The second incarnation of the iconic Cage Warriors Trilogy series spanned from Thursday, December 10th to Saturday, December 12th, with a grand total of 23 fights in the record books.
Three new champions were crowned, while Nathias Frederick stood tall in the lone defense throughout all 3 events.
Superstars were born, gold was captured, and prospects debuted. As always, MMA-Prospects is here to look at how that leaves the rankings.
Although just two flyweight fights were featured throughout, they just happened to be the main and co-main of the first in the series.
Sam Creasy (13-3) turned back Adam Amarsinghe (6-3) with a third-round stoppage, while budding star Jake Hadley (7-0) became the new flyweight champion with a commanding performance against the former king Luke Shanks (7-2).
Unfortunately for Creasy, the one man standing between him and the two main eventers was Samir Faiddine (12-7), whose 2019 TKO win over Creasy allows him to remain above in the division. While Sam Creasey stays in 4th place, Amarsinghe also stays put due to his head-to-head record over Connor Hignett (8-6), which was enough to avoid a further drop.
Naturally, Jake Hadley moves up to the coveted first place spot, while Luke Shanks has to settle for second best on this occasion.
An influx of Italian imports made a dent across the board, and Michele Martignoni (6-0) got his name on the top 10 list with a win over the previously 10th ranked Wesley Maia (6-4). The win sees the Italian enter the MMA-Prospect rankings at number nine, one above Gerardo Fanny (9-2), while the loss sees Maia fall outside the ranks.
Number seven and number nine also clashed, with Josh Reed (10-5) and Liam Gittins (6-1) battling it out. On this occasion, it was the Englishman, Gittins, who got his arm raised. Josh drops down to 8th place, while Liam steals his spot at number seven.
Gold was on the line at 145lbs, with French superstar Morgan Charriere (16-7) finally getting his crack at the vacated title, competing against Perry Andre Goodwin (10-7). Morgan dominated the fight, ending it with a brutal body shot, putting the featherweight division on notice along the way.
MMA-Prospects had Morgan sitting in first place before the fight, but he now has a championship next to his name. Goodwin’s loss sees him fall to fourth place from his number two spot.
One of the most headily debated results on the card came on the heels of Jordan Vucenic (7-1) and Paul Hughes (6-1). While any calls of a robbery are certainly unfounded, the razor-close fight between the previously third-ranked Hughes and fifth-ranked Vucenic showed that either man could have taken the fight. On this occasion, Vucenic was the victor, propelling him up to the number two spot. With how hard it was to split, Hughes managed to maintain his spot at #3.
Steve Aimable (15-8) made a statement on Friday night with a first-round stoppage win over Tom Mearns (6-6). Aimable now has an impressive ten Cage Warriors fights under his belt and saw a big climb up to 5th place.
Aidan Stephen (8-3) also gained some ground, moving up one space for his commanding victory over Emrah Sonmez (11-3), who himself drops two spaces to 9th.
Ben Ellis (3-0) snatched Kingsley Crawford (5-3) from the top 10 with his unanimous decision win, getting his name next to a number for the first time.
The Trilogy was a wild ride at 155, with almost every previously ranked fighter taking to the cage.
Starting at the top, the Netherlands Agy Sardari (13-2) made his Cage Warriors debut and managed to get himself championship gold in the process. In a fantastic, close fight with fan-favorite Jack Grant (16-6), Sardari got the nod in a split-decision win. Sardari enters the rankings in first place, of course, while Grant manages to avoid falling any further, just about clutching on to third place.
In one of the highlight performances of the entire series, Northern Ireland’s Joe McColgan (7-3) destroyed tenth-ranked Kieran Lister (7-1) in the first round. His striking skills were on full display, but unfortunately, with the addition of Sardari to the ranks, McColgan actually drops down one place to 5th. Lister manages to hang on to his 10th ranked spot, but knows he’ll need a win next time out.
Being tipped as a potential title challenger next is Mehdi Ben Lakhdhar (5-0) who ungraciously welcomed Stevie McIntosh (6-2) to the promotion with a killer left hook. Lakhdhar moves above Danny Mathiasen (5-0) in the rankings, but remains in 6th place.
Perhaps the knockout of the event came at the hands of Mike Figlak (4-0), who makes it two straight wins under the black and yellow CW banner. The win sees him go from unranked straight into seventh place.
Another new face on the rankings is Decky McAleenan (7-3). A submission victory over then-9th ranked Adam Ventre (8-5) allows McAleenan to steal his opponent’s spot.
In MMA-Prospects’ contributors’ opinions, this was the most difficult division to rank, with changes happening towards the top and bottom of the division. The introduction of Leonardo Damiani (9-2) led to an unexpected yet decisive victory over the previously third-ranked Aaron Khalid (10-6-1). Khalid drops a space, making way for the Italian to enter at number three.
Red-hot prospect Ian Garry (5-0) continued looking like one of the best prospects in the sport today by making quick work of Lawrence Tracey (5-5). Garry will be looking to make a jump up in his next fight, but he sits at 5th place now, with all five of his pro fights coming under the CW banner.
Madars Fleminas (8-2) avoided a fall with a decision win over Mick Stanton (6-6). Fleminas drops one place to make way for Damiani’s arrival, but Mick Stanton is removed from the top 10 altogether.
The final division to see some action was middleweight. Nathias Frederick (9-2-1) didn’t have the easiest night’s work against an extremely game Jamie Richardson (9-6), but ultimately the champ added to his highlight reel with a spectacular third-round finish. Both men stay in their spots.
Matthew Bonnar (8-6-1) also stays in fourth place after a hotly-contested war with Matt Inman (20-11). Inman returned to action after a long layoff, and based on his experience and performance alone, he manages to join the division in 8th place.
Christian Leroy Duncan (2-0) is giving Ian Garry a run for his money as the hottest prospect wearing yellow gloves. An absolutely stunning spinning heel kick against number seven ranked Lukasz Marcinkowski (4-3) sees Christian steal his spot, sending Marcinkowski crashing down to number 10.
Will Currie (5-0) is expected to make an entrance into these ranks should he win his next fight, but unfortunately, he competed at a catchweight above the limit, so he’s not eligible to be added yet.
And just like that, the Cage Warriors’ second Trilogy is done and dusted. There were so many close fights that things could have looked entirely different with a few short changes to the judging outcomes, but alas, what the officials say goes and this is how we’ve decided that leaves the fighters.
With rumblings of a third Trilogy — a trilogy Trilogy, if you will — going down in March, MMA-Prospects can’t wait to see what’s next from Graham Boylan and the Cage Warriors team.
Whenever that does go down, keep tuned to MMA-Prospects to see how it all unfolds.