Cage Warriors 161

14th October 2023 // Dublin, Ireland.

Just under six months since their first Irish card earlier this year, Cage Warriors made their return to the island this past weekend. As always the buzz was high in the lead up to the event, with particular excitement coming from the fact that fan favourite, Paul Hughes would be back in action in the famous yellow gloves. Many had thought that following his featherweight title victory almost a year ago against Jordan Vucenic, the next time they would see Hughes in action it would be in the UFC. However, Cage Warriors fans were treated to another Paul Hughes main event, when he stepped up to the lightweight division, to take on the surging Jan Quaeyhaegens in a number one contender fight to George Hardwick's lightweight crown.

Hughes, who has firmly embraced his new nickname "Big News", lived up to that very title. When he not only stated in the lead up to the contest that he would knock Quaeyhaegens out in the first round, but took less than three minutes to put his opponent to sleep, in what was simply a flawless performance from the FAI fighter. Celebrating on top of the cage with a can of newly partnered sponsor, Forged Irish Stout, Hughes capped off what was another iconic night not only in the Irish Cage Warriors story, but in his exciting and still very young career.

It was a solid night in the majority for the local fighters on the card, as James Sheehan, Paddy McCorry, Taka Mhandu, Ger Harris, and Solomon Simon all picked up victories, with Ryan Shelley, Leon Hill and Michael Quinn unfortunately coming out on the wrong side of the results. Two Irish cards in 2023 and an ever growing roster of great local fighters. The MMA scene is in a good place, and hopefully this will be a sign of things to come in 2024 in regards to Cage Warriors and the emerald isle.

Cage Warriors 161 // © JAMES MCCANN

Paul Hughes def. Jan Quaeyhaegens // TKO (2:47 Round 1)

Mason Jones def. Yann Liasse // TKO (4:24 Round 2)

Jordy Bakkes def. Ryan Shelley // Submission - Arm-Triangle (3:44 Round 2)

James Sheehan def. Olli Santalahti // Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28. 29-28)

Ieuan Davies def. Leon Hill // Submission - Triangle (3:25 Round 1)

Paddy McCorry def. Samir Kadi // Submission - Guillotine (3:17 Round 3)

Taka Mhandu def. Alexander Sacha Pirev // Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Ger Harris def. Ryan Hewitt // Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Sean Clancy Jr. def. Milton Cabral // Submission - RNC (3:08 Round 1)

Solomon Simon def. Marko Sarasjärvi // Submission - Arm-Triangle (4:49 Round 3)

Nik Bagley def. Micheal Quinn // Submission - RNC (1:42 Round 2)

Photos captured using Nikon equipment.