While it’s not uncommon for stars of smaller mixed martial arts promotions to step up and sign with bigger promotions, Cage Warriors helped solidify their roster after they resigned seven of their current top fighters.
According to a news release, the European promotion announced they had resigned seven of their top talent to exclusive contracts: Cage Warriors Welterweight champion Nicolas Dalby, Danny Roberts, Mohsen Bahari, Carvalho, Dave Hill, Alex Enlund and Ronnie Mann.
Although several notables names have come out of Cage Warriors over the years, it’s good that the promotion is focusing on keeping top talent under their banner. It also shows that the promotion is a place where competitors want to be. While I’m sure we’ll see several of these stars in the UFC or Bellator, staying in Cage Warriors gives them to improve their craft and work their way to the next level of competition.
The promotion also announced will attempt to reestablish their light heavyweight division and has signed the following 205-pound fighters to exclusive five-fight deals: Arvydas Juska, Darren Stewart, James Hurrell, Karl Moore, Lloyd Clarkson, Nick Nembherd, Prince Aounallah and Simas Norkus.
In a press release, Cage Warriors CEO Graham Boylan said he has focus on the promotion’s light heavyweight division and will eventually focus on building a heavyweight weight class.
“Traditionally there’s been a perception that the light-heavyweight and heavyweight divisions don’t have the same quantities of talent as the smaller weight classes, particularly in the UK and Europe, but we’re now going to give these guys a chance to prove people wrong.”
When the promotion crowns 205-pound champion, that fighter would be in good company. UFC veteran and “The Ultimate Fighter 3” winner Michael Bisping is a former Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight champion.
This is a good move for Cage Warriors. While lighter weight classes stand out – specifically in the 145-170 range – the light heavyweight division seems to have lost popularity in MMA in the last few years. Still the 205-pound weight class has a lot of history and prestige behind it with some of the best MMA fighters in history having some success at light heavyweight.
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