Programming Reminder: Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 47 airs LIVE tomorrow — Saturday — at 4 p.m. ET on Fight Network.
D.J. Linderman (11-3) vs. Mike Hayes (18-4-1)
In the main event of the evening, Bellator FC veterans D.J. Linderman and Mike “300” Hayes square off in a grudge match for the Cage Warriors heavyweight title. Both men met in the ring once before back in 2009 with Linderman taking a decision victory. Now three years later, Hayes will have the chance to avenge the loss and defend his heavyweight crown for the first time.
Linderman exploded onto the Cage Warriors scene back in April when he defeated highly touted Bobby Brents by unanimous decision in a fight he took on a few weeks’ notice. Now Linderman will look to add to that momentum with a win over Hayes. Although he has big time power, Linderman is mostly known for his versatility in the fight game. Out of his 11 wins, he has three knockouts, four submissions and three decisions, including some big wins over the likes of Mario Rinaldi and Devin Cole. His three losses have all come by decision as no opponent has been able to take Linderman out.
Looking to become the first man to finish the California native will be one-time foe Hayes. Hayes also made an exceptional debut in Cage Warriors by submitting poster boy Andreas Kraniotakes with a third-round kimura earlier this year. After being eliminated from the Bellator heavyweight tournament by Russian submission expert Alexey Oleinik, Hayes went on to win his next six fights, including a decision win over UFC veteran Neil Grove. Now competing for the second time in Cage Warriors, the 31-year-old Hayes has the opportunity to move himself closer to a big show fight and extract some revenge.
Dave Hill (10-2) vs. Conor McGregor (10-2)
Squaring off for the vacant featherweight title will be English product Dave Hill versus knockout artist Conor “Notorious” McGregor. After running through the amateur ranks, the undefeated Hill (5-0) turned pro in 2008 and quickly picked up where he left off, going 9-0 in his first two years. Unfortunately, he could not keep his record unblemished as he dropped back-to-back fights by decision, including one to then 0-1 fighter Artem Lobov. Throughout his career, Hill has shown a knack for submissions, most recently finishing UFC vet David Lee with a first-round triangle choke. In 10 pro wins, Hill has submitted eight of his opponents, including six in the first round.
McGregor, meanwhile, couldn’t be more different. In his 10 career fights, the Ireland native has never submitted an opponent, but rather knocked all 10 out. In fact, only two of McGregor’s opponents have ever seen the second round. That does however include his two losses in which he was submitted both times in the opening frame. After suffering his last defeat, a 38-second submission at Cage Warriors 39, McGregor amped up his training, going on to knock out his next six opponents. This fight will be five rounds, something the SBG Ireland student has yet to experience, while his opponent Hill has gone the distance four times.
Cathal Pendred (9-2-1) vs. David Bielkheden (17-10)
Two of Europe’s top welterweights will collide Saturday when SBG Ireland product Cathal Pendred meets three-time UFC veteran David Bielkheden. Pendred is coming off a draw with Danny Mitchell at Cage Warriors: Fight Night 2, which put a halt to his three-fight win streak. In 12 pro fights, Pendred has fought for eight different promotions, fighting mostly local up-and-comers.
Bielkheden, one of Sweden’s most accomplished mixed martial artists, looks to pick up his second straight win after knocking out 0-5 Edgar Dayan earlier this year. The win snapped a career worst three-fight losing streak for the Brazilian Top Team product. Despite the losing streak, Bielkheden remains one of Europe’s top fighters, having competed with the likes of Diego Sanchez and Mark Bocek in the UFC, as well as Mitsuhiro Ishida in his lone PRIDE appearance. At 32 years of age, the time is now if the Swede hopes to make it back to a big show.
Aisling Daly (13-2) vs. Rosi Sexton (12-2)
In a matchup that pairs two of the world’s top female fighters, Bellator FC veteran Rosi Sexton meets Ireland’s own Aisling Daly in a 125-pound contest. Sexton has long been considered one of the sport’s top females, having competed in top organizations such as Bellator, Bodog and EliteXC. However, she’s faltered against top competition, having lost to both Gina Carano and Bellator 115-pound champ Zoila Gurgel, both by knockout. Saturday night is her chance to pick up a quality win over a tough opponent in Daly, while trying to add to her 5-0 record in Cage Warriors Fighting Championships.
In order to make that happen though, she will have to get by 24-year-old Aisling Daly. Riding a three-fight win streak, Daly enters the cage for the first time in 2012 after competing four times last year alone. A five-year veteran of the sport, Daly been well-travelled in her career having fought internationally a number of times. Known in the MMA community as a finisher, Daly has taken out 11 of her 13 career opponents, including five knockouts and six submissions.
Jack Mason (19-10) vs. Tommy Quinn (3-0)
Kicking off the night’s main card will be a catchweight fight between hometown favourite Tommy Quinn and Cage Rage vet Jack “The Stone” Mason. At 22 years of age, Quinn is taking a huge step up in competition when he meets Britain’s Mason, a fighter with vastly more experience and almost 30 fights to his name. After making his pro debut in March 2008 at the age of 18, Quinn went on to win three straight before abruptly stopping his fighting career in August 2009. Now almost three years later, the Sudden Impact product returns to the cage in front of a hometown crowd as he tries to resume his undefeated career.
Mason, meanwhile, is no stranger to the fight game having fought quality opposition, including John Hathaway, Brian Foster and Marius Zaromskis in his seven-year career. At age 29, there’s still time for Mason to make an impact on the British scene if he can string together a solid win streak. After going 1-3 in his first four Cage Warriors fights, Mason went back to the drawing board, picking up back-to-back submission victories as he returns to the promotion.