This weekend is a big one for European MMA, as the standard-bearer in the region will be returning for their first card since November 2014. After some reorganization, Cage Warriors is back this Friday with Cage Warriors 75 from London, England. One of the top middleweights in Europe, Jack Hermansson, headlines the card with the second defense of his 185lb title. ‘The Joker’ is on a six-fight winning streak since an unsuccessful stint with Bellator back in 2012/13. After relying more on his striking early in his career, Hermansson has developed a well-rounded grappling game with both strikes and submissions on the mat. His guard game looked particularly dangerous in a recent win over Karlos Vemola, where he snapped the former UFC fighter’s seven-fight winning streak with an armbar. Hermansson will be facing Alan Carlos, a Brazilian who has spent the majority of his 10-year MMA career fighting throughout Europe, and trains out of Sweden. Carlos has gone 6-2 in his last eight fights after starting his career at 6-6. Four of the wins over that span have come by submission, and he also added a knockout of PRIDE veteran Daniel Acacio in 2014. Plenty of familiar faces to the UK MMA crowd will also be in action for Cage Warriors, as 21-year old prospect Paddy Pimblett makes his sixth CWFC appearance against one of the true veterans of the UK scene, Ashleigh Grimshaw. Undefeated light heavyweight Darren Stewart also returns to the promotion that gave him his start in MMA as both an amateur and a pro. Stewart will be taking on 6’6″ James Hurrell, who hasn’t competed since the last Cage Warriors show. Further down the card, Cage Warriors mainstay Brad Wheeler will be making his 12th appearance for the promotion against Scott Clist, and prospect Chris Fishgold looks to continue his undefeated run since moving up from featherweight to lightweight versus Jordan Miller, who brings a five-fight winning streak into the bout. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for the Cage Warriors return card today at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Check them out: ——————– MAIN CARD Jack Hermansson -600 Alan Carlos +400 Paddy Pimblett -215 Ashleigh Grimshaw +165 Brad Wheeler -405 Scott Clist +285 Chris Fishgold -505 Jordan Miller +335 Darren Stewart -270 James Hurrell +190 Alfie Davis -270 Terry Doyle +190 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Alan Carlos has found most of his success against the type of fighters you expect to see middling on regional circuits, or the past-their-prime fighters who have returned to those circuits. While he struggled when he came to the US, Jack Hermansson has generally performed well against a much higher level of competition. Even if you look at their common opponents, Hermansson won that fight by first round TKO, while Carlos squeaked by with a majority decision eight months later. I just don’t see anywhere in this fight that Carlos has an advantage. Hermansson will get the win and it may be time for him to step up to the next level again. Paddy Pimblett is a creative grappler who might struggle once he gets to the next level and faces better wrestlers, but that’s not a big worry for him in this fight. Asleigh Grimshaw’s experience and aggressive approach could create some opportunities to upset the youngster, but in general I expect Pimblett to get the fight to the ground and get the better of the exchanges once there. Grimshaw has only been submitted twice in 26 career bouts, with the last one coming in 2009, so it could be a chance to see Pimblett get more cage time than usual under his belt, which never hurts a prospect. James Hurrell’s length and power create a bit of caution against a fighter who should probably be fighting at middleweight, but Darren Stewart has speed and cardio advantages, and carries more power than you might expect from an undersized fighter. The first few minutes might be dicey as Stewart figures out the range of a man 8 inches taller than him, but once he gets that down he should take over for a TKO or clear decision. Brad Wheeler is one of the fighters who took a lot of fights that he shouldn’t have early in his career, and his record looks significantly worse than if he had been protected early on. Now that he’s got that experience under his belt, he’s reeled off six straight wins and continues to show improvement in addition to being an exciting fighter. I expect this to be win number seven, and Wheeler may be on track to get a shot on a bigger stage with a few more. Chris Fishgold was an undefeated featherweight who looked primed to be one of the next top fighters to come out of the UK. After taking a fight in Taiwan and losing by unanimous decision he decided to move up to lightweight, where he has now gone 2-0-1, and that doesn’t look like it’ll be too much of a challenge against 14-14 Jordan Miller, even with Miller’s recent hot streak. Fishgold is just a much better overall grappler than most on the UK scene, including his wrestling game, and that should shine through here.