Cage Warriors 171: The Long Awaited Return to Scotland

Cage Warriors 171: The Long Awaited Return to Scotland

Cage Warriors 171 saw the return of Europe’s leading MMA promotion to Scotland for the first time since 2013. With 12 Scottish fighters on the card, the crowd at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow certainly made up for lost time by providing a noisy and partisan atmosphere.

This is a breakdown of the Cage Warriors 171 fight card in chronological order.

Cornellius Aritonang vs Thomas Hepburn

Cornellius Aritonang made a great start to Cage Warriors 171 in his Featherweight clash with the Scottish Cage Warriors debutant, Thomas Hepburn. He made a fast start and won by first round submission from a rear naked choke after a little over a minute into the fight. Aritonang, age 22, is now 4-0 and a very good prospect indeed.

Khadim Dia vs Mush Alani

Most of this Welterweight fight was on the ground with Dia getting the better of the grappling exchanges. He won by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). This was a solid performance by the 26 year-old Khadim Dia, who is now 5-0.

Iain Postlethwaite vs Pav Sahota

In his Cage Warriors debut, the Scottish fighter Iain Postlethwaite came into this Bantamweight bout on a three-fight win streak.

Postlethwaite dominated the first round on the ground. He looked really tired by the second round though and Sahota was picking him off with punches and kicks. Postlethwaite turned it around by landing a nasty knee to Sahota’s head, dropping him. He then used his ground game to dominate the rest of the round. Postlethwaite was able to keep the fight on the ground in the third round and won by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

This was a popular win with the Scottish crowd. Iain Postlethwaite, 32, is now on a four-fight win streak with an overall record of 7-6.

Igor Wojtas vs Ronal Siahaan

Igor Wojtas, originally from Poland and now fighting out of Scotland, made his Cage Warriors debut. He was able to keep the fight mostly on the ground against the striker, Ronal Siahaan. Wojtas, 29, won the Flyweight fight by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Michael Blair vs Dec Dean

This Lightweight match-up saw a dominant win for the Scottish fighter, Michael Blair. The 26-year-old won by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26). This was Blair’s first win in Cage Warriors.

Nell Ariano vs Jamie MacDonald

Both fighters made their Cage Warriors debut in this Light Heavyweight clash. Jamie MacDonald, 33, from Scotland, came into the fight with a pro record of 3-0. Nell Ariano, 29, made his pro debut. MacDonald missed weight and weighed in at 209 lb. Apart from a brief period early in the second round, Ariano dominated this fight. He looked really good and secured a second round win by TKO. He is likely to be a problem for the rest of the Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight division.

Jordan Little vs Jordan Stronge

This Lightweight match-up saw another two fighters making their Cage Warriors professional debut. The Scottish fighter Stronge, 29, came into the fight with a pro record of 2-0 after an amateur record of 5-0. Little made his pro debut. This was a very back-and-forth fight fought mostly on the ground, leaving both fighters exhausted by the end. Jordan Little, 28, won a gruelling battle by a close split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

Daan Duijs vs Jack Eglin

This Bantamweight fight saw an excellent display of striking by Duis in the first round. He dropped Jack Eglin twice and connected with a number of ground and pound shots. Eglin is tough though and kept coming back, connecting with some body shots of his own.

Eglin had the better of the second round and may have broken Duijs’s nose. Duijs looked tired and the momentum seemed to have shifted in favour of Eglin.

The third round was close until Duijs secured a takedown and connected with ground and pound punches. This was a great fight, which Daan Duijs, 26, won by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-27). He moves up to 10-2.

Paull McBain vs Alberth Dias

Paull McBain, 35, came into this Featherweight fight having lost three of his last four Cage Warriors fights. In a strong first round, McBain hurt Dias, then tried to finish him with ground and pound and then by a submission attempt. Dias survived though. McBain also had a strong second round, dominating on the feet with his striking. He dropped Dias and hurt him several times in the round. Dias retired on his stool after the second round. This was a big win for Paull McBain.

Jan Quaeyhaegens vs Konstantinos Ntelis

The promising 22-year-old Konstantinos Ntelis made his Cage Warriors debut in this Lightweight fight. Jan Quaeyhaegens, 31, featured in his first fight since his loss to Paul Hughes at Cage Warriors 161 in Dublin. He came into the fight with a 100% finish rate in his pro career. Quaeyhaegens showed his quality in winning by a second round rear naked choke.

Keir Harvie vs Kaique Modesto

The Scottish fighter Keir Harvie, 25, returned to Cage Warriors after a three-year absence. Kaique Modesto was making his Cage Warriors debut. Harvie had a dominant win in this Bantamweight match-up, taking advantage of his opponent injuring his ankle in the second round.

Harvie was all-action throughout the fight, showing good movement and he connected with strong punches on multiple occasions. He won by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26). This was an impressive performance. If Keir Harvie can stay clear of injury and fight regularly, he will definitely be one to watch.

Nicolas Leblond vs Scott Malone

Scott Malone, 36, had his first fight for nearly two years in this Flyweight clash. Nicolas Leblond, 29, came into the card on a three-fight win streak.

This was another great fight. Malone fought very well in the first two rounds. This counted for nothing though, as Leblond connected with a brutal left hand in the third round. He dropped Malone before finishing him off with ground and pound, with the referee stopping the fight. Leblond carries some serious power and this will always give him a chance in any fight.

Aidan Stephen vs Gianluca Scottoli

The Scottish Bantamweight, Aidan Stephen, 32, was in his first fight since 2021. Scottoli came into it on a four-fight win streak. Stephen gave a dominant grappling performance from start to finish. After the fight, he said he may have broken his foot with his first kick of the fight, making it even more impressive. Aidan Stephen won by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Sean Clancy Jr vs Lucas Rodrigues

The hot Scottish prospect Sean Clancy Jr, 21, came into this Welterweight fight with a pro record of 3-0 (all by first round finish), following an amateur record of 8-1. Sean Clancy Jr was very impressive and showed why he is one of the hottest and most exciting young prospects in Cage Warriors. He dominated from the start. Rodrigues was tough, but Clancy Jr won by a ground and pound stoppage in the second round. We can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Sean Clancy Jr.

Cameron Else vs Reece McEwan

This much anticipated Bantamweight fight was the co-main event of Cage Warriors 171. In the first fight of his Cage Warriors return following two fights in the UFC, Cameron Else showed his power by knocking down and hurting McEwan in rounds one and two. He also knocked down McEwan in round three. Reece McEwan came back well in the second half of the third round, coming close with both an armbar and a submission attempt. Cameron Else, 36, won the fight by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

Dumitru Girlean vs Chris Bungard

The main event of Cage Warriors 171 was the Lightweight fight between the crowd favourite, Chris Bungard, and the Italian fighter, Dumitri Girlean. Girlean, 29, gave notice of his grappling ability in the first round with two submission attempts. He went on to dominate the second round and won by submission from a guillotine choke after 3:47.

Cage Warriors 171 – Overall

Cage Warriors 171 was a really good card and a great way for Scottish MMA to show what it can offer. The crowd played its part in creating a noisy and partisan atmosphere.

Although Scottish fighters lost in the main and co-main events, one of the most impressive performers of the night was another home fighter, Sean Clancy Jr. At only 21, he looks like a star in the making.

Although Cage Warriors 171 was the first significant MMA event in Scotland for a number of years, there will be two further events in Glasgow later this year. Cage Warriors are returning to the Braehead Arena on 7 September. This event will feature the $50k Prizefighter tournament. Shortly afterwards, the PFL Europe Playoffs will be held at the city’s OVO Hydro on 28 September 2024.

Scottish MMA is in a good place right now and looks to be on an upward trajectory. Cage Warriors looks well placed to benefit from this.

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