Cage Warriors makes its way to Rome this weekend where a new Bantamweight champion will be crowned. Following the vacating of the title from former champ Michele Martignoni in October, every bantamweight in Cage Warriors was putting their name forward vying to fight for the title.
Cage Warriors to Crown Bantamweight Champ at CW 154
The Main Event
Dylan Hazan was among the list of those vying for a title shot, with the Italian hoping to win the belt on home soil in what would be his 5th Cage Warriors fight. With his time in the promotion, Hazan is 4-0 and 9-0 professionally. Hazan has looked to be a step above the competition so far in his career with wins over established Cage Warriors athletes including Josh Reed, Raymison Bruno and Scott Malone. He will be looking to extend the win streak even further with a victory on Saturday night.
His opponent, Caolan Loughran, will be hoping to spoil the party in any way he can. After an impressive amateur career where he established a record of 8-2, the Irishman made his way into the pro ranks in 2019. Since then, he has managed to go seven fights unbeaten as a pro having picked up an impressive win over Luke Shanks at his last outing at Cage Warriors 145. Powerfully built, the Irishman will be looking to cause a major upset for the fans in attendance by beating their countryman Hazan in order to claim the gold.
For years now, a title in Cage Warriors has meant a very probable call up to the world’s biggest fighting organization and both Hazan and Loughran will be hoping for the tradition to continue.
Main Card Preview
Carlo Pedersoli Jr vs Giannis Bachar
Fellow Italian Carlo Pedersoli Jr. will take his place in the co main event. The welterweight has fought in some of the biggest organizations on the planet including the UFC and Bellator and in that time has managed to accumulate an impressive record of 14-4. After losing his lone Bellator fight back in 2020, Pedersoli Jr. has amassed a three fight win streak which is the best form of his career since 2018. Previous wins over UFC alumni such as Bradley Scott as well as former Cage Warriors champion and current UFC fighter Nicolas Dalby prove that Pedersoli possesses a solid skillset and is capable of mixing it up with Europe’s top talent. A win over Bachar would place him on a comfortable four fight win streak and possibly in with a shot of making his way into the Cage Warriors title picture sooner rather than later.
His opponent is Greek fighter Giannis Bachar. Bachar is riding a six fight win streak heading into this fight and his most notable win has come against established welterweight Tahar Hadbi. This will definitely be the biggest fight of Bachar’s career and Pedersoli Jr. will be the toughest opponent that he has faced so far. A win over Pedersoli and a seven fight win streak to boot will leave him in an excellent position and would truly establish him as one of the top welterweights on the continent.
Leon Aliu vs Darren Stewart
Leon Aliu will look to make a statement by picking up a dominant win against UFC veteran Darren Stewart. A victory over James Webb gifted Aliu an opportunity to appear on Dana White’s Contender Series where he would come up short against undefeated prospect and current UFC middleweight Bruno Ferreira. Looking to rebound quickly after the disappointment of missing out on a UFC contract, Aliu will be doing his utmost to put on an excellent performance in the hopes that it would catch the attention of Dana White.
Stewart is a veteran of the UFC with 14 fights in the organization. A record of 5-8 with 2 no contests shows that while Stewart was certainly not a world beater, he was more than capable of holding his own in the premier organization. Stewart has shared the Octagon with the likes of Edmen Shahbazyan, Kevin Holland, Eryk Anders and Dustin Jacoby. A win over Stewart would certainly show that Aliu is more than ready for UFC level competition.
Tanio Pagliariccio vs Gerardo Fanny
Of course another Italian on the main card (when in Rome after all), Tanio Pagliariccio is ready to continue his good run of form and extend his winning streak to three fights. Picking up an impressive win over Benoit Blanc in his last contest, the Italian will be looking to make his name with a win tonight. Wins over the aforementioned Benoit Blanc and Marco Manovali show that Tanio is the real deal and more than capable of causing some damage on Saturday night.
His opponent is the hard hitting Gerardo Fanny. The ex-bantamweight will be looking to get back in the win column with his last fight in Cage Warriors ending in a defeat to Aaron Aby. Currently 2-2 with the promotion and 12-3 overall, Fanny will be hoping that his impressive power will transfer over to the flyweight division where he will attempt to generate some momentum rather than trading wins and losses.
Simone Patrizi vs Ermil Xhaferi
The main card will be opened up by Simone Patrizi taking on Ermil Xhaferi. Both are making their Cage Warriors debut and both are exciting young lightweights with impressive records looking to make a statement. Opening the main card will provide them an excellent opportunity to do just that.