The biggest focus of this weekend is UFC’s return to London, England. But a day before that, European MMA promotion Cage Warriors will offer up their own card from the Indigo At The O2 in London, England. In the main event of this card, Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion Jordan Vucenic will meet James Hendin.
Here’s a preview of the show.
Preliminary Card (4:15PM EST / 8:15PM GMT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 1: Lone’er Kavanagh (2-0) vs. Ryan Morgan (1-0) (Flyweight)
In the first of two prelims on Friday night, undefeated flyweights Lone’er Kavanagh and Ryan Morgan will face off.
Kavanagh will be making his first appearance after a few years outside of the cage. He scored his two pro wins in 2019, earning two finish wins on the regional scene.
Morgan’s sole pro fight was even longer ago, defeating Brad Evans back in 2018.
Bout 2: Aidan James (5-2) vs. Kingsley Crawford (7-3) (Bantamweight)
Experienced bantamweights Aidan James and Kingsley Crawford will meet in the next bout.
James, a veteran of Brave CF, won his Cage Warriors debut last year with a submission victory over Philippe Rouch. This performance snapped a two-fight skid for him.
Crawford put together a two-fight winning streak last year, submitting Adam Wilson and picking up a scorecard nod over Liam Gittins. He can move that streak to three consecutive victories on Friday night.
Main Card (5:00PM EDT / 9:00PM GMT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 3: Ben Ellis (3-1) vs. Nik Bagley (2-0) (Featherweight)
Nik Bagley will look for his third consecutive pro win when he faces Ben Ellis in the opening fight of the main card.
Bagley has picked up two wins since his debut in early 2020. He won his first Cage Warriors fight late last year, securing a second-round rear naked choke win over Scott Pedersen.
Ellis is returning after taking his first pro loss. That defeat came in March 2021, when Manny Akpan scored a first-round finish win over him. Before then, he had three wins including two via first-round stoppage.
Bout 4: Tobias Harila (9-2) vs. Decky McAleenan (7-4-1) (Lightweight)
Lightweights Tobias Harila and Decky McAleenan will battle in the next matchup.
Harila had a seven-fight winning streak broken in June 2021, as William Gomis scored a unanimous decision win against him. He earned his first Cage Warriors win earlier that year, stopping Aiden Stephen with punches.
McAleenan will be fighting for his first win in over a year. His last two fights in Cage Warriors have resulted in results that aren’t ideal, getting submitted and taking a draw via decision.
Bout 5: George Hardwick (8-1) vs. Lukadz Kopera (10-6) (Catchweight 161 lbs)
Former Bellator fighter George Hardwick will attempt to keep his success going when he faces Lukasz Kopera on Friday’s main card.
Hardwick is currently on a four-fight winning streak. This includes two victories in Bellator and two finish wins that he secured in Cage Warriors last year. His last appearance was a submission win against Jakub Dohnal in October 2021.
Kopera took this fight on short notice, stepping in to replace Danilo Belluardo. He is making his Cage Warriors debut, and enters the weekend following two losses in 2021.
Bout 6: Will Currie (6-2) vs. Patrick Vallee (12-12-2) (Middleweight)
Cage Warriors veteran Will Currie will meet experienced middleweight Patrick Vallee in the co-main event.
Currie spent a large portion of 2021 in a rivalry with Christian Leroy Duncan. The middleweights met twice in the year, with Duncan prevailing in both instances. Currie bounced back from that pair of losses in December 2021, securing a quick triangle choke submission win against Nikola Zlatev.
Vallee has fought more than 25 times since turning pro nearly two decades ago. The 41-year-old has won two of his last five fights, with his last appearance being a decision loss to Cheick Kone last year.
Bout 7: Jordan Vucenic (8-1) vs. James Hendin (6-1) (Cage Warriors Featherweight Championship)
Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion Jordan Vucenic will attempt to defend his belt for the first time when facing James Hendin in the main event.
Vucenic was first set to face Morgan Chaerriere, meeting him in the long-awaited rematch between the two. However, it was announced last week that Charriere withdrew from the fight and would be replaced by Hendin.
Vucenic earned his Cage Warriors belt in March 2021, defeating Charriere via split decision. He was given this title shot after a strong few years in the promotion, scoring three consecutive wins.
Hendin is getting the title fight, albeit on short notice, after attaining six wins through seven pro fights. He scored his fifth Cage Warriors win in his most recent fight, submitting Paull McBain in June 2021. While the cards are stacked against Hendin in this fight, he could certainly pull off an upset and become a champion on Friday night.