Double champ

Irish fighter heads to London aiming to emulate McGregor's historic Cage Warriors achievement

Karl Moore will bid to win a second title on Saturday night.

nfywTg3w Conor McGregor and Karl Moore. Dolly Clew / Gary Carr (INPHO) Dolly Clew / Gary Carr (INPHO) / Gary Carr (INPHO)

JUST OVER FIVE years since Conor McGregor achieved something that earned him a UFC call-up, another Irish fighter will be looking to emulate that this weekend.

At The Helix in Dublin on New Year’s Eve in 2012, McGregor scored a stunning first-round knockout of Ivan Buchinger to win the Cage Warriors lightweight title.

In doing so, ‘The Notorious’ became the first fighter to simultaneously hold belts in two unified weight classes for the UK-based mixed martial arts organisation. Six months earlier, he was crowned featherweight champion following a second-round submission of Dave Hill at the same venue.

It was an achievement McGregor went on to replicate on the biggest stage in MMA. Having knocked out the UFC’s defending 145-pound champion Jose Aldo after 13 seconds in December 2015, the Dubliner also picked up the 155-pound strap — which he still holds — 11 months later by stopping Eddie Alvarez inside two rounds.

McGregor used the Cage Warriors platform to launch a career that would bring him unprecedented success for an MMA fighter, and now a fellow Irishman is hoping to follow a similar path.

Twelve months on from the unanimous-decision victory over Josh Clark at Dublin’s 3Arena which saw him clinch the Cage Warriors light-heavyweight title, Karl Moore (8-1) will fight for the heavyweight belt in London this weekend.

The Belfast native is set to take on defending champion Mauro Cerilli (11-2) at Cage Warriors 92 at the O2 Indigo. After losing his undefeated record with back-to-back losses in 2015, Cerilli is currently on a four-fight win streak.

The 34-year-old Italian won the title in Antwerp back in November when he needed less than half a round to put away Nills van Noord. Moore was originally due to be Cerilli’s opponent that night, before being forced to withdraw from the bout. The pair will finally meet this weekend, with Moore aiming to bring two belts back to Irish soil.

Having made his debut in 2011, Moore embarked on a 5-0 run to start his career as a professional. That included a submission victory over current UFC heavyweight Cyril Asker.

He has been victorious in his last three outings since his only career loss, which came in September 2015 at the hands of Scotland’s Paul Craig, who was one of the big winners on last Saturday’s UFC London card.

The bill for Cage Warriors 92, which features a total of three title fights and two separate main cards, has further Irish interest in the shape of Cork-born bantamweight Darren O’Gorman, who will kick the action off at approximately 4.30pm on Saturday when he takes on English opponent Salih Kulucan.

More information about the event, including broadcast details, can be found here.

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