Martin Stapleton. Photo Credit: Cage Warriors/Dolly Clew.

Former world champion Martin Stapleton will convince Cage Warriors to give him a lightweight title opportunity when he ‘destroys’ Donovan Desmae at Cage Warriors 85, this Saturday.

Stapleton (18-5), returns after testing a move to featherweight in his last fight, where he competed at a catchweight of 150-pounds against Anthony Dizy.  

The 34-year-old however, came up short and has since ruled out any future match-ups at 145-pounds, much the contrary to his original plans to triumph in two different weight classes.

“I said all the way in every interview I gave about making featherweight that I could make the weight but I always said we won’t know how the performance will be until performance night,” he told “I don’t feel like I’ve performed anywhere near my potential at that weight. Going down again isn’t going to be an option for me, I’m going to be totally focusing on lightweight and I want that lightweight belt.”

Nevertheless, Stapleton looks to get himself back on track in Bournemouth and despite his yearning to fight in the North West, the former Royal Marine Commando says he jumped at the chance to fight on the southern coast when he found out the event would be sponsoring a Royal Marines charity. 

The REORG JIU JITSU FOUNDATION is the chosen charity of the CW85 event and one which Stapleton actually serves as an ambassador for in the North West. Being close to his heart, “.50 Cal” revealed his decision to donate his ticket commission to the Royal Marine endorsed charity. 

“Cage Warriors contacted me and asked me to do the Bournemouth card and first of all I was little bit like ‘it’s miles away from home’. I’ve not fought by the way, in the North West for nearly two and a half years now,” he said. “I wasn’t all that keen on it and then Ian Dean turns round and says ‘but we’re doing it for a military charity call REORG’, at which point, I’m actually one of the North West ambassadors for re-org, he’s a good friend of mine Sam Sheriff who made the REORG Foundation, got it classified as an official Royal Marines charity, so as soon as I heard that, I made a deal with Cage Warriors and all my ticket sales (commission) money is going to the REORG Foundation.” 

Expanding on his desire to fight close to home — a luxury which Stapleton has not enjoyed since December 2014 — the Rochdale-based fighter believes a Cage Warriors show in Manchester could outdo the previous efforts of ACB, who hosted a stacked event at the Manchester Arena in March.

“I think we’d do a better job [than ACB], I think if Cage Warriors came to Manchester, to the MEN arena, we’d do a better job. ACB sold loads of tickets and they were bringing a lot of foreigners over. The fighters there [are] in and around the North West and the European fighters that Cage Warriors have got on the roster. We put a show on at the Manchester Arena, we’ll sell it out.” 

Stapleton has only fought once since May 2015; his defeat to Dizy, which can only be classed as major inactivity for the man who’d previously fought three times in 10 months. Despite this, Stapes is vowing to put on his best performance yet against Belgian Desmae as he looks to give Cage Warriors a definitive reason to award him with a lightweight title match-up against Chris Fishgold.   

“If I got offered the fight, I’d snap [matchmaker] Ian Dean’s hand off, because I want that title, however right now, coming off a loss, I’m a realistic person, I like to earn things, so I’m going to go out there on Saturday night and I’m going to destroy Donovan Desmae, worse than you’ve ever seen. I’m going to make a mess of this guy, I’m going to put him away so badly that Cage Warriors are going to have to give me a title shot. I want to go and earn it. This is going to be the best performance you’ve ever seen.

“When I win that Cage Warriors world title, I’ll be the Cage Warriors and BAMMA lightweight world champion and I’ll be able to stand there and say I’ve done something that nobody else in Europe has ever done.”