This past week in MMA gave a great look at the future of the sport. The Dana White Contender Series had Bo Nickal make his big stage debut. Bellator 284 had Pat Downey begin an MMA career as the next chapter of his redemption story.
All of that was well worth your attention as an MMA fan but you may have missed one other prospect worth your attention. Luke Riley fought at Cage Warrior this weekend and improved to 4-0 in his MMA career. He also has an amateur career record of 4-0 and all while just turning 23 this June.
Much like we have seen in the past, some prospects make their entire MMA career runs in major organizations. Bellator utilizes it a ton anymore to lock up top-level talent and for Riley, he is doing the same in Cage Warriors. All four of his pro bouts have come under the Cage Warriors banner. What is even more impressive is they have all come in just 10 months and we are already seeing such promise.
Now, Nickal and Downey have one added benefit to boost their ratings, top-level wrestling careers. Nickal was a three-time national champion during his time at Penn State. Downey never won a national championship at Iowa State but he did win a United States national championship in 2019.
Pat Downey’s entire pro debut.
He made it look easy- only 36 seconds#Bellator284
— MMA mania (@mmamania) August 12, 2022
For Luke Riley, he doesn’t have any national titles under his belt. What he possesses instead is legitimate boxing technique and awareness to finish his opponent in every bout he has had thus far. Not many fighters utilize work to the body but it seems time and again that Riley loves to go to it. This past weekend’s bout against Cheriff Larossi was proof of that.
𝗪𝗔𝗥𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚! 𝗕𝗲𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘁 ⚠️@LukeRileyMMA sure knows how to provide a devastating blow to his opponents 😳#CW142 🏴 pic.twitter.com/OfobEPqpEv
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) August 15, 2022
Training out of Next Generation MMA in Liverpool, Riley has shown that he is getting the right type of coaching during his crucial developmental years. Training alongside Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann also doesn’t hurt things either. Thanks to UFC Fight Pass keeping tabs on the young featherweight prospect. Odds are we will see him before the year is over but in the meantime do yourself a favor and check out the top-level boxing display he put on this weekend at Cage Warriors 142.
Signs point to Riley joining the limelight with his teammates sooner rather than later. The key is winning another fight impressively before the year ends. If he can do that then the world should be his oyster in 2023 and beyond.