Cage Warriors 166 Main Event Breakdown

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The United Kingdom’s top MMA promotion is back to begin its 2024 schedule of events. This Friday, a little more than two months removed from its last show of the old year, Cage Warriors kicks off the new year in the same venue where its 2023 finale was held. San Diego is the host city for Cage Warriors 166 and the Cage Warriors 166 main event of the evening.

Sycuan Resort and Casino, a venue that’s held all of Cage Warriors’ shows in San Diego since the promotion first expanded to the San Diego area in 2021, serves as the arena for a packed Friday night of fights. As always, Cage Warriors 166 is streamed live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 9:15 pm ET/ 6:15 pm PT.

Featherweight Showcase Gets Main Event Spotlight

All told, absent of any late cancellations in the final days leading up to the show, the final version of Cage Warriors 166 is set to feature 11 MMA bouts. At the top of the bill is action from the featherweight division.

UFC and Bellator MMA alum Wilson Reis (27-13 MMA, 2-2 CWFC) makes his 41st career appearance when he takes on fellow Bellator graduate Toby Misech (12-8 MMA, 0-1 CWFC), who will be entering the cage for the second time in Graham Boylan‘s promotion. With no championship at stake, the Cage Warriors 166 main event is an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to cap the night’s itinerary.

Cage Warriors 166 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the Cage Warriors 166 main event on Friday night, Toby Misech stands as the taller contender at 5-foot-8, compared to the 5-foot-4 frame of Wilson Reis. Misech owns a three-inch reach advantage (68 inches to 65 inches) over Reis.

Currently, the oddsmakers have Toby Misech installed as a -350 favorite on the money line, with Wilson Reis countering as a +250 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.

Reis Switches to Featherweight for Cage Warriors 166 Main Event

Wilson Reis enters the Cage Warriors 166 main event on Friday night having gone 3-2 in his last five fights. Most recently, he sustained a split decision defeat to Trevin Jones (14-11 MMA, 1-1 CWFC) on Sept. 8 in San Diego during Cage Warriors 159.

Upon having a scheduled fight in December against Ricky Bandejas (15-8, 1 NC MMA) postponed due to missing weight, Reis moves up to featherweight for Friday’s card. He talked to MMA Unhinged about the move, saying that it was born out of necessity.

“I had a hard time making the weight,” Reis said. “You know, I’d been making weight like, for forever. The last time I missed weight, it was 11 years ago, and it was like the body shut down. I stopped losing weight when I hit 138 lbs., and I was supposed to be 136. Just because [of] what I experienced cutting weight. It was scary. Anything can happen. You could get sick, you know? I feel like there’s no point for me doing that these days, so I went up to 145. I feel very healthy, very strong going up to 145.”

With Reis having a cleaner bill of health in recent times, can he get back in the win column during his featherweight debut? Tune into the Cage Warriors 166 main event and find out.

Toby Misech Looks to Rebound on Friday

In the other corner, Toby Misech has posted a mark of 3-2 in his last five fights. Much like his opponent, Misech also fought on Sept. 8 during Cage Warriors 159, getting knocked out in the second round by Roberto Hernandez (9-1 MMA, 7-0 CWFC) with body shots.

It’s been a long while since Toby Misech has had any sort of sustained success inside the cage. To find his last sustained winning streak, you’d need to travel back in time to between November of 2014 and July of 2015, when he won three fights in succession.

Beyond that, he enjoyed a two-fight winning streak between December of 2019 and July of 2022, with stopovers in bare-knuckle boxing in-between cage fights. At 35 years of age, Toby Misech could be headed for his last ride as a combat athlete.

A victory in the Cage Warriors 166 main event this weekend would be paramount to ensuring that the ride gets off to a smooth start.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

This one is a strength vs. strength matchup. Which one of these men will win the day?

Reis Slick with Subs

Wilson Reis is a great ground fighter, having won 12 fights via submission in his career, including his contest against Hector Sandoval at UFC 201 in 2016.

During the opening round of a scheduled three, Reis landed a takedown and immediately took Sandoval’s back. It took three takedowns to find one that stuck for Reis, locking up Sandoval’s jaw and forcing him to tap and nap inside two minutes.

If Wilson Reis shoots for a takedown in the Cage Warriors 166 main event, this could give him the opening he needs to finish with a submission.

Toby Misech Has One-Punch Power

In the other corner, Toby Misech has the skills needed to end the Cage Warriors 166 main event with one single blow. Erik Perez found this out firsthand in December of 2019 in Hawaii.

With the original headlining bout of Bellator 235 cancelled after Josh Barnett suffered an illness, Misech and Perez were elevated to main event status during the show that night. The change in status didn’t phase Misech, who uncorked a single left-handed punch to sit Perez down. A burst of ground shots wrote an ending to the story inside the fight’s opening minute of action.

As long as Toby Misech lands the first shot and seizes control of the main event, he’s got a decent shot at coming away with the win.

Final Thoughts

Two experienced veterans will lock horns in California on Friday night in the Cage Warriors 166 main event. If you don’t have plans for Friday, you do now.

Prediction: Wilson Reis by Second-Round Submission. 

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.

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