Cage Warriors return to Newport next month and Bournemouth’s Damo “Yeti” Weeden believes he has what it takes to make another successful trip across the border.
The Phoenix MMA fighter will be fighting for the third time in eight weeks when he takes on Kris “Evil” Edwards at Cage Warriors 83. Despite the quick turnaround, Weeden (10-6 1NC)* feels as though he is adequately prepared come fight night. He said:
“Fight prep is going perfect! I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, Phoenix MMA have really stepped up our training camp and I’ve won my last 6 fights to prove it!”
In his most recent outing, Weeden’s winning run suffered a slight dent, in the form of a no contest against Salih Kulucan at WFS 7, though the stoppage itself was somewhat controversial according to Weeden:
“I should have won,” Weeden told MMA Plus. “He claimed a nut shot (groin strike) after I dropped him with a knee to the gut after 14 seconds. He went down and played it up and he wouldn’t get back up.”
Despite that unfortunate turn of events, the bantamweight fighter gets the opportunity to get straight back to work, as he faces Wales’ Edwards (8-9) on the undercard on May 6.
There’s a history with Tillery Combat MMA for Weeden
Edwards fights out of Tillery Combat MMA, a gym which Weeden has some history with. In his last outing under the Cage Warriors banner, Weeden defeated Tillery Combat fighter Joe Orrey via submission in just 39 seconds, with both Edwards and UFC middleweight Jack Marshman watching on at cageside.
Originally, Weeden was set to face yet another Tillery Combat fighter in Josh Reed, in what was supposed to be the main event in March. However, Reed was forced to withdraw from the event, which lead to Weeden’s fight with Orrey, albeit further down the card. In another twist, Reed appears likely to be competing at CW83, though against a different opponent, and on the televised portion of the card. Whilst some may feel frustration at this, it doesn’t phase Weeden, who said:
“I’m not fussed who I fight, I will fight anyone that my manager gets for me. I have full trust in Jimmy Johnstone, but I’m sure that fight will happen one day.”
Weeden wants hometown Bournemouth call-up
With the mention of Johnstone, head coach of Phoenix MMA and the man heading up Cage Warriors South, talk turns to Cage Warriors 85, the promotion’s first show in Damo’s hometown of Bournemouth. The event, which is set to take place in late June, is a card that Weeden is determined to fight on.
“It’s a great opportunity to fight on Cage Warriors in my hometown. Jimmy has run the best show in the south, Phoenix Fight Night. He has the best cards which have featured some of the best names such as Paul Daley and Alex Enlund and now he is running Cage Warriors South.
“So yes I will definitely be fighting on that card.”
Though he is looking ahead to June, Weeden is eager to stress that he isn’t looking past Kris Edwards. He said:
“I remember watching Kris fight for a title when I first started competing, so it’s cool to now be matched up with someone as experienced as him.
“I have respect for all of my opponents and I take them all very seriously but like I said I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m hungry and on my way up the ladder. I will give it everything I’ve got and make sure I get the win and move on to the next one.”
Weeden has yet to see the judges scorecards in any of his professional fights, but in Edwards, he faces an opponent who has gone to the judges in his last five fights (ultimately losing all five). In addition, Edwards has never been finished by strikes, but for Weeden, the solution could be as simple as looking for the submission, just as he did against Orrey.
“I don’t know too much about Kris but I have seen him submitted before. I’m not sure how the fight will go, I feel I have all the skills and fitness to adapt to where I need to take the fight and keep the pressure on.
“I will keep coming unless I’m stopped.”
With Cage Warriors bringing the bantamweight championship out of retirement at Cage Warriors 84, there is presently an opportunity for the promotion’s up and coming 135lbs-ers to make a statement and potentially set up a title fight for themselves later this year. Four years ago, Weeden fought Nathaniel Wood, who is set to fight for the title in London, and with a win over Edwards, and a win at Bournemouth, Weeden could potentially set himself up for a rematch.
“I’ll just take one step at a time, one fight at a time, keep winning, keep moving up the ladder. Now the ball is rolling I won’t let nothing stop me.”
Cage Warriors 83 takes place on May 6th live from the Newport Centre in Wales. Check out our Cage Warriors section for all the latest news from the promotion.
*Sherdog and Tapology have Damo’s record as 6-6, but he notes that he has fought four fights which have not been recorded.