What more must Cage Warriors 87 headliner Lewis Long do to earn a shot at the promotion’s welterweight championship?
He’s beaten foes in 18 seconds, fought the best prospects the UK has to offer and he’s not too shabby with the housework either! All in all, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to deny the charming allure of the domestic scene’s finest 170-pound competitor.
A win against Roberto Soldić in Newport, Wales all but affirms prime position for Long to face titleholder, Karl Amoussou.
Long (15-4) and Soldić (11-2) will headline at the sold-out Newport Centre on Saturday, October 14, which will be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass and Free Sports in the UK.
Training out The MAT Academy in Cardiff, Wales, Long was initially scheduled by the promotion to fight Frenchman Gael Grimaud in London last month. A shin injury, although, forced “The Foot” off that card, instead slotting in as top-billing on a card in his home country.
It shouldn’t be a walk in the park for Long though, facing tough Croatian Soldić who is currently riding a wave of five straight wins, which includes a victory over 0-10 Slobodan Vukić.
One would very much doubt the level of competition that Soldić has fought to amass such an aesthetic record – previous opponent Vukić having lost four more fights since Soldić knocked him out in just over a minute – but it’s difficult to overlook to Croat’s definitive finishing power at the ripe age of 22, going to the judges once in 12 wins.
Nonetheless, Long will aim to utilise the bread and butter of his game in Newport and it’s his fierce wrestling which could cause problems for Soldić, as we saw against Scope and more destructively against Mills, ending the fight with one single takedown.
A big welterweight clash between the underdog and the veteran at Cage Warriors 87
Craig “The Thundercat” White will also be looking to carry the flag for “Team ThunderLong” in Newport, but he faces former title challenger Matt Inman in his toughest test so far.
White, 27, who trains out of Lions Den MMA in Exmouth, has seen a huge resurgence in his career since committing to the welterweight division.
That includes two impressive first-round wins over Norwegians Thomas Robertsen and Hakon Foss in Cage Warriors, where on both occasions, White was the overwhelming underdog.
Jack Shore’s (sure to be) on fire upon his return at Cage Warriors 87
Elsewhere on the card, esteemed Welsh prospect Jack Shore faces late notice replacement Mattia Galbiati.
The Tillery Combat product – whose coach and father Richard Shore promotes Cage Warriors in Wales – was originally slated to face Italian Federico Mini.
On Wednesday afternoon, Cage Warriors announced the news of Mini’s injury on social media, confirming fellow countryman Galbiati as his replacement.
Shore’s fight against Galbiati marks his first in five months, and despite the moderate lay-off, the former IMMAF Amateur European gold medallist will be looking to continue his incredible run of form.
The young upstart from Abertillery has captured the imagination of fans from all around Wales after only four fights as a professional. He’s only been to the second round once and he’s a notoriously quick starter, something which could prove costly for lackadaisical Galbiati.
Ferocious chants of “Jack Shore’s on fire” have become synonymous with his success in Cage Warriors and without question, a major factor behind his rapid rise to adulation on the Welsh MMA scene.
It may be a new opponent for Shore, but the same outcome is anticipated, as he steps closer to Nad Narimani and a punt at the Cage Warriors featherweight championship.
Cage Warriors 87 Main Card
Welterweight: Lewis Long vs. Roberto Soldic
Welterweight: Craig White vs. Matt Inman
Featherweight: Jack Shore vs. Mattia Galbiati
Featherweight: Aiden Lee vs. Ludovit Klein
Welterweight: Aaron Khalid vs. Ross Houston
Cage Warriors 87 Prelims
Lightweight: Richard Williams vs. Cosmin Tutu
Bantamweight: Kris Edwards vs. Bryan Creighton
Women’s flyweight: Cornelia Holm vs. Diana Felipe
Lightweight: Mason Jones vs. Shaun Luther
Lightweight: Josh Ellis vs. Lawrence Tracey
Cage Warriors 87 Amateur Card
Bantamweight: Kiru Singh vs. Jawany Scott
168lb catchweight: Oban Elliott vs. Craig Rawlins
Lightweight: Scott Pedersen vs. Michal Figlak
Welterweight: Josh Hudson vs. Luke Tanner
161lb catchweight: Matthew Williams vs. Michael Corston
Middleweight: Christian Duncan vs. Michael Post
Featherweight: Chris Sterling vs. Ryan Morgan
Middleweight: Dan Stephens vs. Joe Rice
Lightweight: Barry Francis vs. Cameron Clarke
Featherweight: Marcus Stevens vs. TBC
Light-Heavyweight: Anthony Davies vs. Kacper Klekot