Europe’s #1 promotion returns to Wales for their third event of 2013 on Star Wars day with a local star in the main event hoping that the Force is truly with him.
John Phillips (16-5, 1NC) may be from Swansea but that will be more than close enough to get home crowd behind him in Cardiff as he challenges former UFC fighter, Jesse Taylor (25-9) for the American’s Middleweight title.
Taylor is no stranger to hostile away crowds as he silenced the Irish in Dublin en route to stifling and submitting Chris Fields to win the title back in December. Since then he’s added a decision win over Kendall Grove in Australia and comes to Wales riding a five fight win streak.
Since his brief UFC stint, Taylor has only lost to genuinely top level talent such as Hector Lombard, Mahmed Khalidov and Gael Grimaud while taking some notable scalps, such as Tom Watson in the process.
As you’d expect from a Team Quest fighter, Taylor’s primary weapon is his wrestling which he uses to grind out decisions or force submissions. That’s not to say his standup or ground and pound is to be overlooked, but it’s been shown time and again that if Taylor can take you down, you’re likely to suffer a
Phillips by contrast is a heavy handed striker with thirteen KO victories and an almost pathological aversion to decisions, only being taken the distance once in twenty two pro fights.
Coming in on a 2-0 streak with submission wins over Tomas Penz and Chris Fields, Phillips will be hoping for a very different performance to the last time he faced a noted grappler with his 25 second sub loss to Pavel Kusch in 2011 weighing heavy on his mind.
So, a national hero with a taste for knockouts looks to take belt from globe trotting grappler?
What a main event!
The co-main event see’s Liverpool’s Danny Roberts (7-1) hoping to build off an impressive win over Jack Mason when he faces experienced Swedish submission expert Diego Gonzales (15-7, 1NC).
Roberts has finished all but one of his fights and will be looking to secure another TKO win over the grappling savvy Gonzales, who surely holds the advantage in experience and on the mat.
Next up we have Mark Glover (6-1) looking to continue his form of three stoppage victories in a row against Lewis Long (6-2) who is bouncing back from an inconsistent 2012 where he scored a very impressive win over Diego Vital, only to be submitted by Paul Redmond after in the year.
Submissions are Glover’s speciality and both of Long’s losses have come via tap out so it will be interesting to see how the fighters approach this one.
Coming off an impressive submission win at CWFC53 in Glasgow, Jason Ball (20-11) and his moustache face a step up in competition as they face former Lightweight title contender Ivan Buchinger (21-4) who suffered only the fourth loss of his career to Connor McGregor in December.
Both of these guys are experienced, well rounded and have faced some seriously talented opposition so this is all set to be an excellent bout.
Undefeated local lad, Brett ‘the Pikey’ Johns (5-0) welcomes rising Scots Bantamweight James Macalister (7-1) in what looks to be a fast paced technical matchup.
Rounding off the main card another Welsh fan favourite, Martin ‘Mr Pink’ McDonough (10-4) comes in on the best form of his career and fresh off a lightning quick first round submission win over Alex Enlund in April.
He’ll be facing the game Mark Platts (10-9) who’s record of submission losses doesn’t bode well against a finisher like McDonough.
There’s plenty compelling about the undercard as well, with the bout between Kris Edwards (8-4) and Shajidul Haque (2-0) really standing out.
The main card will stream live, worldwide and free of charge on MMAjunkie.com (USA & Canada), JOE.ie (Ireland), Sportube.tv (Italy) and CageWarriors.tv (rest of the world) at 9pm local time (4pm ET/1pm PT).
The three preliminary bouts will stream live, worldwide and free of charge on Facebook at 7.45pm local time (2.45pm ET/11.45am PT).
As always, we’ll be providing live Twitter commentary from @TeamKumite and we hope you’ll share this fine night of fights with us.
Of course, if you are in South Wales on Saturday we’d advise that you get on to Ticketmaster where tickets are still available between £28.50 and £55.75.
• Jesse Taylor vs. John Phillips – for middleweight title
• Diego Gonzalez vs. Danny Roberts
• Mark Glover vs. Lewis Long
• Jason Ball vs. Ivan Buchinger
• Brett Johns vs. James MacAlister
• Martin McDonough vs. Mark Platts
• Kris Edwards vs. Shaj Haque
• Matt Inman vs. Leon Kenge
• Jamie Rogers vs. Brad Wheeler
• Rob Leybourne vs. Owain Parry
• Steve McCombe vs. Joe Orrey