CWFC 60: Lightweight title tournament
A FOUR-MAN tournament will be contested at Cage Warriors 60 to determine a new CWFC lightweight champion.
The title, which was vacated by Conor McGregor earlier this year, will be up for grabs when Cage Warriors returns to The Forum in London on Saturday, 5 October, 2013.
Scotland’s Stevie Ray, Slovakian Ivan Buchinger and English pair Mick Sinclair and Jason Ball will battle it out in pursuit of the promotion’s lightweight crown.
The victorious fighter will need to overcome two opponents in one night for the right to be crowned Cage Warriors’ 155lbs champion, with semi-final pairings to be announced in due course.
Each semi-final bout will consist of two five-minute rounds and an additional overtime round will be contested in the event of a draw. Five five-minute rounds will be scheduled for the final.
The semi-finals will feature on the night’s preliminary card, with the final concluding the Cage Warriors 60 bill as the main event. A reserve bout will also be added to the card in order to facilitate any enforced withdrawals.
The most experienced participant in the tournament, Jason Ball will be competing for Cage Warriors for the fifth time in his career and the third time in 2013.
The 29-year-old is a well-rounded fighter, taking nine (T)KO and nine submission wins since making his professional debut in January 2005.
Ball is likely to be on a revenge mission on October 5, having previously suffered decision losses to two of his three tournament rivals - Mick Sinclair and Ivan Buchinger.
The Doncaster native hasn’t been stopped in his last 14 outings, with his most recent stoppage defeat coming via submission against UFC veteran Paul Sass in November 2008.
“This opportunity has been my target since returning to Cage Warriors,” said Ball. “I said then that I wanted to be the champion and this is my chance to get the belt.
“The tournament format adds an extra challenge and excitement. Four tough guys will be aiming to win the belt but I plan on putting on a show and bringing it back to Doncaster.”
Ranked as one of Europe’s top lightweights, Ivan Buchinger gets his second shot at the CWFC lightweight title on October 5 in London.
Defeated by Conor McGregor in the main event at Cage Warriors 51 in Dublin last New Year’s Eve, the Slovakian has rebounded in impressive fashion in 2013.
Buchinger edged out Jason Ball by unanimous decision at Cage Warriors 54 in Cardiff back in May, before submitting Jamal Magomedov last month at Cage Warriors 58 in Chechnya.
Still just 27, Buchinger has notched 20 career wins inside the distance and counts Diego Gonzalez, Jarkko Latomaki and Bellator tournament winner Magomedrasul Khasbulaev among his notable victories.
Three of Buchinger’s four losses have come at the hands of UFC veterans, in Conor McGregor, Akira Corassani and Anton Kuivanen.
He said: “I’m very happy to have another chance to fight for this title. I have worked hard to get it and I’m very determined to make the most of this chance.”
A member of Scotland’s renowned Dinky Ninjas camp, Stevie Ray is the tournament’s youngest participant at 23 years of age.
Three of Ray’s four career losses came at welterweight, with his only defeat at 155lbs coming via decision against three-time UFC veteran Curt Warburton.
Holding wins over CWFC veterans Dale Hardiman, Merv Mulholland and Vincent del Guerra, Ray has taken 10 of his 12 victories by stoppage - six via submission, four by (T)KO.
“I’m really excited and grateful to Cage Warriors for giving me the chance to fight for their lightweight title in London on October 5,” said Ray.
“I believe I’m better than I’ve ever been right now, I’ll be ready for whoever is in front of me and I’m determined to bring that belt back to Scotland.”
The tournament’s elder statesman at 31, Englishman Mick Sinclair will be competing for Cage Warriors for the fourth time in his career.
The younger brother of Bellator lightweight Rob Sinclair, Mick holds wins over fellow CWFC veterans Jason Ball, Oriol Gaset and Ashleigh Grimshaw.
With 10 of his 12 victories coming inside the distance, Mick Sinclair was signed to an exclusive Cage Warriors contract earlier this year.
“I’m delighted Cage Warriors have given me this chance and I’m really looking forward to getting in there on October 5,” he said.
“I’m in there with three other top fighters who’ll also be looking to put on a show. This is a very exciting challenge and it’s one I can’t wait for.”
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