CWFC Fight Night 3 main event: Watson v Vainikainen
THE main event for Cage Warriors Fight Night 3 in Beirut, Lebanon on February 11 will see two CWFC debutants going head-to-head.
Cage Warriors announced the acquisition of former UFC lightweight Kyle Watson (13-7-1) last month and he’ll begin his stint with the organisation by tackling highly-rated Finnish 27-year-old Juha-Pekka Vainikainen (18-5-1).
Vainikainen (pictured), who was recently included as the no. 10 lightweight in Bloody Elbow’s World MMA Scouting Report, is currently on an eight-fight unbeaten streak and has recorded victories over UFC veterans Brian Geraghty and Steve Lopez inside the past year. Hailing from the city of Espoo in the south of Finland, Vainikainen fights out of the Espoon Kehahait gym and is renowned for his impressive striking.
“I’m really pleased to have secured Juha-Pekka Vainikainen to face Kyle Watson for our main event in Lebanon,” said Cage Warriors matchmaker Ian Dean. “Juha-Pekka has a wealth of experience and has fought on some of Europe’s best shows, like Fight Festival, M-1 Global and the The Cage.
“Not only has he fought some solid European-based talent on his way up but he’s also beaten UFC veterans and a few other highly-rated US fighters as well. He’s undefeated in his last eight and he’s the kind of fighter Cage Warriors have always looked to promote.”
Watson featured on season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter in 2010 and made it to the semi-finals before losing out to Jonathan Brookins on a decision. The 32-year-old went on to defeat Sako Chivitchian via unanimous decision at the TUF 12 finale in Las Vegas.
He faced John Makdessi at UFC 129 last April and in the third round of a close fight, Watson lost via KO when he was hit by a spinning backfist. The Illinois native hasn’t fought since that loss but fans in Lebanon will have a chance to witness his return to action on February 11.
Dean added: “I’m also really excited to have Kyle Watson making his first appearance outside of the UFC on Cage Warriors. He’s shown his pedigree throughout his career and with his superb ground-game and experience, I feel this will be a great main event between two contrasting fighters which should make for a great start to our 2012 schedule.”
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