Cage Warriors returns to Rome, Italy for an action-packed Cage Warriors 154 card airing live from Fiera Roma. The main event will pit Rome’s very own Dylan Hazan against Caolan Loughran for the Cage Warriors bantamweight championship.
Fight fans can catch Cage Warriors 154 streaming live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT for the prelims with the main card getting underway at 3 p.m. ET / Noon PT.
Vacant Bantamweight Championship – Hazan vs. Loughran
Cage Warriors is back in Rome for the first time since October, but while the bantamweight championship will once again be up for grabs, Michele Martignoni will not be vying for it. The former champion vacated the belt to challenge for the 125-pound title with the potential to add another championship to his collection at a to-be-determined date. Instead, it will be another local favorite in Hazan putting his undefeated record on the line against Ireland’s Loughran with Cage Warriors gold on the line.
Hazan fought and won at the last Cage Warriors Rome event when he defeated countryman Jefferson De Filippis by way of first-round ground and pound. Hazan has impressed at 135 and 125 pounds, but should have his hands full with Loughran, the latest in a long line of impressive Irish prospects to come out of Cage Warriors. Like Hazan, Loughran is also unbeaten in his pro career and earned a statement win in his last outing when he finished Luke Shanks inside of two rounds. The matchup with Hazan could depend on which fighter is able to better maintain a five-round pace. Both are proven finishers, particularly when the fight hits the mat, so there should be little margin for error for both corners.
Co-Main Event – Stewart vs. Aliu
The second fight from the top features the return of Darren Stewart. The hard-hitting middleweight will fight in Cage Warriors for a third time since getting cut by the UFC following a 14-fight stint. The British knockout artist actually fought one of those fights under the Cage Warriors banner while still technically counting as a UFC bout. He is coming off the roughest stretch of his career, having dropped five of his last seven, though he was able to get off the schnide with a first-round knockout of Guilherme Cadena on New Year’s Eve 2022.
The heavy-handed Stewart will do battle with Italian prospect Aliu, who unsuccessfully challenged for a UFC contract on the most recent season of Dana White’s Contender Series. The Italian is set to return eight months later, and could find a grappling path against Stewart, who has been submitted or controlled in eight of his nine defeats. Aliu’s Contender Series defeat has also aged somewhat positively, as Bruno Ferreira went on to knock out Gregory Rodrigues in the UFC’s return to Brazil earlier this year.
Rest of the Card
Carlo Pedersoli Jr., another local favorite, is also scheduled for action against Giannis Bachar at 170 pounds. Pedersoli Jr. has amassed a three-fight win streak since coming to Cage Warriors from Bellator, and owns wins over fellow UFC alumni such as Bradley Scott and former Cage Warriors champion and current UFC mainstay Nicolas Dalby. Bachar, meanwhile, is looking to extend his winning streak to seven.
Gerardo Fanny, meanwhile, will take on Tanio Pagliariccio in the flyweight division earlier on the main card. Of the thirty fighters stepping on the scales, only Fanny needed the additional two-hour window to make weight, though he eventually did so successfully. Ermil Xhaferi will open the main card against Simone Patrizi at lightweight. Both fighters are making their Cage Warriors debuts.
The prelims will feature a host of hungry young prospects looking to make a name for themselves in Cage Warriors. One fighter to watch will surely be 3-0 Italian prospect Edoardo Caiazza. Caiazza has bounced between 155 and 145 pounds, and will be returning to the featherweight division for his promotional debut against 2-0 Finnish prospect Marko Sarasjärvi. Another name to watch will be Baris Adiguzel out of Boxing Squad in France. “The Problem” similarly owns three first round finishes in three wins and likewise will be debuting in Cage Warriors against 2-0 Italian Luca Borando.
Cage Warriors 154: Rome Results
Caolan Loughran def. Dylan Hazan via Knockout (Right hook and punches) at 1:44 of Round 2 — For the Vacant Cage Warriors Bantamweight Championship
Darren Stewart def. Leon Aliu via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Giannis Bachar def. Carlo Pedersoli Jr. via TKO (strikes) 2:12 of Round 3
Gerardo Fanny def. Tanio Pagliariccio via TKO (Retirement) at 5:00 of Round 2
Simone Patrizi def. Ermil Xhaferi via Knockout (Right hook and punches) at 1:23 of Round 3
Khadim Dia def. Milton Cabral via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Enrico Di Gangi def. Alessandro Giordano via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Francesco Mazzeo def. Joan Arastey via TKO (Injury) at :59 of Round 1
Sam Creasey def. Michelangelo Lupoli via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Marko Sarasjärvi def. Edoardo Caiazza via Submission (Standing RNC) at 1:35 of Round 1
Dario Bellandi def. Daniel Karlsson via Submission (RNC) at 3:30 of Round 1
Andrey Tyshchenko def. Yoga Prabowo via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Jasmine Favero def. Izabela Walczak via TKO (strikes) at 4:13 of Round 1
Luca Borando def. Baris Adiguzel via TKO (strikes) at :52 of Round 3
Cornellius “RJ” Aritonang def. Gianluca Ancora via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)