Today, Cage Warriors announce the opening bouts of Cage Warriors 77 which includes the highly anticipated return of Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett at the Camden Centre in London. The event takes place on Friday July 8th kick-starting what is set to be a weekend of non-stop MMA action.
Twenty four year old French submission specialist Teddy Violet is looking to halt twenty one year old Pimblett’s six-fight win streak. Joining them on the card is Darren ‘the dentist’ Stewart who who’s aiming to extract another win from Boubacar ‘Blackout’ Balde. Both fights will take place on the main card of Cage Warriors 77, which will be shown live on UFC FIGHTPASS as well as CWFC’s other broadcasting partners.
Paddy Pimblett (10-1) is a precocious talent already boasting four years as a professional fighter training out of Next Generation, Liverpool. He returns to the Camden Centre, London where he defeated the vastly more experienced Ashleigh Grimshaw (16-11) at CWFC 75 in April. This is the third time the Liverpudlian has faced foreign-based opposition after defeating Kevin Petshi and Miguel Haro by submission last year. Pimblett was also set to face Violet at FCC previously but had to withdraw from the bout. A submission specialist with four of his last six fights finishing before the final bell – Violet has a similar style and will be another tough test for Pimblett. When asked about his thoughts on the fight Pimblett responded, “I am the Baddy bitches!“
Teddy Violet (10-2) is from Paris training out of the renowned MMA Factory. His first eight wins were all under French rules in France (no strikes on the ground), which included eight-man and four-man tournament wins. His first loss came two years into his professional career against Tom Duquesnoy and most recently dropped a split decision in Japan against the experienced and in-form UFC veteran Michihiro Omigawa. He’s now keen to get back to winning ways and show Pimblett that he’s the baddest at 145 IIbs.
Violet comments, “This is a great opportunity…I have one goal, the belt in the featherweight division. I am definitely going for it I can’t wait to bang with Pimblett.”
Cage Warriors matchmaker, Ian Dean said, “this is a fantastic match-up between two of Europe’s finest young prospects in the featherweight division. Both fighters are extremely confident and very exciting to watch and both with impressive submissions on their records.”
Joining the featherweights on the card is Violet’s teammate, light-heavyweight Boubacar ‘Blackout’ Balde (11-8). A powerful striker with impressive wrestling skills he has nine wins inside the distance, seven by TKO. He’s no stranger to Cage Warriors, his last fight was a bloody bout with Jake Bostwick at CWFC 64 in February 2014, which ended in defeat but won the coveted accolade of ‘fight of the night’. Back in the win column for his last two fights against Pane Haraki and Yuri Gorbenko, Darren Stewart will prove a tougher test.
Balde said, “This is my return to Cage Warriors, my first bout was with Jake Bostwick but unfortunately after a crazy battle I lost the fight. This time I am going home with a victory. Thank you for the opportunity to showcase again.”
Darren ‘the dentist’ Stewart (6-0) fights out of the MMA Clinic in London. In just two years he’s ranked fifth in the UK and boasts 4 wins inside the distance and 3 by TKO. Like his opponent he delivers for the crowd fighting at a relentless pace delivering powerful strikes and impressive takedowns. He was on the same card as Paddy Pimblett at CWFC 75 in London earlier this year and won in spectacular fashion overwhelming James Hurrell with ruthless strikes just 37 seconds into the fight. However, Balde is only the second foreign-based opponent that Stewart has faced – it was another Frenchman, Gregory Pierre who lasted a full three rounds in a closely fought battle with Stewart last December however, Balde is a much higher level fighter.
“I don’t have much thought about this fight. It’s just another day in the office. He’s static, throws big and that’s it. I beat him everywhere. He has MMA experience, fine; I have a martial arts background. I’m just going to go in there, do what I do best and perform,” said Stewart.
Ian Dean adds, “This has all the making of an absolute war. Both fighters are similar as they are both aggressive and are not afraid to stand and trade and have powerful slams and takedowns in their arsenal too. This is the biggest test of Stewart’s career and it will be interesting to see how he fares against a fighter who has faced some top quality opposition throughout his career. It could be a real breakout opportunity for the Londoner.”Check out our latest podcast episode featuring Adam Milstead & Dinis "Sweetbread" Paiva