One current champion, one former champion, one former title challenger, and one prolific finisher head to Dublin looking to stake their claim for the next shot at the Cage Warriors lightweight title.

Cage Warriors featherweight champion Paul Hughes can perhaps count himself unlucky not to have been given a shot at the UFC, but the Northern Irishman isn’t resting on his laurels as he awaits his call-up to the global stage.

Hughes, defeated France’s Morgan Charriere to capture the interim title at Cage Warriors 128 in 2021, then dethroned England’s Jordan Vucenic England’s Jordan Vucenic to capture the full title last November at Cage Warriors 145.

And, despite seeing Charriere head to the big stage with the UFC, Hughes remains with Cage Warriors, and plans to build an undeniable case for a UFC call by becoming a two-division champion.

Hughes has moved up to 155 pounds, and faces Belgian knockout artist Jan Quaeyhaegens in the main event of Cage Warriors 161, which takes place at the RDS in Dublin, Ireland, on October 14. The event streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

The bout offers a chance for Hughes to blast himself straight into championship contention, and a possible bout with reigning 155-pound champion George Hardwick in what would be a bonafide superfight for the promotion.

Quaeyhaegens also has his sights set on a Cage Warriors title shot. He arrives in Dublin on a five-fight win streak,  and will look to extend his remarkable 100 percent finish rate with a stoppage win over the Cage Warriors 145-pound king.

The co-main event also carries serious championship implications at 155 pounds, as former two-division champion Mason Jones takes on the last man to challenge Hardwick for the lightweight crown, Luxembourg’s Yann Liasse.

Jones captured Cage Warriors titles at 155 and 170 pounds before making the move up to the UFC. But now he’s back in the famous yellow gloves, and looking to make a beeline towards the lightweight belt he never lost inside the cage.

Liasse, meanwhile, will be keen to re-establish his championship credentials after his first-round TKO defeat at the hands of Hardwick back at Cage Warriors 152 in April.

Cage Warriors 161: Official fight card


  • Paul Hughes vs. Jan Quaeyhaegens
  • Mason Jones vs. Yann Liasse
  • Ryan Shelley vs. Jordy Bakkes
  • James Sheehan vs. Olli Santalahti
  • Leon Hill vs. Ieuan Davies


  • Paddy McCorry vs. Samir Kadi
  • Taka Mhandu vs. Alexander Sacha Pirev
  • Ger Harris vs. Ryan Hewitt
  • Sean Clancy Jr vs. Milton Cabral
  • Solomon Simon vs. Marko Sarasjarvi
  • Michael Quinn vs. Nik Bagley