Cage Warriors are back in the UK with a nine-fight card in Cardiff, Wales set to kick off MMA’s month of July.
Saturday, July 1 will see the Vale Sports Arena play host to Cage Warriors 156 as former middleweight champion Matt “The Beast” Bonner takes on former UFC veteran Darren “The Dentist” Stewart in a crucial clash in the promotion’s 185-pound division.
The matchup could well decide the next challenger for the Cage Warriors middleweight title, with the belt set to be contested at Cage Warriors 157 in London three weeks later, with champion Mick Stanton set to face former champ James Webb at the Indigo at The O2. But in Cardiff, Bonner and Stewart have the chance to stake their claim to face the winner.
For former middleweight champion Bonner, it’s an opportunity to earn a shot at the belt he first won during his stellar run of form during the pandemic. However, he lost the belt to Djati Melan in his first title defense, and “The Beast” made the transition down to welterweight in search of a title in a second weight class.
Now Bonner is back at middleweight and, with back-to-back first-round TKOs in his last two outings, he is ready to make another run at 185 pounds.
Stewart, meanwhile, is chasing his first Cage Warriors title opportunity and is riding a two-fight win streak of his own, with a first-round finish of Guilherme Cadena followed by a decision win over Leon Aliu. His last defeat came to the man currently holding the belt, Stanton, and the prospect of a rematch, and the chance of revenge, is sure to be a strong motivation as Stewart faces Bonner this weekend.
It was originally planned for former UFC lightweight and former two-weight Cage Warriors champion Mason “The Dragon” Jones to headline the card in Cardiff, but after finding it tricky to match the Welshman with a suitable opponent, Jones’ return to the promotion has been pushed back until later this summer.
The co-main event will feature Scottish bantamweight contender Reece McEwan against who takes on Brazil’s Leonardo de Oliveira, while English light heavyweight Andy Clamp takes on undefeated Dutchman Ghassan Abdenabi.
The card also features the final three members of the MMA Fight Academy team looking to earn spots on the fledgling team’s San Diego-based fighter roster. English featherweight Jimmy Quinn, a former professional dancer with Britain’s Got Talent winners “Diversity” will make his professional debut against Dan Kneil to open up the main card, while UK-based Afghan fighter Milad Adady takes on Marcondes Bastos in a 145-pound preliminary card matchup. UK-based Moldovan prospect Marin Vetrila kicks off the prelims against El Hadji Ndiaye in a lightweight bout.
Cage Warriors 156: Confirmed fight card
- Matt Bonner vs. Darren Stewart
- Reece McEwan vs. Leonardo de Oliveira
- Andy Clamp vs. Ghassan Abdenabi
- Rory Evans vs. Jack Eglin
- Jimmy Quinn vs. Dan Kneil
- Scott Pedersen vs. Yohan Salvador
- Milad Ahady vs. Marcondes Bastos
- Stephanie Evans vs. Malgorzata Tkocz
- Marin Vetrila vs. El Hadji Ndiaye