Cage Warriors 72 Main Card Preview

Cage Warriors 72 PosterCage Warriors 72 underwent a big change yesterday, as the promotion announced the welterweight title main event of the card was being cancelled. Champion Nicolas Dalby still weighed in yesterday to show he was ready for the bout, but challenger Gael Grimaud was forced out with a recurring back injury. The UK promotion has seen this story play out all too often over the past 12 months, but in this instance they came to Wales with a pair of title fights on the docket. Toni Tauru (9-1-1) and Cory Tait (8-2) will determine the new Cage Warriors bantamweight champion in the card’s feature bout. The title itself was vacated when Brett Johns missed weight for his April defense against James Brum and was stripped regardless of the result. Johns should still remain one of the top contenders for whichever fighter emerges from Saturday’s bout as the champion, but Cage Warriors has some of the stiffest penalties of any organization in the world for missing weight, and the way the title has been handled (and booked since) is a clear message to every fighter in the company, even the champions, that nobody is bulletproof. As for who will become the newest bantamweight champion, Tauru is a very strong submission grappler from Finland who has submitted each of his last six opponents within two rounds. After starting his career with a draw and a loss, Tauru has put together nine consecutive wins as he has continually added to his game. His last outing was his Cage Warriors debut, and he dispatched Sweden’s Martin Akhtar in the first round. While Tauru has the dynamic submission game, Tait is dangerous wherever the fight takes place. His eight wins have all come by stoppage, with an even split of four TKOs and four submissions. His nickname ‘Capcom’ is a hat tip to the video game like violence he brings to the cage, and he’s certainly more capable of inflicting damage on the feet in this encounter, which is likely where he’ll hope to keep this bout with his improved takedown defense. That quality was on display in his last bout against James Pennington, as he stuffed takedowns and locked on a nasty guillotine choke to take home the first round victory. Elevated to co-main event status, Che Mills (16-7, 2 NC) takes on Welshman Jack Marshman (15-5). While Marshman has 10 TKO victories to his credit, playing the striking game with Mills may be ill-advised in this fight as he has been clipped numerous times in recent fights. Mills only has 8 TKOs on his resume, and he’s been stopped with strikes a fair share himself, but few would argue against him having the advantage on the feet here. Mills could be the more dangerous grappler as well, but where the tides turn in Marshman’s favor are in terms of cardio and intangibles like desire. Sometimes Mills doesn’t seem to want to fight, which is a shame because he does have impressive physical and technical tools. This has the makings of the type of fight where a Mills victory likely comes early, while Marshman will have later success. Polish prospect Mateusz Gamrot (6-0) has stepped in on short notice for his first shot in Cage Warriors. The 23-year-old has already picked up three victories under the KSW banner in his young career, including a decision over UFC veteran Andre Winner. There are lofty expectations of the youngster, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him become one of the fighters the UFC picks up when it eventually makes inroads in Poland. Before the hype gets too out of control, Gamrot has to go into Wales and beat a hometown fighter in Tim Newman (10-4). Newman isn’t a standout in any particular area, but he is a well-rounded fighter who is 2-0 under the Cage Warriors banner. His experience will be key if he hopes to upset the prospect in this bout, but he has beaten the likes of Aaron Wilkinson in the past, so he does have the ability necessary. Wales continues to be well-represented on the main card, as Lewis Long (7-3) looks to parlay his hometown advantage into a victory over Steve Dinsdale (6-2). Both of these fighters are coming off of losses in their most recent bout, and have dropped two of three, so a win is in order for each man. Long is actually moving up from lightweight to take this bout at 170, while Dinsdale has fought at welterweight for his entire career. Each of these men has one glaring defensive weakness that has resulted in all of their losses, as Long has been submitted three times while Dinsdale has been knocked out twice. If those trends hold true, Long is more suited to exploit Dinsdale’s weakness with his striking than Dinsdale is with his grappling. Kicking off the main card, a bantamweight clash between Jordan Desborough (7-4) and Kris Edwards (8-7) should get things off to a nice start. Desborough made it to the finals of Cage Warriors’ 2013 bantamweight tournament, but dropped a split decision to Brett Johns in his bid for the title. In his last bout he was on the wrong side of one of the more brutal knockouts of 2013, so Desborough will certainly be looking to get back on track. Edwards is in the same bout, as he has lost his last four bouts, albeit two of those have come via split decision. With both men primarily grapplers, this could have some fun exchanges, but ultimately Edwards will be hard-pressed to deliver a victory for the home crowd. The main card of Cage Warriors 72 will be streamed on starting at 4pm ET, while the prelimary portion of the event can be found on the organization’s facebook page.

Written by Brad Taschuk

Leave a Reply

Premium Oddscast – UFC Fight Night 51: Bigfoot vs Arlovski Betting Preview Part One

MMAOddsBreaker Premium – UFC Fight Night 51