Craig White claims stability and returning to the welterweight division as key factors behind his newfound success in Cage Warriors.
Often hailed as the underdog, Craig “The Thundercat” White faces another critical challenge on Saturday, October 14 against UK MMA veteran Matt Inman.
The fight will serve as the co-main event of Cage Warriors 87 from the Newport Centre in Newport, Wales, which will be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass and Free Sports in the UK.
“Like I’ve said before, stylistically I’ve appreciated and admired his style for a long time,” White told MMA Plus in a recent interview. “I think it matches up very well with mine and aside from who’s got more experience, has more fights, I think, in terms of what’s going on right now, especially in the welterweight division, not just Cage Warriors, but in the UK, it’s one of the biggest fights that’s gonna be, that’s happening.”
Two wins over Scandinavian counterparts saw Craig White emerge from underdog territory
White, 12-7, has lived in Devon for the majority of his life but confirmed that his father’s family come from Newport. It may be a loose connection to the Welsh contingent but one which could garner White an extra facet of support when he challenges veteran and former Cage Warriors title challenger, Inman.
The Devonian has continually upset the odds during his rise up the 170-pound ladder in Cage Warriors. Against Scandinavians, Thomas Robertsen and Hakon Foss, White was almost positioned as the fall guy, but with first-round finishes in both of those fights, White’s stock has certainly been bolstered.
“I’ve moved back down to welterweight and that’s essentially what it is,” White explained his newfound success. “I had a few stints at middleweight, well I’m 3-4 at middleweight on my record and 9-3 at welterweight, that itself speaks volumes.
“My last fight, it just goes to show what I’ve achieved through staying loyal to one gym, I haven’t jumped ship to go train overseas to try and get the big I am. I am grassroots MMA for Exeter for Exmouth and Devon, under Dave Matthews and I’m just a product of him.”
Craig White hails new ‘bromance’ with “Team ThunderLong” partner Lewis Long
The 27-year-old has been splitting his time between Lions Den MMA in Exmouth and the MAT Academy in Cardiff. Cage Warriors 87 headliner Lewis Long is a key figure there and someone whom White has built a solid relationship with over the past year, with the pair striking up their partnership under the moniker of “Team ThunderLong.”
“It’s like a bromance, not just between me and him, between the gyms, we have great harmony between our gyms,” White said. “Obviously Dave Matthews my head coach gets on with Lew really well as well and we have very similar mentalities and approaches to things and it works really well.
“So it’s just gone on from there, It’s just coincidental that Lew has fought Matt, but again like you said, it’s a few years ago, Matt has involved as fighter, dramatically, same as Lew has, and having his input from it is great, because he has first-hand experience.”
Long incidentally, holds a victory over Inman from November 2014. In Newport, he faces Roberto Soldić, in a fight which White believes should earn his friend a long overdue championship opportunity, despite the unknown whereabouts of the current title holder, Karl Amoussou.