Two of the hottest talents outside of the UFC and Bellator return to the cage in their home city tomorrow, as Cage Warriors 78 touches down in Liverpool, UK.
Next Generation teammates Chris Fishgold and Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett are at polar opposites when it comes to appearance and personality, but both Scousers are seemingly one win away from a call-up to the big leagues after dominating their respective weight classes.
Lightweight champion Fishgold, every inch a fighter with his shaven he’d and cauliflower ears, defends his world title against Frenchman Jason Ponet. While, Pimblett, 21, who looks more like a baby-faced schoolboy but fights like a grappling veteran, takes on Johnny Frachey for the CW featherweight world title. Both title belts were, of course, formerly owned by one Conor McGregor.
Fishgold (14-1-1) says: “It’s going to be a great night again and we are both really excited to get in there. We’ve done our camp side by side and been pushing one another every day. We both understand the importance of this Saturday night so you will only see the very best of us both in there.”
“The last time I fought in the ECHO Arena I’d say it was the best performance of my career,” the 26-year-old told the Liverpool Echo. “I beat somebody who went on to fight in the UFC, so it always brings out the best in me, being in my hometown with everyone there. I’m made up about it, it’s the most excited I’ve been for a fight in a while.
Meanwhle, ‘Liverpool Lip’ Pimblett (11-1) told FO magazine recently: “I’m a future UFC champion, the world already knows that. People have dubbed me the ‘Scouse Conor McGregor’ but make no mistake, he’s the ‘Irish Paddy Pimblett’. Once I get to the UFC people will be asking, ‘Conor who?’
“I’d smoke every featherweight in the UFC right now. And if I got the run McGregor has had I would have the same number of bonuses he has. And I include Chad (Mendes) in that statement. Put me in with Mendes now and I beat him every time. In fact put me in with McGregor now and I’ll beat him too.”
Tomorrow’s fight card will be broadcast live worldwide on UFC Fight Pass – and on BT Sport in the UK – and no doubt the top brass at UFC will be watching the two main events intensely with one eye on 2017’s line-up of EMEA fight cards.
Cage Warriors 78
CWFC Lightweight World Title:
Chris Fishgold (c) vs. Jason Ponet
Vacant CWFC Featherweight World Title:
Paddy Pimblett vs. Johnny Frachey
Lightweight: Tim Wilde vs. Mickael Lebout
Welterweight: Ali Arish vs. Mohsen Bahari
Middleweight: Leeroy Barnes vs. Victor Cheng
Catchweight (160lb): Jordan Miller vs. Ellis Hampson
Welterweight: James Lewis vs. Dez Parker
Welterweight: Alexandre Roumette vs. Dylan Mcloughlin
Catchweight (130lb): Sam Halliday vs. Sam Creasey