This weekend in Miami, former Cage Warriors world champion Jack Hermansson has the chance to catapult himself into middleweight title contention when he takes on Brazilian legend Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.
Hermansson’s graceful transition from Cage Warriors to the UFC is just one of a number of success stories from athletes who have come off that production line.
Here are just four such examples of Cage Warriors champions who have gone on to claim success inside the octagon on the current UFC roster.
Who else could we start with but the most ‘Notorious’ graduate from Cage Warriors of all time?
McGregor may be known as the first man to capture world titles in two weight classes in the UFC, but in truth, that achievement was old hat for the Irishman.
That’s because he’d already achieved exactly that in Cage Warriors, with his stunning one-punch knockout of Ivan Buchinger adding the Cage Warriors lightweight title to the featherweight belt he already owned.
It was the knockout that finally sealed McGregor’s switch to the UFC, and one that gave a little glimpse into the huge fanbase he would eventually bring to the United States.
Cage Warriors has been something of a production line for UK talent making it to the UFC stage, and former Cage Warriors bantamweight champ Nathaniel Wood is the latest star to emerge – and he’s got a real chance of making it to the top too.
The Londoner is a protégé of UK UFC and WEC legend Brad ‘One Punch’ Pickett, and is showing all the signs of becoming the next big star to make the jump to a truly world-class level.
His performances so far have been eye-catching, and we’re only just scratching the surface of his ability. Providing he’s not pushed too far, Wood could find himself right up there in the mix by this time next year.
The female fighting pride of Liverpool, former Cage Warriors flyweight champion Molly McCann loves nothing more than a good old-fashioned tear-up, and she’s already had a couple in the UFC.
McCann picked up her first victory inside the octagon last time out at UFC London. Despite a horrible-looking eye injury, she’s all set to return to action on June 22 in Greenville, Connecticut against former KSW champion Ariane Lipski.
Molly is one of the most engaging, friendly personalities you could possibly meet in the sport, but when her game face is on, there are few athletes with her intensity and drive.
She’s improving her skills with every fight and, with an exciting fighting style that fans love to watch, her bouts always deliver plenty of action.
The last name on our list is the man who will be taking on Brazilian submission ace Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Miami this weekend.
Hermansson’s long, gangly style looked ungainly early on in his UFC career, but he’s found his form and risen up the middleweight ranks in impressive style.
Hermansson’s run of form has seen him submit noted submission specialist Gerald Meerschaert (20 subs from 28 wins) and Renzo Gracie BJJ black belt (and former two-weight World Series of Fighting champion) David Branch, both inside the opening round.
He now faces one of the best submission fighters in the UFC in ‘Jacare’.
Victory over the Brazilian would represent the biggest win of his career, but can the former Cage Warriors middleweight champion get it done?