While this fourth weekend in November has a light schedule of events in MMA, it isn’t light on action. Between Friday and Saturday night, there are eight total championship fights to be held across the PFL and Cage Warriors.
The Graham Boylan-owned promotion gives out two belts this Saturday. Newcastle is the setting for Cage Warriors 164. It’ll be another MMA matinee for the North American audience.
The battle for the Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight Championship between Andy Clamp (12-2, 1 NC MMA, 1-1 CWFC) and Matthew Byfield (6-1, 1 NC MMA, 3-0, 1 NC CWFC) was scrubbed prior to the card amid the latter having to withdraw from Saturday’s event.
Rather than find a new opponent for Clamp on short notice, Cage Warriors instead decided to keep the Clamp/Byfield pairing intact and save it for a later date.
“The situation is that Byfield’s earned a title shot, Clamp’s earned a title shot,” said Brad Wharton, blow-by-blow commentator for Cage Warriors. “Cage Warriors wanted to make that happen, and I think the situation was Clamp was offered a nontitle fight, which didn’t really make sense for him.”
❌ MATTY BYFIELD vs ANDY CLAMP HAS BEEN CANCELLED! ❌
🎙️Cage Warriors own Brad Wharton breaks the news during the #CW164 preview on our latest episode!
— Violent Money TV (@ViolentMoneyTV) November 20, 2023
Championship Doubleheader Begins at Bantamweight
In spite of this cancellation, what’s now a championship doubleheader tops the show. Your Cage Warriors 164 main event sees the Vacant Cage Warriors Bantamweight Championship at stake.
Either Liam Gittins (11-4 MMA, 8-4 CWFC) or Reece McEwan (7-1 MMA, 4-0 CWFC) will walk out of Cage Warriors 164 as the new champ. The winner succeeds Caolan Loughran (8-1 MMA, 4-0 CWFC) who relinquished the 135-lb. strap upon joining the UFC’s active roster late this past summer.
As with all title fights, the co-main event is an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.
Cage Warriors 164 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the Cage Warriors 164 co-main event on Saturday night, Reece McEwan stands as the taller man at 5-foot-7, with Liam Gittins standing 5-foot-6. No reach information was accessible at press time.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the oddsmakers have this fight listed as a pick-’em. Both fighters are -115 favorites on the money line. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Liam Gittins Moves Down From Featherweight Ahead of Cage Warriors 164 Main Event
Gittins has posted a mark of 4-1 in his last five fights. At the present time, he is on a four-fight winning streak.
Back in July, he stopped Janne Elonen-Kulmala (17-12-1, 1 NC MMA, 0-1 CWFC) in the first round with elbow strikes during Cage Warriors 157. Three out of his most recent four wins have come by knockout, all of them happening inside the first round.
The Cage Warriors 164 main event provides a different challenge for Gittins. Ordinarily competing at featherweight, he’s making the 10-lb. weight cut for Saturday night’s bout.
It’s the first time that he’s fought at 135 lbs. since Cage Warriors 135 in April of 2022. That night, he battled Edward Walls (12-8 MMA, 0-3 CWFC) to a decision after three rounds, coming out on top via the scorecards.
Is Reece McEwan UFC-Ready?
In the other corner, McEwan has gone 4-1 in his last five fights. Currently, he’s on a four-fight winning streak.
Much like Gittins, McEwan also has not fought since July. On July 1, he stopped Leonardo de Oliveira (9-6 MMA, 0-1 CWFC) in the second round by way of knockout.
Recently, McEwan talked with Combat Sports UK about appearing on this card, even if it wasn’t the one he wanted.
“I tell you what, I could have easily fought on this card”, McEwan said of the promotion’s event in Manchester on Sept. 29. “I could have 100 percent pushed for this card, but I was told ‘They want a fight in Newcastle.’
He’s a guy hungry for a title shot. If he plays his cards right, McEwan could not only win a championship but also find himself in the UFC. A win here would give him five in a row.
To that extent, Gittins is also possibly one win away from a UFC deal. With no Fight Night this weekend, Dana White could be watching the Cage Warriors 164 co-main event and find new talent with either of these two men.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
It looks like fight fans a scrap in the Cage Warriors 164 main event on Saturday night. Both fighters can bring the fireworks to the cage when needed.
Look Out for Gittins’ Elbows
In looking at the tape of Liam Gittins’ fight vs. Elonen-Kulmala from July, he can slice any opponent open with vicious elbow strikes.
Both Gittins and Elonen-Kulmala pushed the action forward in the opening round, yet the former landed a crisp punch to knock the latter down. Smelling blood in the water, Gittins kept Elonen-Kulmala down, pinning him until he unloaded with a barrage of elbows to score the knockout.
McEwan Also Fierce on the Ground
In the other corner, Reece McEwan has an impressive ground game of his own. One need look no further than round two of his fight against Leonardo de Oliveira from July 1.
Upon gaining better positioning, McEwan grappled with de Oliveira, eventually softening him up with ground and pound. McEwan did not allow de Oliveira any sort of a chance to improve his chances.
The slow, metered approach worked out great for him and a surge of ground and pound shots spelled disaster for de Oliveira..
With no other MMA action on the slate this Saturday, you have no reason to miss the Cage Warriors 164 main event. If you turn on your device and watch, you might end up seeing the next UFC signing in action.
Prediction: Reece McEwan by Unanimous Decision.
Live coverage of Cage Warriors 164 begins at 1:30 pm ET/ 10:30 am PT with the undercard on UFC Fight Pass. Main card action follows at 4 pm ET/ 1 pm PT on the subscription-based platform.
All told, Cage Warriors 164 features 17 total contests, absent of any further late postponements between now and Saturday.