Caolan Loughran vs. Luke Shanks in the works for Cage Warriors 145

Caolan Loughran (6-0) will look to continue his rise up the bantamweight ranks when he takes on former flyweight champion Luke Shanks (10-3) at Cage Warriors 145. Sources have confirmed to SevereMMA.

“The Don” will compete alongside fellow Irish man Paul Hughes who will be involved in a featherweight title unification bout with Jordan Vucenic in London on November 4th.

Loughran, who hails from Co. Tyrone, now trains under Mike Grundy at Team Kaobon in Liverpool. He joined the Cage Warriors ranks last year and made his debut against Bakhtyaar Oryakhail. Loughran dominated Oryakhail and bantamweight standout forced the ref to call a halt to the contest in round two with Loughran in the mounted position reigning down punches and elbows.

The Tyrone man faced his toughest challenge on paper in his last Cage Warriors outing when he faced off against fellow undefeated prospect Festus Arhorlu. Loughran made easy work of his adversary, dominating the grappling and the striking exchanges enroute to another second round TKO victory. He will now strap on the famous yellow gloves to take on yet another step up in competition when he squares off with Luke Shanks.

Loughran spoke to SevereMMA ahead of the upcoming fight and breathed confidence in his assessment of how he thinks the fight will play out.

“This is a great fight for the fans but Luke Shanks is not on my level. They told me Festus Arhorlu was a step up in competition and I handled him with ease. My intention heading into the Shanks fight is that I am going put on another show and to make this win look even easier.”

“Stylistically I think that Luke makes too many mistakes, he is not on my level and I am going to take him out.”

Shanks has been a part of Cage Warriors since 2018 where he made his debut against Jason Jenkins. “The Apocalypse” trains under James Doolan at Higher Level Martial Arts in Edinburgh, Scotland. Shanks has gone 6-2 since joining Cage Warriors ranks. A four fight win streak saw Shanks become Cage Warriors 125 lbs champion in 2020 with a win over Samir Faiddine. His first title defence ended in disappointed with Jake Hadley taking home a unanimous decision on the scorecards. Shanks was on the right end on a decision in his next fight when he beat Nicolas Leblond. That win saw Luke work his way back into a title shot at flyweight against Sam Creasey in 2021.

Unfortunately for Shanks he came in over the 125 lbs weight limit for the Creasey fight and thus became ineligible to win the title. Further disappoint followed when Shanks was forced to tap to a guillotine choke in round three of that encounter. The Northamptonshire native was given a second chance to take on Creasey two months later in in December, 2021. Shanks was successful in the rematch as he went on to knock out Creasey in the very first round. He would not get the chance to experience the strap around his waist as further weight cutting problems saw him, once more, come in overweight for the contest. That again made Shanks ineligible to win his first world title.

Shanks’ battle with the scales forced him to make the move back up to the 135 lbs division for his last outing. The former flyweight champion made short work of Josh Reed at CW 138, going on to win that contest by rear naked choke, picking up the fourth first round victory of his career. Both bantamweights will clash at Cage Warriors 145 and the winner will be right in the mix for a shot at Dominique Wooding who now hold the bantamweight title.

Cage Warriors 145 will be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass on November 4th from the Indigo at the O2 in London.

Ian O'Neill is the host of the SevereMMA UFC Preview show and one of the co-hosts of The Auld Triangle - Irish MMA podcast. You can find more of Ian's work on the SevereMMA Patreon where he co-hosts The Chasing Pack and The Contender. Follow him on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma

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