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McDonough forced out of title tilt

05/09/2013

MARTIN McDONOUGH’S hopes of being crowned CWFC bantamweight champion in Wales a week on Saturday have unfortunately been dashed, after the Welshman sustained a hand injury during a sparring session yesterday.

An initial medical examination has revealed that McDonough (11-4) suffered a fracture which will rule him out of Cage Warriors 59‘s four-man bantamweight grand prix, which is now just nine days away.

The 24-year-old, who has clocked up a 3-0 Cage Warriors record since making his promotional debut last year, is due to undergo an MRI scan shortly, so an accurate time-frame for his return to action has yet to be given.

McDonough’s place in the CWFC bantamweight tournament, which is set for Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday, September 14, will now be taken by his Tillery Combat team-mate Kris Edwards (pictured).

Edwards (8-5) was scheduled to face Aaron Blackwell in a tournament alternate bout at Cage Warriors 59, but the 23-year-old has now been promoted to fill the void and face James Pennington in the semi-finals, with Brett Johns and David Haggstrom still set to clash on the other side of the draw.

Cage Warriors officials hope to re-match Blackwell on an upcoming card, while the winner of the Cage Warriors 59 prelim between Timur Mercanoglu and Jordan Desborough will be placed on standby should a vacancy arise in the tournament on the night.

Edwards recently made the decision to return to the bantamweight division following a disappointing stint at flyweight, during which he suffered back-to-back losses in his two most recent bouts.

After signing an exclusive contract with the promotion, the Abertillery native made his CWFC debut with an impressive win over Janne Elonen-Kulmala at CWFC Fight Night 5 in Jordan in April of last year, after which he opted to make the move to 125lbs.

Life in his new weight class began well for Edwards, as he submitted Brian Hyslop in the second round of their meeting at Cage Warriors 48 in London in July 2012, a win that saw him jump straight into the top-three in the UK’s flyweight rankings, having previously occupied fifth spot at bantamweight.

Next up for Edwards was Cage Warriors 49 in Cardiff last October, but an injury picked up by opponent Mark Platts just a week out from the fight saw Alan Philpott called in as a replacement, with the bout being contested at 135lbs due to the late notice. But it was Philpott who emerged victorious, as Edwards dropped a loss for the first time since July 2011.

Edwards, who holds wins over CWFC’s James Brum and Spencer Hewitt, returned to action back in May at Cage Warriors 54 in Cardiff, but again he was forced to deal with a late change of opponent, with Shaj Haque drafted in at the eleventh hour to replace the injured Karl Harrison.

After enduring a difficult weight-cut which saw him miss the mark by 0.7lb, an uncharacteristically languid Edwards was edged out by Haque via split decision, leaving him with consecutive defeats for the first time in his career.

As Edwards returns to the bantamweight division a week on Saturday, the Welshman says he’s keen to return to top-form by putting in the type of performance which saw him regarded as one of the top young prospects in Europe last year.

“I’m absolutely gutted for Martin,” said Edwards. “I’ve seen first-hand how hard he’s prepared for this tournament and he’s devastated to have picked up an injury. But I’m thrilled with the chance to replace him and I’ll do my best to bring that title back to Tillery Combat.”

Cage Warriors CEO Graham Boylan added: “Everyone involved with Cage Warriors is extremely disappointed for Martin McDonough. He deserves his place in the tournament but I’m sure he’ll come back stronger and earn another title shot in the near future. I wish him well in his recovery.

“I want to say best of luck to Kris Edwards in the tournament. I know he’s been disappointed with his last couple of performances, but were it not for a difficult cut to flyweight, he probably would have been in contention for this anyway. It’s all set up for a very exciting tournament in Cardiff next week.”

Meanwhile, Owain Parry has also sustained an injury which has ruled him out of his CWFC 59 lightweight prelim against Jamie Rogers, so 21-year-old Englishman Sam Gilbert has been called in as a replacement.

Tickets for Cage Warriors 59 at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday, September 14, are available HERE, priced from just £25.

MAIN CARD

Edwards/Pennington vs. Haggstrom/Johns (Bantamweight tournament final)
Jim Alers (champion) vs. Martin Svensson (Featherweight title bout)
Mats Nilsson vs. Denniston Sutherland
Lew Long vs. Tommy Maguire
Dave Hill vs. Brian Moore
Lee Caers vs. Aaron Thomas

FACEBOOK PRELIMS

Sam Gilbert vs. Jamie Rogers
David Haggstrom vs. Brett Johns (Bantamweight tournament semi-final)
Kris Edwards vs. James Pennington (Bantamweight tournament semi-final)

NON-STREAMED PRELIMS

Jordan Desborough vs. Timur Mercanoglu
Brett Caswell vs. Paul Rogers

Photo: Dolly Clew | Cage Warriors

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