Cage Warriors 135: Skibinski vs. Burlinson Preview

Cage Warriors will hold a doubleheader of events this weekend from the BEC Arena in Manchester, England. To kick off the festivities, the promotion will present 13 fights on Friday night. Here’s a preview of it all.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (1:00PM EDT / 6:00PM BST)

Bout 1: Ander Sanchez (0-0) vs. Connor Wilson (2-1) (Flyweight)

Ander Sanchez will make his pro debut in the opening bout against Connor Wilson.

Sanchez had an amateur record of 10 wins and one loss, per Tapology.

Wilson lost his Cage Warriors debut in 2021 against Ciaran Mulholland. He has bounced back since then, defeating Jack Young on a regional card.

Bout 2: Ryan Shelley (3-0) vs. Magdi Gereev (2-0) (Featherweight)

Undefeated rookie featherweights Ryan Shelley and Magdi Gereev will meet on Friday’s prelims.

Shelley has earned three finish wins since turning pro in June 2021. This included a September 2021 Cage Warriors win against Liam Molloy, submitting him with a rear naked choke.

Gereev has scored two wins on the regional scene. This fight on Friday will be the first time Gereev faces someone with a winning pro record.

Bout 3: Bakhtyaar Oryakhail (1-0) vs. Caolan Loughran (4-0) (Bantamweight)

Flawless records will collide again when Bakhtyaar Oryakhail and Caolan Loughran will fight.

Oryakhail is coming off a quick pro debut win from September 2021, submitting Jack Clarke within a round with a triangle choke.

Loughran has scored four wins since turning pro, although many of those fights have come against poor opponents. This includes Reece Street and Will Cairns, two fighters who had a combined record of no wins and 70 losses when they faced Loughran.

Bout 4: Karol Michalak (3-1) vs. James Sheehan (3-2) (Welterweight)

Welterweights Karol Michalak and James Sheehan will meet in the next prelim.

Sheehan has fought four times for Cage Warriors in the past. He’s currently on a two-fight winning streak, including a recent split decision victory against Omiel Brown.

Michalak’s last win was a stoppage victory against Steven Mendes Furtado in July 2021. He’ll be competing in Cage Warriors for the first time on this card.

Bout 5: Hugo Guillon (1-0) vs. Matthews Byfield (3-1) (Light Heavyweight)

Riding the momentum of a successful pro debut, Hugo Guillon will meet Matthews Byfield.

Guillon’s first professional bout came in October 2021, as he scored a first-round finish win against Cedric Koung.

On the other hand, Byfield is fighting to come back from his first pro loss. This defeat came on a Levels Fight League card in October 2021, where Paulin Begai beat him on scorecards.

Bout 6: Federico Pasquali (6-0) vs. Paull McBain (7-2) (Catchweight 150 lbs)

The six-fight undefeated record of Federico Pasquali will be put on the line when he faces Paull McBain.

Pasquali will be competing in Cage Warriors for the first time. His six wins as a pro include four stoppage wins from 2018 to 2021.

McBain snapped a two-fight losing streak in his last bout, defeating Konmon Deh via second-round stoppage in late 2021.

Bout 7: Dan Hepworth (0-1) vs. Omiel Brown (2-1) (Welterweight)

Dan Hepworth will return with the goal of earning his first pro win. He’s facing Omiel Brown in a welterweight fight.

Hepworth’s pro debut was a loss in 2019 against Mush Aslani. Now nearly three years later, he’s back in the cage.

Brown took his first pro loss last year, dropping a split decision to James Sheehan. He had scored two submission wins in the promotion before then.

Bout 8: Adam Shelley (1-1) vs. Steven Hooper (5-4) (Lightweight)

The prelims will wrap up with a fight between Adam Shelley and Steven Hooper.

Hooper has fought four times in Cage Warriors since 2019. He had a two-fight winning streak broken in his last appearance, losing to Mike Figlak just over a year ago.

Shelley’s rookie year as a pro has consisted of a win and a loss since June 2021.

Main Card (4:00PM EDT / 9:00PM BST)

Bout 9: Edward Walls (10-7) vs. Liam Gittins (7-4) (Bantamweight)

The main card will open with a fight between Edward Walls and Liam Gittins.

Walls has yet to win since joining Cage Warriors. He dropped two bouts last year, losing on scorecards to Steve Aimable and Aidan Stephen.

Gittins is in a similar position, as he has come up unsuccessful in two consecutive fights. Unlike Walls, the majority of his career has taken place in Cage Warriors since 2018.

Bout 10: Guiseppe Ruggeri (7-0) vs. Dean Trueman (10-7) (Featherweight)

Guiseppe Ruggeri will fight to carry his undefeated pro record into Cage Warriors when he faces Dean Trueman on Friday night.

Ruggeri has attained a flawless record of seven wins on the Italian regional scene since debuting in 2019. He had an especially successful 2021 that saw him earn three victories within a 12-month period.

Bout 11: Milad Ahady (3-1) vs. Antonio Sheldon (5-2) (Featherweight)

Milad Ahady and Antonio Sheldon will face off in the next bout. Both featherweights are appearing in Cage Warriors for the first time.

Ahady bounced back from his sole pro loss in his last appearance, defeating Keir Harvie in late 2020. Sheldon is on a three-fight winning streak, including a stoppage victory he earned against Aratz Garmendia in November 2021.

Bout 12: Hugo Pereira (5-3) vs. Matthew Bonner (10-7-1) (Catchweight 177 lbs)

Meeting at a catchweight of 177 pounds, Hugo Pereira and Matthew Bonner will compete on Friday’s main card.

Bonner is appearing for the first time since he dropped his Cage Warriors Middleweight Championship to Djati Melan last year. Before then, he had a strong four-fight winning streak in the promotion.

Pereira is appearing in the promotion for the first time. His last fight was in 2019, where he lost to Kiefer Crosbie on a Bellator card.

Bout 13: Daniel Skibinski (18-6) vs. Justin Burnlinson (6-1) (Welterweight)

Both fighting to get back into the win column, welterweights Daniel Skibinski and Justin Burlinson will compete in Friday’s main event.

Skibinski has the experience advantage on his side, having fought more than 25 times since debuting in 2013. He most notably had a long winning streak from 2016 to 2021. He took a loss in his last fight, getting stopped in 45 seconds by Tahir Abdullaev on a UAE Warriors card.

Burnlinson will be fighting to come back from his sole loss as a pro. He took this defeat on “Dana White’s Contender Series” last year, suffering a stoppage loss to Yohan Lainesse. Before then he won two fights in Bellator and a 2021 appearance in Cage Warriors.

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