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The 70 former Cage Warriors fighters who ended up in the UFC

A comprehensive list of fighters who graduated to the top in MMA from the returning UK-based promotion.

Conor McGregor Conor McGregor was a featherweight and lightweight Cage Warriors champion. Source: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors

FOLLOWING AN 18-MONTH absence, Cage Warriors Fighting Championship returns a week from today to host Cage Warriors 75 in London.

In more recent times, CWFC has become known as the stage on which Conor McGregor won two titles to attract the attention of the UFC. However, McGregor is just one of 70 fighters to have moved to the UFC having previously fought for Cage Warriors.

We trawled through the archives to put together a comprehensive list — in alphabetical order — which illustrates why Cage Warriors earned a reputation as such a respected feeder show for the leading organisation in mixed martial arts:

Abdul-Kerim Edilov (0-0 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Aisling Daly (2-1 UFC, 3-3 CWFC)

Aisling Daly Irish strawweight Ais Daly debuted in the UFC in December 2014 after appearing on The Ultimate Fighter. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Alessio Sakara (6-8-0-1 UFC, 1-1 CWFC)

Andre Winner (2-4 UFC, 3-2-1 CWFC)

Anna Elmose (0-0 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva (3-5-1 UFC, 3-0 CWFC)

Strikeforce Mixed Martial Arts A UFC title challenger in 2013, 'Bigfoot' Silva became the Cage Warriors heavyweight champion in 2005. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Arnold Allen (2-0 UFC, 5-1 CWFC)

Artem Lobov (0-2 UFC, 3-4 UFC)

Benny Alloway (1-2 UFC, 2-1 CWFC)

Brad Scott (2-3 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Cathal Pendred (4-2 UFC, 6-0-1 CWFC)

Cathal Pendred Former Cage Warriors welterweight champion Cathal Pendred retired in 2015 after picking up four UFC wins. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Che Mills (2-1-0-1 UFC, 2-3 CWFC)

Conor McGregor (7-1 UFC, 4-1 CWFC)

Cyril Asker (0-0 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Damien Brown (0-1 UFC, 0-3 CWFC)

Damir Hadzovic (0-0 UFC, 2-0 CWFC)

Dan Hardy (6-4 UFC, 12-1-0-1 CWFC)

UFC 111 Mixed Martial Arts Dan Hardy, an ex-Cage Warriors welterweight champion, fought Georges St-Pierre for the UFC belt in 2010. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Danny Mitchell (0-2 UFC, 0-0-1 CWFC)

Danny Roberts (1-0 UFC, 6-0 CWFC)

David Baron (0-1 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

David Bielkheden (1-2 UFC, 2-1 CWFC)

Dennis Siver (11-8-0-1 UFC, 3-1 CWFC)

Gegard Mousasi (5-3 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Germany UFC Mixed Martial Arts Ex-Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi appeared on a Cage Warriors card back in 2006. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Ian Entwistle (1-1 UFC, 3-1 CWFC)

Ion Cutelaba (0-0 UFC, 0-1 CWFC)

Ivan Serati (0-1 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Jake Hecht (1-2 UFC, 2-1 CWFC)

James Hammortree (0-1 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Jason Young (1-3 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Jeff Cox (0-2 UFC, 1-1 CWFC)

Jeff Monson (4-3 UFC, 3-0 CWFC)

Jim Alers (1-1-0-1 UFC, 7-0 CWFC)

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (5-0 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

UFC Fight Night Mixed Martial Arts UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk was signed after a KO of Rosi Sexton at Cage Warriors 69. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Joanne Calderwood (2-1 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Jonathan Brookins (2-3 UFC, 0-1 CWFC)

Jorge Rivera (8-7 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Joseph Duffy (2-1 UFC, 6-1 CWFC)

Leonardo Santos (4-0-1 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Marcin Wrzosek (0-1 UFC, 1-1 CWFC)

Mario Neto (0-1 UFC, 2-0 CWFC)

Martin Kampmann (11-6 UFC, 2-0 CWFC)

UFC 121 Anaheim Former Cage Warriors middleweight champion Martin Kampann recently retired after 17 outings in the UFC. Source: Jae C. Hong

Martin Svensson (0-1 UFC, 2-1 CWFC)

Mats Nilsson (0-2 UFC, 3-0 CWFC)

Michael Bisping (18-7 UFC, 4-0 CWFC)

UFC Fight Night 84 - 02 Arena Michael Bisping picked up the biggest win of his career when he defeated Anderson Silva in February. Source: Adam Davy

Neil Seery (3-2 UFC, 5-1 CWFC)

Nicolas Dalby (1-0-1 UFC, 2-0 CWFC)

Niklas Backstrom (1-2 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Pascal Krauss (2-2 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Paul Daley (2-1 UFC, 3-1-1 CWFC)

Bellator 134 MMA Now competing for Bellator, Paul Daley was cut by the UFC in 2010 for striking Josh Koscheck after the bell. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Paul Kelly (5-4 UFC, 2-0 CWFC)

Paul Redmond (0-2 UFC, 7-1 CWFC)

Phil Harris (1-3-0-1 UFC, 2-1 CWFC)

Piotr Hallmann (2-4 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Rich Attonito (3-2 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Rosi Sexton (0-2 UFC, 6-1 CWFC)

Ross Pearson (11-7-0-1 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

UFC Fight Night 81 Ross Pearson, who competed for Cage Warriors in 2007, recently secured his 11th win in the UFC. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Ross Pointon (0-2 UFC, 1-3 CWFC)

Roxanne Modafferi (0-1 UFC, 0-1 CWFC)

Samy Schiavo (0-2 UFC, 2-1 CWFC)

Sarah Moras (1-1 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Scott Askham (2-2 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

UFC Fight Night 84 - 02 Arena Scott Askham, a former BAMMA middleweight champion, fought for Cage Warriors in 2012. Source: Adam Davy

Sheila Gaff (0-2 UFC, 2-0 CWFC)

Simeon Thoresen (1-2 UFC, 1-1 CWFC)

Stevie Ray (3-0 UFC, 4-2 CWFC)

Thiago Tavares (10-6-1 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Brazil UFC MMA Thiago Tavares in action against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC on FX 7. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Tom Blackledge (0-1 UFC, 1-1 CWFC)

Tom Breese (3-0 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Tom Niinimaki (1-3 UFC, 1-1 CWFC)

Wilson Reis (4-2 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

Zubaira Tukhugov (3-0 UFC, 1-0 CWFC)

The following fighters have also competed for both promotions, but they only fought for Cage Warriors having already been in the UFC: Aaron Wilkinson, Brian Foster, Chad Reiner, Curt Warburton, Gerald Strebendt, Ian Freeman, Jesse Taylor, John Maguire, Kyle Watson, Leigh Remedios, Lucio Linhares, Mark Holst, Matt Veach, Steven Lynch, Tommy Speer.

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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