THE wait is finally over for Cage Warriors’ stars when they return to action over three nights in Manchester – with Blaenavon’s Mason Jones aiming to become a two-weight champion before his “inevitable” future in the UFC, writes Jason Batty.

The Trilogy will be held behind closed doors and showcase over 60 fighters, including two of the hottest prospects outside of the UFC in lightweight champion Mason ‘The Dragon’ Jones (9-0) and rising lightweight star Oban ‘Angel Eyes’ Elliot (3-0).

Unbeaten Shore MMA Academy student Elliot kicks off the first card of The Trilogy when he squares off against Michael Figlak (2-0), where the ‘0’ will have to go for one of the combatants.

South Wales Argus:

Abertillery-trained Elliot’s last outing was a demolition of James Lilley almost a year ago in Cardiff, where he stopped his compatriot with a rear naked choke first after some heavy ground and pound in the very first round.

Since then, the Merthyr-born striker has been itching to get back under the lights and was scheduled to do so before coronavirus hampered his fight preparations and his continued rise up the rankings in his quest for championship gold.

The main even of the final night at Cage Warriors 116 sees Jones gunning for ‘champ champ’ status, when he fights against Adam Proctor (12-1) for the vacant welterweight crown.

The lightweight champion remains confident and undeterred by the move up in weight but faces a stern challenge in the England’s Proctor who is currently riding a seven-fight win streak.

“I see myself as a very good counterbalance to Adam’s strengths. I’m a very dynamic striker and he’s a very flat-footed heavy forward mover, he doesn’t really like the exchanges and I love them,” said Jones.

South Wales Argus:

“I just think I match him so well and I’m going to exploit so many of his weaknesses. The only reason I think they’ve taken this fight is they’re putting a lot on the weight and strength difference, and that just doesn’t bother me, as cocky as it sounds. I’m used to fighting bigger guys.

“My future in the UFC is inevitable whether it’s now or a few years in the future. But if I can’t beat someone like Adam then why am I trying to get in the UFC?

“Everyone in the top 10 or 20 is going to be a credible threat. I just see Adam as a big lightweight, that’s the way I see it.”

Both Jones and Elliott are shooting for the stars and would undoubtably be on a lightweight collision course if Jones wasn’t on the cusp of reaching his UFC dream.

Whilst a loss outside of his natural habitat of 155lbs would not spell disaster for Celtic Pride MMA fighter Jones, a win is expected to propel him into the major league.

It would also see him depart as only the second fighter in Cage Warriors 18 year history to hold two belts simultaneously, Irish UFC superstar Conor McGregor being first and only before him.

The Cage Warriors personnel have worked tirelessly putting the three events together back-to-back, leaving no stone unturned and producing what is expected to be fireworks with title fights on each night.

Headlining Thursday's opening night at CW114 is Frenchman Samir Faiddine (11-6) who defends his flyweight belt against Scotsman Luke Shanks (6-1).

The following night features middleweight champion Nathias Frederick (8-2) who defends his belt for the first time again against Jamie Richardson at CW115.

On the same night, Manchester's undefeated bantamweight champion Jack Cartwright (8-0) defends his crown for the second time against Gerardo Fanny (9-1).