The MMA world is in store for a spectacle this Saturday night, when Cage Warriors 73 comes back to the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England. Get ready for another incredible night featuring some of the sport’s premier European talent on the rise. As part of the evening’s headliner, Steven Ray and Curt Warburton will battle in the conclusion to their intense trilogy, with the CWFC lightweight championship on the line. Neither man has fought since their Cage Warriors 69 battle in June, which Ray won by a split-decision.

With two main cards, a spectacular crop of talent on the card, two title fights, and the return of Ronnie Mann, this card possesses plenty of things to watch for, once we get past the headliner.

Double the pleasure, double the fun.

Let’s just address how insanely awesome it will be for the live crowd in Newcastle to know that they are getting two–yes, two–main cards on Saturday night, with a pair of “swing” bouts in between, for the price of admission. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, this particular concept has never been executed before, but it certainly makes it to where almost everyone is guaranteed some TV time, even the men involved in the two “swing” bouts.

“Iron Mann” returns

With his experience in the sport of MMA, it is difficult to remember that Ronnie Mann is only just 28, but the man certainly has had his ups and downs as of late. With a 2-3 run in his past five bouts, Mann will look to get back on track against Moktar Benkaci, who rides a two-fight winning streak after losing three fights, one of which came in Cage Warriors. With both men proficient in the grappling game, something of a common theme for this particular event, It will be intriguing to see if either man attempts to take this one to the ground, and if neither man elects to do so, it could make for an interesting battle on the feet, should either man decide to go there.

“Judo Jimmy” vs. “JuanMa”

Just when you think someone has put Jim Wallhead down, he gets back up and returns for more. In his last Cage Warriors bout, Wallhead suffered his first KO loss in nearly nine years against 11-1 prospect Danny Roberts, and yet he returns on Saturday to face Juan Manuel Suarez. Suarez, a product of the less-heralded Spanish MMA scene, owns a two-fight winning streak, with his most recent Cage Warriors appearance ending in a unanimous-decision defeat to Roberts. With their respective struggles in recent fights, fans may forget that both men owe the brunt of their successes to the grappling game, which will make for an interesting ground battle come Saturday night, as neither man will want to leave an opening for the other to lock up a hold or secure a dominant position.

Guts, grappling, and featherweight gold

When we talk about kids like Alex Enlund and Nad Narimani, both of whom are only 27 years of age, and if we strip away the Cage Warriors featherweight title situation, we are talking about two well-versed submission specialists. In fact, looking at Enlund’s three-fight winning streak, as well as Narimani’s two-fight winning streak, even fans that still don’t know about the Cage Warriors promotion can see two guys so schooled in the submissions and the overall grappling aspect of the sport to where they can finish anyone, including each other, within the first three minutes of the fight. Add in the allur of the featherweight title, previously held by Jim Alers, and the Enlund-Narimani contest gets an extra shot of intensity added in, as both men will look to fight to the bitter end for the world championship.

A rivalry concluded

Whatever causes Steven Ray to bring out the best of Curt Warburton must be something powerful, because it also has caused Warburton to bring out some of the best action that MMA fans across the world have ever seen out of Ray. The two first met up in BAMMA, where Warburton scored a unanimous-decision win, but both men knew their paths would cross again. Alas, they did, and the result came in their Cage Warriors 69 rematch, when Warburton rode on the strength of a 6-1 run against Ray, but Ray still fought hard to secure a split-decision win for the vacant lightweight title. If any questions still exist a to how badly these two men want to hold that Cage Warriors lightweight title, they will get answered once the cage door shuts in Newcastle, and rest assured, if Ray and Warburton have to go the entire 25 minutes to prove it, they will.