After establishing an impressive three-fight win streak in Cage Warriors, Craig White believes he is the rightful contender to face long-absent welterweight champion Karl Amoussou.
Tipped as the underdog in all three fights, White (13-7) has managed a trio of first-round finishes.
From the small port town of Exmouth in East Devon, White may not have an abundance of local support, but he admits that the ill-advised odds against him have helped garner a wider level of acclaim.
“I’ve had so many messages from people I’ve never met before thanking me for doubling or tripling their money and I’m more than happy to oblige with that if the odds won’t change,” White told MMA Plus. “It’s one way to make fans at least.”
His recent win over UK MMA veteran and former title challenger Matt Inman on October 14 served as the definitive ‘cherry on top’ for the Exmouth fighter’s astonishing run of form.
White notched the win with a barrage of unanswered punches, as Inman struggled to coherently defend himself. This forced referee Rich Mitchell to stop the fight.
Following the stoppage, SBG Manchester’s Inman protested against the abrupt conclusion but White feels it was a justified stoppage by the veteran Cage Warriors official.
“When you look back on the footage, and even at photos, you can see just how many of the 20-something unanswered strikes are actually getting through,” he said. “Rich Mitchell was in the best position to see what was going on and he warned Matt that he needed to do something before he finally jumped in.
“If Rich hadn’t have jumped in I would have just continued as I was and I think from there I would have got the finish regardless, especially as I was just starting to change the angles of my shots.”
White’s win over Inman, preceded by surprising submissions over Scandanavians Hakkon Foss and Thomas Robertson, have put him at the front of the pack in the welterweight division and all things considered, “The Thundercat” says he has done enough to secure the number one contender spot.
“I’ve done enough this year to be deserved to be taken seriously and to be put in for a title shot,” he said. “I’ve taken three fights that, let’s face it, nobody had me down for winning at all. Let alone each one within the first round coming off completely unscathed.
“Thomas Robertson was seen as the next big prospect and had a lot of hype going into the fight, I beat him. Hakon Foss was one of Norway’s top Welterweights, trains with some very experienced fighters and had a great win streak behind him and had only lost to Karl Amoussou since 2013, I beat him.
“Matt Inman was a former title challenger and arguably the biggest step up in my fighting career, I beat him.”
Craig White responds to Karl Amoussou’s challenge
Cage Warriors welterweight champion Karl Amoussou (24-7-2) has been missing in action since capturing the title back in February. He too secured a quick win over Inman, which he used to amplify his intent of being signed to the UFC.
With nine months elapsed since winning the big gold belt, Amoussou has yet to re-emerge into the public gaze, instead opting to maintain a low profile as he continues to train at The MMA Factory in Paris.
That was until a fan-poll surveying for Amoussou’s next opponent prompted the Frenchman to respond to a Cage Warriors related topic for the first time in months.
The poll pitted White against another standout from the Newport event, Roberto Soldic.
The Lions Den MMA standout accumulated 84% of the vote, with the landslide result enough to bait Amoussou into a retort, challenging White to a future encounter.
Well @theTHNDRcat i sure am ready; are you???
— Karl Amoussou (@KarlAmoussou) October 26, 2017
With Cage Warriors looking fully booked for their February 24 show in Liverpool, White has acknowledged Amoussou’s challenge, proposing their title collision to take place ‘March or April’ in London.
“Firstly, on the Cage Warriors Welterweight roster, who else is there? Looking at it, after my performances this year, I’m the only contender for the belt,” White said. “Secondly, Karl Amoussou offered me the fight and not only that, broke his eight-month silence to do so.
“Looking solely at my Cage Warriors record, I’m riding a four-fight win streak at welterweight.
“And finally, There’s a lot of people that agree I deserve a shot. This ranges from the general public to established fighters. So why not give the people what they want? My fight against Matt was the ‘People’s Main Event’ so why not give everyone the ‘People’s Title Fight’?”