Cage Warriors returns this weekend with a fun-filled doubleheader scheduled for the BEC Arena in Manchester, England.
Graham Boylan and his team are coming off a very successful night of fights that took place in London just weeks ago. In famous Cage Warriors fashion, the promotion dealt with a handful of adversity in the lead up to fight night and overcame them all with ease.
First up on Friday is Cage Warriors 135, which features a headliner between Daniel Skibiński and Justin Burlinson. The following night, Djati Mélan and Christian Leroy Duncan battle it out in the Cage Warriors 136 main event for middleweight gold.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Dan Hepworth, who faces Omiel Brown on Friday night, making his Cage Warriors debut. We dived into his last fight, upcoming bout, and much more.
Interview With Dan Hepworth
One week out from your MMA return, and what a stage to remind everyone what you’re about. What can people expect to see from you upon your return to competition?
Yeah, one week out, and I’m buzzing to be back. I had some obstacles that have just made me appreciate the sport more. I’ve learnt a lot about myself and grown as a person and a fighter.
The last time we saw you was in 2019 at FCC 28, where you suffered a unanimous decision loss. Did you face any mental demons after that loss? Considering your amateur career, you breezed past most of your opposition, and your big debut didn’t go to plan?
Anyone who knows the British MMA Scene knows that it was a tough fight to take. That many wouldn’t have. I think the demons came with being put on ice through Covid. I was frustrated at the situation because I had something to put right, and I couldn’t. But now we are back after 15 or so pull-outs, and things are different. I feel blessed to have the best job in the world.
Wayne Kirk once said to me. The fight is the fun bit, the job is coming to training, and that’s putting money in the bank and f**k me, I’ve been putting money in the bank and turning up for a long time with no fights!
The Impact of Dan Hardy
For me, Dan Hardy is the best mixed martial arts mind in the game. Across the globe. What’s it like having somebody such as Dan Hardy to depend on and seek advice from? That must give you substantial confidence leading into a battle?
Yeah, I’m blessed to have built a relationship on the pads with Dan Hardy, and Jimmy Wallheadhas taught me skill after skill over many years. I believe these two to be one of the world’s best MMA tandems. Joe Taylor also shouldn’t be missed! The talent and knowledge are real.
Touching on your opponent Omiel Brown, currently 2-1, with all his fights under the Cage Warriors banner. What do you know about your opponent, if anything? How do you view his skill-set as a fellow competitor?
Omiel is once again a strong opponent. That’s how it should be! Two strong men fighting each other. Then all the little **** that want to pull out of hard fights and bump their records can f**k about in the corner in fights people don’t really want to see.
How Does 2022 Look For Dan Hepworth?
Assuming you walk away with the win next Friday. What does the rest of the year look like for you? Are you looking to make up for lost time and get a few more in? What does the ideal 2022 look like for Dan Hepworth?
All I can see is this fight. I don’t look past anyone. Of course, there’s a longer-term goal to rise to the top, but Omiel and I have a business right now. It won’t be long before you see me again. Now Im in a great organisation that will get me, solid opponents. All the people who know me well have known my struggles. There’s a huge weight off my shoulders, and I’m here to enjoy the whole of fight week. The hard bit is done in my head.
Lastly, can we get an official fight prediction from Dan Hepworth? How does your bout with Omiel Brown unfold on April 1st?
Me and the team are having fun this Friday and I’m so happy to be back.
Featured image credits to Dan Hepworth