Cage Warriors 173 Main Event Breakdown

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The first Friday night in the month of June is a jam-packed one. No matter if it’s in Bangkok with ONE Championship or in San Diego, CA with Cage Warriors, competitive violence is on the menu on the sixth month’s seventh night. It should be on your viewing menu, also.

Friday, UK-based Cage Warriors heads to its American home base of San Diego for Cage Warriors 173. It’s Graham Boylan‘s promotion’s one and only card in the month of June. After this weekend, Cage Warriors will not be back in action again until Saturday, July 20 in London for Cage Warriors 174. More on that event when the time comes.

Live coverage of Cage Warriors 173 from the Sycuan Resort and Casino will, as always, be seen gavel-to-gavel around the world on UFC Fight Pass, beginning at 9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT. Absent of any canceled and/or postponed fights between now and the end of this week, the final version of Cage Warriors 173 will feature 10 bouts.

Featherweights Go To Battle in Cage Warriors 173 Main Event

Highlighting the night’s itinerary this week is a nontitle affair at featherweight in the Cage Warriors 173 main event. UFC veteran Wilson Reis (28-13 MMA, 3-1 CWFC) makes his 42nd career MMA appearance as a professional when he takes on 14-fight veteran Bruno Souza (11-3 MMA, CWFC promotional debut), himself a UFC veteran.

With no championship at stake on Friday night, the Cage Warriors 173 main event is an advertised three rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.

Cage Warriors 173 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the Cage Warriors 173 main event on Friday night, Bruno Souza stands as the taller contestant at 5-foot-10, compared to the 5-foot-4 frame of Wilson Reis. Souza also owns a five-inch reach advantage (70 inches to 65 inches) over Reis going into this weekend’s bout.

Currently, the oddsmakers have Bruno Souza installed as a -135 favorite on the money line, while Wilson Reis counters as a +105 underdog.  If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening over the weekend, please wager responsibly.

Reis Looking to Build Off Submission Win from February

Wilson Reis enters the Cage Warriors 173 main event with a record of 4-1 in his last five fights. Back on Feb. 23, he submitted Toby Misech (12-9 MMA, 0-2 CWFC) by arm-triangle choke in the first round of their fight during Cage Warriors 166 in San Diego.

After the fight, the alumnus of the UFC and Bellator MMA sat down with Edith LaBelle.

“Man, it’s so amazing. He was throwing so much heat,” Reis said of Misech. “We were ready for that. He’s a Hawaiian gangster, good knockout power, especially in the first round. He says ‘We can’t make a mistake in the first round [or]  we’re going to sleep. I know I train every day, man, but you know I always go for my jiu-jitsu, I work on my boxing every day, and they landed.”

How will Wilson Reis fare this time out? Tune into the Cage Warriors 173 main event and find out.

Bruno Souza Makes Short Trip for Cage Warriors 173 Main Event and Returns to Featherweight

In the other corner, fellow UFC alum Bruno Souza has posted a record of 3-2 in his last five MMA fights. A veteran of the LFA and Karate Combat, he last appeared in the cage on Sept. 2 of last year during the Labor Day weekend.

That Saturday night, he scored a unanimous decision after three rounds over Teruto Ishihara (13-12-3 MMA) on A1 Combat 14 on UFC Fight Pass from Los Angeles. While both Wilson Reis and Bruno Souza were born in Brazil, the headliner on Friday is as close to a “home game” as Bruno Souza can get.

Souza’s camp is based out of Tinseltown, meaning that he and his teammates will only need to make (roughly) a 120-mile drive from LA to San Diego to make the walk. Fighting in one’s own geographic region is a boon for any competitor.

At the same time, Friday’s headlining bout is his first MMA appearance at 145 lbs. since his second and last UFC bout in March of 2022 in Columbus, OH at Nationwide Arena. How will switching back to featherweight affect him as the Cage Warriors 173 main event nears?

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Friday’s Cage Warriors 173 main event looks to favor Wilson Reis, a prolific submission specialist, compared to Bruno Souza’s background as a karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter.

Look for Reis to Take Souza to the Mat

Given that Wilson Reis has scored 13 of his 28 career wins by way of submission, it stands to reason that his fight against Souza on Friday could also go to the mat. His last fight vs. Misech resulted in a submission.

Upon landing a crisp punch to the head in round two, Reis immediately pounced on Misech with ground and pound shots before transitioning to a head and arm choke, applying the torque to lock up the submission in under three minutes. If Wilson knocks or takes Souza down, the Cage Warriors 173 main event is a wrap.

Souza Can Exhaust Anybody

In the other corner, Bruno Souza has been known to make his adversaries dog-tired. Just look at the tape of his last fight vs. Ishihara. While Souza made an effort to finish him with a rear-naked choke during the third and final round, Ishihara bettered himself and eventually got back to his feet.

Despite Ishihara landing crisp punches later in round three, Souza landed punches to the head during the contest and stalked Ishihara as the round closed. Souza can seize control of the match in the Cage Warriors 173 main event if he gets out in front and disturbs Reis’ plan of attack.

Final Thoughts

Even though there won’t be any championship on the line this Friday, the Cage Warriors 173 main event won’t be short on entertainment. If you don’t have plans for Friday night, you do now.

Prediction: Bruno Souza by Unanimous Decision. 

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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.