Cage Warriors 57: Preview


Only a fortnight after what proved a stellar night of fighting at Cage Warriors 56 in London, Graham Boylan and Co travel north to Liverpool for their first event in the Echo Arena and, despite some late enforced changes to the main card, it promises to be yet another top notch show from Europe’s No 1 promotion.

Paul Daley v Lukasz Chlewicki

Since his ignominious dismissal from the UFC back in 2010, Paul Daley (32-12-2) has become one of MMA’S most travelled journeymen, fighting across the globe for amongst others Strikeforce, BAMMA, Cage Contender, Bellator and, most recently, Dubai FC. Now, a decade after making his promotional debut and five years since last fighting with Cage Warriors, he’s back. Semtex has won five of his previous six fights, the last three of which have all ended by KO or TKO; at 30 he still remains one of the sport’s elite kick-boxers at 170lbs.

Standing between Daley and a triumphant homecoming is Poland’s Lukasz Chlewicki (10-2-1), making his Cage Warriors debut, and also unbeaten in five of his last six fights. At 34, the Pole’s career is experiencing somewhat of a resurgence after he took a five year hiatus from 2005-2010, after a submission loss to Damian Maia-surprise, surprise! On paper, given his experience and the quality of opposition he has faced, this one is Daley’s to lose. If Chlewicki can get it to the mat, then all bets are off, but you’d fancy the prodigal son.

Danny Roberts v Henry Fadipe

Danny Roberts (8-1) was scheduled to fight Aldric Cassata at welterweight, but after Cassata was forced to withdraw today, he will face Henry Fadipe (5-5-1) at a catchweight of 180lbs. Regardless of how well a fighter’s preparation has been, a change of opponent this late in the day will be at the very least, mildly unsettling. Roberts has finished his last two fights, beating Jack Mason and Diego Gonzalez, by submission and TKO, respectively. Fadipe’s wins are peppered with KOs and Submissions, but his record is modest at best. Despite the reshuffle, Robert’s quality should be enough to see him through.

Ronnie Mann v Jose Luis Zapater

In the bantamweight division, Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Ronnie Mann (21-6-1) has been matched up with Spaniard Jose Luis Zapater (17-9). Both men are making their promotional debut and are on a two-fight losing skid. Desperation to impress their new employers and put one in the win column should ensure fireworks from these two. A shared slick submission game might just mean they throw caution to the wind and slug it out until someone drops. Mann may be the safer bet, considering he’s fighting on home soil.

Jack Mason v Ali Arish

Chasing a fourth win in a row, Jack Mason (24-11) was initially due to fight Bruno Carvalho (15-6), but after the Brazilian was forced to pull out, he faces Ali Arish (19-2). It’s been over a year since Mason last tasted defeat, and with the return of Paul Daley, another impressive win is imperative to secure a place on the shortlist for those in line for a shot at Cathal Pendred’s title. Arish’s last fight for Cage Warriors was also his last loss, when he was knocked out by Jack Hermansson at CW41 in April 2011, since then he was won eight on the bounce. To take a scalp like Mason would surely catapult him through the rankings and cement him as a serious contender in the welterweight division. With such vast experience and so much at stake rolled into this fight, it’s just too hard to call.

Leeroy Barnes v Norman Paraisy

It’s been almost six years since Leeroy Barnes (12-10) last fought for Cage Warrior and in the interim he has had mixed fortunes fighting in a plethora of organisations across the UK and Europe. He takes on French striker Norman Paraisy (11-3-2-1), who, in his last bout, fought to a controversial majority draw with Chris Fields at Cage Warriors 55. Many felt that Fields was cruelly robbed by the judges, after he launched a dramatic late comeback on the back of Paraisy completely gassing. Barnes has said he is in the best shape of his life at present and plans to overwhelm Paraisy with work-rate and intensity. 10 of Barnes’ 12 career wins have come by submission and, given that Paraisy is a capable striker, his path to victory seems academic. Barnes lives and trains in Liverpool, so he should have the crowd at his back, buoying him to victory. And, as we all know, the French don’t travel well.

Chris Fishgold v Marcin Wrzosek

Originally scheduled for the Facebook preliminaries, this featherweight clash was bumped to the main card after a new opponent for Mats Nilsson could not be found. Undefeated English prospect Chris Fishgold (8-0) is one of the most exciting young fighters currently on the European circuit, but he faces a tough test from Poland’s equally promising Marcin Wrzosek (6-1). Fishgold has won seven of his eight professional fights by submission and Wrzosek has not gone the distance in five of his six victories, so don’t expect to hear the final bell. These guys are young, dangerous and looking to make a name for themselves-what more could you ask for?

Cage Warriors 57 can be watched live on Setanta 1 or streamed on in Ireland.

By Tom Rooney – @oldmanrooney

Owner/Editor of Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: