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Countdown to Cage Warriors 150: Harry Hardwick vs Shoaib Yousaf

“Me and George will have eaten Parmos off our own Cage Warriors championship belts by the end of the year”.

That was Harry Hardwick prior to his bout with Federico Pasquali, with brother George the current Cage Warriors lightweight champion the aim was clear, beat Pasquali and celebrate like true Boro boys. Sadly it wasn’t to be as the fight between Hardwick and Pasquali ended up as a draw, but with a follow up win over Steve Aimable and now on a five fight unbeaten run, getting past Shoaib Yousaf should result in a title shot and a chance to finally eat those Parmos.

Yousaf will also have title ambitions though and is not to be underestimated, the 27 year old from Lancashire not only has an impressive 9-3 record, but he has had an incredibly tough strength of schedule. Taking on future divisional rival and Cage Warriors featherweight champion Jordan Vucenic in only his third professional fight, Yousaf has fought many of the top talent at regional level and has gone across the world to do so, fighting Kadir Dalkiran and Mochamed Machaev in Dubai and Stockholm respectively.

The route to victory for Hardwick is to drag his opponent into deep water, training with head coach Abdul Mohamed will be huge as the Afghanistan wrestling standout has not only been a key part of all of Hardwicks previous camps, but his in cage experience with the likes of Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro and Paul “Semtex” Daley will be invaluable in order to train his pupil how to adapt to anything a fight can throw at him.

Yousaf’s specialty is in his hands, with his knockout power finishing five of his nine professional victories it’s the diversity in his striking that will be cause for concern to Hardwick. Being able to keep his opponents guessing is a massive asset Yousaf possess, his last fight was finished with brutal knees but he also has knockout finishes with his punches and with kicks to the body, if Hardwick comes into this fight looking to take him down and drown him in pressure then diverse striking is the way to counteract that gameplan.

This fight is the co-main event for Cage Warriors 150, the first event of the year to take place on UK soil, the card placement of this fight proves just how highly the matchmakers and the rest of the Cage Warriors executives think of these men. This is the highest card placement either man has ever had within Cage Warriors, this premier spot is an indication that both men are in serious conversation to face current featherweight champion Paul Hughes should they come out victorious.

Will Harry Hardwick join his brother in owning a Cage Warriors title? A title that has seen so many fighters make dream moves to the UFC or to Bellator. Or will Shoaib Yousaf upset the odds and book his own title shot and chance at a golden ticket?

Tune in to Cage Warriors 150 on Friday 17th of March to find out.

What do you think?