home soil. Nordic vikings will be the opposition in enemy territory as Swede Victor Cheng takes on “The Butcher” and Norwegian Alexander Jacobsen challenging Fishgold.
There are betting opportunities for all of these bouts as Betsafe is the official betting partner of the Irish-owned promotion that has produced such well-known names as Michael Bisping, Dan Hardy, and Conor McGregor.
Let’s take a closer look at the Cage Warriors 88 fight card going down at Echo Arena.
Cage Warriors 88 Prelims
James Duckett (3-1) vs. Jack Della (3-2)
Duckett has competed in two IMMAF events as an amateur, reaching the world finals in 2015 and the European Open semi-final in the same year. He lost his pro debut but how now won three consecutive bouts in less than six months. Della fights outside of Australia for the first time in his career. He has won his last three bouts inside the first two rounds, including picking up a welterweight title at Reign Fighting 3 and is a slight favourite heading into this one.
Jack Grant (12-4-0) Vs Perry Goodwin (8-3-0)
Grant fights for the fourth time in just under seven months, picking up three consecutive victories inside the first ninety seconds of each of those fights. Grant will look to rekindle the form that saw him win his first six outings as a pro and more recently win the Almighty Fighting lightweight belt. Goodwin upset Liverpudlian Ellis Hampson at Cage Warriors 82 earlier this year and has won five consecutive fights by knockout. A win for the twenty-five-year-old could place him higher up the lightweight rankings domestically. This should be a fire cracker of a fight.
Josh Stacey McManus (1-0-0) Vs Mick Stanton (2-1-0)
Stanton turned pro after a 5-4 amateur record and tasted defeat for the first time as a pro at BAMMA 29 earlier this year when he lost due to TKO by injury. The Liverpudlian fights out of HAMMA gym and will be a fan favourite. He promises to finish the fight in the first two round. McManus turned pro earlier this year after a 2-3 amateur record. He reached the IMMAF 2014 World Championships Finals, losing out to Finn Aleksi Nurminen. McManus tasted victory in his pro debut at Cage Warriors 85 against Romain Bidet with a first round stoppage. This is another close one on the odds, so if you take Stanton’s word for it, you know where to place your bet.
Elliot Jenkins (4-1) vs. Mahmod Faour (3-2)
Jenkins will look to avenge his loss to Konmon Deh back at Cage Warriors 82. He previously held an unbeaten amateur and professional record, but returned to winning ways at Cage Warriors Academy North West, by first round submission. Faour fights in the UK for the first time and was initially scheduled to take on Next Generation’s Adam Ventre in Liverpool. The highlight of his career so far was a stoppage of Steffen Jung in Germany earlier last year.
Paull McBain (4-0-0) Vs Sam Spencer (5-1-0)
It’ll be an England versus Scotland matchup when Spencer takes on McBain. Spencer makes his Cage Warriors debut in Liverpool, after winning three of his last five inside the distance. His sole defeat of his career came at Tanko FC 2 to Ireland’s James McErlean. McBain was victorious the last time the promotion came to Liverpool, edging a split decision victory over Lloyd Manning back in April. He holds a perfect record in his four pro bouts with three of those wins coming inside the first round. Another close one on the betting lines.
Cage Warriors 88 Main Card
Molly McCann (5-1-0) Vs Priscila de Souza (12-8-0)
Liverpool’s own Molly McCann will face the toughest test of her pro MMA career when she takes on Brazilian vet Priscila de Souza. The flyweights will kick-off the main card in a pick ‘em in the odds. “Meatball” is on a four fight winning streak, including her most recent in the Cage Warriors promotion with a unanimous decision over American Invica veteran Lacey Schuckman. Souza has already been in the spotlight, winning the Shot Brasil title and fighting for the Fusion Fight League belt. With seven wins by submission, the Liverpudlian will have to be careful once the fight hits the ground. McCann has not lost on European soil, and the home town fighter may be worth a play here as she tries to give de Souza her second straight loss.
Lee Chadwick (23-13-1) Vs Victor Cheng (11-2-0)
With Poland’s Oskar Piechota quick finish over Jason Radcliffe to capture the middleweight title and UFC contract, there needs to be a fight for the vacant belt. Top contenders Lee Chadwick and Victor Cheng will battle for the title, with the Swedish grappler a slight favourite in the odds. Liverpool’s Chadwick has recent impressive first-round submission finishes of Tommy Quinn and Andy Manzolo to get him his shot, while Cheng was already set to fight for the title against Jason Radcliffe, before being forced off the card due to injury. Now the Swede is back and will look to implement his take-down game in this 5-round championship fight.
Martin Stapleton (19-5-0) Vs Soren Bak (9-1-0)
Cage Warriors is promoting this showdown as “one of the most anticipated bouts of the year.” Lightweight contenders will collide as Martin “.50Cal“ Stapleton faces off against Søren “The True Viking“ Bak. Both fighters expect to be next in line for the title with a win.
The 34-year-old Stapleton has won six of his last seven fights, with a strong performance in his most recent outing with a win over Belgium’s Donovan Desmae at Cage Warriors 85 in June.
Denmark’s Bak made a big impression in his Cage Warriors debut at Cage Warriors 83, where he claimed a dominant three-round win over veteran Scott Clist. “I want the belt” exclaimed the fighter after this bout, but he will have one more test here on the Cage Warriors 88 card in his way in this title eliminator.
Based on the Dane’s last dominant win, he comes in as the slight favourite and if he mixes up his takedowns as usual, it could be a long night for Stapleton.
Chris Fishgold (16-1-1) Vs Alexander Jacobsen 8-1-0)
Cage Warriors lightweight champion Chris Fishgold is back after nearly a year out of action. The champ is in his home town as he puts his 155lb world title on the line against hard-hitting Norwegian Alexander Jacobsen. Liverpool’s Fishgold is unbeaten in his last seven outings, including four straight wins under the Cage Warriors banner. The submissions have been plenty with Cage Warriors, racking up three of them in the first round.
Since capturing the vacant Cage Warriors title with a submission win over Adam Boussif at Cage Warriors 77 last summer, Fishgold successfully defended the belt with victories over Jason Ponet and Nic Herron-Webb.
“Bad Romance” has had a solid winning streak of his own with eight straight wins including his highlight KO over Tim Wilde back at Cage Warriors 80. The Bergen MMA and Grappling fighter has dynamine in his hands, and all you have to watch is one KO over Tim Wilde at Cage Warriors 80 to know this will be an exciting 5-round matchup.
Jacobsen trained in Florida at ATT to get ready for this fight with many of the world’s best fighters and will be in the best shape of his life. Fishgold is a surprising underdog here, and the play looks to be on the ring rust to impact this fight. Either the power of Jacobsen standing or the submission skills of the hometown fighter can end the fight at any moment. A great fight to put down a bet to further enjoy this gem of a fight to end the Cage Warriors 88 card.
About Ryan O’Leary
Ryan O’Leary is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist and commentator. The Swedish-based writer is the founder and editor at MMAViking.com, which is the premier source for Nordic mixed martial arts news.