Report | Rhys McKee set for Cage Warriors 170lb title unification bout vs. Jimmy Wallhead

Rhys McKee Jimmy Wallhead

Two former UFC fighters will throw down for the CW welterweight title, as current champion Rhys McKee faces off against interim title holder Jimmy Wallhead at Cage Warriors 153 in Dublin.

Rhys McKee made his UFC debut in 2020, taking on Khamzat Chimaev of all people, on short notice. After a loss to ‘Borz,’ McKee would also come up short against UFC veteran welterweight Alex Morono. This led to what many believed was an unjustified cutting from the promotion.

However, McKee would not rest on his laurels. ‘Skeletor’ returned to his old stomping ground, taking on Aleksi Mäntykivi at Cage Warriors 129. The former champ put in a spirited performance, finishing Mäntykivi in the final round. It was later announced that McKee would next fight for the title, against surging Englishman Justin Burlinson.

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The two elite European fighters faced off at Cage Warriors 140 in Dublin, Ireland. The clash lived up to all that it was billed, producing the Cage Warriors Fight of the Year in a sensational back-and-forth war. However, it was McKee that walked away with the title, finishing Burlinson in the second round after overcoming massive adversity.

Rhys McKee will now defend his belt against a true fan favorite who has burst back onto the scene in 2022. Judo’ Jimmy Wallhead, is a veteran and pioneer of the European MMA scene who has competed for the UFC, Bellator, BAMMA, and more.

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In 2022, he returned to Cage Warriors, taking on Daniel Skibiński at Cage Warriors 141. Entering the fight a sizeable underdog, Wallhead threw back the years, lighting Skibiński up early, finishing the fight via right hook KO in the first round.

At Cage Warriors 146, ‘Judo’ Jimmy once again found himself underestimated by the bookies, priced as a heavy underdog against Matt Figlak in an interim title bout. Once again, he proved everyone wrong. Wallhead’s right hook flattened Figlak, provoking a huge response from the Manchester crowd.

Now, at Cage Warriors 153, Rhys McKee and Jimmy Wallhead will throw down in front of hoards of Irish fans, to determine who the true CW Undisputed welterweight champion really is.

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The event takes place on April 29th and is set to feature a host of Irish talent competing against Europe’s premier mixed martial artists. Per a press release from Cage Warriors, the organization’s president, Graham Boylan, had the following to say:

“This is one of the biggest fights in the history of Cage Warriors.”

“Fans have been asking for us to return to Dublin; there’s no better place to do so than the 3Arena, with a massive welterweight title unification bout and a host of incredible Irish talent on the card!”

Who are you predicting to come out on top in the all-European welterweight clash? Rhys McKee or Jimmy Wallhead?