Cage Warriors 170: A Night To Remember For Irish MMA

Cage Warriors 170: A Night To Remember For Irish MMA

Cage Warriors 170 was a great night for MMA in general and for Irish MMA in particular.

Of the 14 fights on the card, 11 ended in a finish. There were 14 Irish fighters, one in each fight, and 12 of them won. A new Welterweight Champion was crowned and we got to see Paul Hughes in his last fight for Cage Warriors. Depending on which promotion he signs for, it could be a while before we see him fight in Ireland again.

There were thrilling fights, impressive performances from hot young prospects and a great atmosphere from a partisan crowd that vocally backed all the Irish fighters.

The RDS in Dublin is an excellent venue for a Cage Warriors event. There is nothing fancy about it, but it works really well. It has the feel of a big warehouse with an Octagon in the middle and seating around it. The crowd is close to the cage and most were in place from the early prelims onwards.

This is a breakdown of the Cage Warriors 170 fight card in chronological order.

Jamie Abbott-Bissett vs Paweล‚ Jezierski

Both fighters made their professional debut in the Flyweight match-up that opened the card. The 24-year-old Jamie Abbott-Bissett dominated from the start and looked impressive both on the ground and on his feet. He won by a second round TKO after overwhelming Jezierski with a barrage of punches.

This was a great start to the night and a promising start to Jamie Abbott-Bissett’s professional career. From his debut performance, it looks as though he could become a problem for the Cage Warriors Flyweight division.

Jennifer Trioreau vs Sinรฉadh Nรญ Nuallรกin

Both fighters entered this bout looking for their first professional win. Jennifer Trioreau, from France, was 0-4 and Sinรฉadh Nรญ Nuallรกin was 0-1 going into this fight. For her first fight in nearly two years, Trioreau was much better than her record suggests. She deservedly won the fight by a points decision.

Matthew Elliott vs Valentino Riva

This Featherweight fight was the 24-year-old Matthew Elliott’s first since his split decision loss to Ryan Shelley in 2022. He gave a very dominant and impressive performance. Elliott won by a submission from an arm triangle choke early into the second round.

Dara Ward vs Ben Petches-Kelly

The 21-year-old Dara Ward made his Cage Warriors debut in this Welterweight fight. He came into it with a reputation as a very promising prospect. He left the fight with his reputation enhanced even further.

Dara Ward won by rear naked choke after only 2:44 of the first round. He dominated from the start, showed his strength by taking Petches-Kelly down and used his excellent grappling skills to secure the victory. The future is very bright for Dara Ward.

Ciaran Brady vs Tomasz Zdanowski

Ciaran Brady made his pro debut at Cage Warriors 170. The 29-year-old Bantamweight was another impressive Irish performer. He took the fight to the ground at every opportunity and won by way of submission from a rear naked choke in the second round. Ciaran Brady is certainly another fighter to keep an eye on.

Eimear Darcy vs Jenny Line

Eimear Darcy, 29, made her professional debut in this Women’s Flyweight fight. She dominated from the start using her boxing skills and breaking Line down with some heavy body shots. Darcy was the much stronger fighter and easily brushed aside her opponent’s takedown attempts. Line went down from a body shot and received several more punches while on the ground, leading to the referee stopping the fight after 0:58 of the first round.

Although this was a very one-sided fight, we saw enough of Eimear Darcy to suggest she is another promising prospect. It would be interesting to see her in a more competitive match-up for her next fight.

Ryan Shelley vs Kallum Parker

After two consecutive losses, Ryan Shelley, 27, came into this Featherweight fight looking to get back to winning ways. His opponent, Kallum Parker, put up a great performance at short notice against Luke Riley last year in a fight that was voted the second best fight of 2023 in the Cage Warriors end of year awards.

The scores were level after two rounds, but Shelley finished the fight very strongly and dominated the third round. He won the fight against a tough and tricky opponent by unanimous decision. Overall, it was a good performance by Ryan Shelley and an important win for him.

Scott Harvey vs Enrico Di Gangi

The 30-year-old Scott Harvey made his promotional debut at Cage Warriors 170. He came into this fight with a professional record of 3-0. After a tough and gruelling fight, Harvey won by unanimous decision and extended his record to 4-0.

Solomon Simon vs Ieuan Mackenzie

Both of these fighters came into Cage Warriors 170 as promising prospects with identical professional records of 3-0. Solomon Simon, 28, showed that he is a very good all-rounder. He dropped Mackenzie with a right hand in the first round and won the fight by submission from a rear naked choke with one second left in round two.

Simon proved himself against a good quality opponent and it will be interesting to see how his career continues to progress. He is definitely another excellent prospect to keep an eye on.

Rory Evans vs Taka Mhandu

The first main card fight of the evening saw Rory Evans face Taka Mhandu in the Bantamweight division. Evans dominated the fight and won by second round stoppage after unleashing some heavy ground and pound punches against Mhandu. This was only the second loss in Cage Warriors 170 for an Irish fighter.

Decky McAleenan vs Ville Mankinen

In a classic striker versus grappler match-up, Mankinen was able to keep most of the first round and the start of the second round on the ground, where he dominated. Once the fighters were back on their feet though, McAleenan connected with a series of vicious punches, elbows and knees, which resulted in the referee stopping the fight.

This was a great comeback victory for the 32-year-old Decky McAleenan, even more so when it was later revealed that he had broken his arm at the start of the second round.

Ger Harris vs Gregory Wamytan

In this Flyweight match-up, another promising Irish prospect Ger Harris, 25, looked to further enhance his reputation. This fight was almost exclusively on the ground, with Wamytan largely dominating. Harris was able to turn things around though and won by submission from a guillotine choke after 3:32 of the second round.

Ger Harris showed a lot of character in this fight and secured a great comeback win. He is now on a three-fight win streak, the last two of which were in Cage Warriors. He is making a lot of progress in his career and is another one to keep an eye on.

Paul Hughes vs Fabiano Silva

For the co-main event, Paul Hughes was making his last appearance in Cage Warriors before becoming the most sought after free agent in MMA anywhere in the world. It may also be his last fight in Ireland for a while. The pressure was on him to win impressively in this 160 lb Catchweight fight to make sure his stock didn’t drop.

He was up against a tricky opponent, so it wouldn’t necessarily be an easy fight. Fabiano Silva was a tough 36-year-old Brazilian with 50 professional fights under his belt.

Paul Hughes made it look easy though, showing exactly why he is so highly rated. The 27-year-old won by first round stoppage with a dominant performance.

If the UFC fail to secure Paul Hughes to their promotion, it would be really negligent on their part. He has the potential to become a huge star and a world champion.

James Sheehan vs Daniel Konrad

The main event of the evening at Cage Warriors 170 was the Welterweight title fight between James Sheehan and Daniel Konrad.

The 28-year-old Sheehan has been with Cage Warriors since 2019 and was fighting for the title for the first time. Konrad, on the other hand, was making his Cage Warriors debut. He was previously the Welterweight Champion in the Austrian promotion, Cage Fight Series.

Daniel Konrad started the fight well. He is strong with a powerful punch and cut Sheehan above the eye in the first round. As the fight went on though, Sheehan proved to be much more controlled and accurate with his punching. He also had much better stamina. Konrad became wilder with his punches as the fight wore on and was visibly tired from the second round onwards.

Cheered on by a partisan home crowd, James Sheehan gradually wore Konrad down, although he was very tough and took some finishing off. The fight was a war, but eventually Sheehan got the finish in the fourth round with a submission from an arm triangle choke.

Covered in blood from the cut sustained in the first round, James Sheehan was now the Cage Warriors Welterweight Champion. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here.

Overall

Cage Warriors 170 at the RDS in Dublin was a great fight card. It was really entertaining and exciting from start to finish, helped on by a great atmosphere.

It highlighted the amount of growing talent in Irish MMA, which is in a really good place right now. We should all enjoy the ride and see how far these hot young prospects can go.

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