Cage Warriors return to Charter Hall in Colchester on Friday 31st May 2019 for an evening that looks to showcase some of the emerging talent that have links to the South East. One of the main Cage Warriors Academy shows is situated in Colchester with the aim of developing the next crop of talent from the region for the numbered events. Although the show doesn’t feature any of the promotion’s bigger stars (which was always going to be the case after loading the decks for the upcoming Night of Champions card), there are a number of well-matched contests that should deliver lots of action come fight night. One such match up sees a middleweight clash between Alex Montagnani and Mick Stanton.
Montagnani (11-3-1) made his Cage Warriors debut at the blockbuster ‘Super Saturday’ card at the Indigo, London in March of last year but came up short in a losing effort to UFC veteran, Craig White. He got back in the win column only two months later as he scored a first round TKO victory against Shah Hussain outside of the organisation. Only ten seconds into that bout, Montagnani was dropped by his opponent who landed a huge overhand left but the Londoner rallied to recover and land some good combinations of his own before swarming for a ground and pound finish. However, the 30 year old hasn’t been in action since then which isn’t what he intended.
“I didn’t take a year off by choice,” said Montagnani. “I was ready to go for that whole year. My management couldn’t get me a fight for whatever reason so it took all of that time to finally get me onto a card.”
Therefore the BAMMA veteran will be raring to go on Friday night to remind fans of the skills that he possesses inside the cage. At Cage Warriors 105, he will be moving up to compete in the middleweight division although that isn’t where he sees his long term future despite the weight class being much shallower compared to his usual home at 170 lbs. The middleweight title is being defended by Colchester’s own, James Webb, next month at Night of Champions and with no obvious contender in line to face the winner of that championship bout, a big win at 185 lbs could skyrocket Montagnani up the rankings. This isn’t something that the man with a 82% knockout rate is really considering though.
“I’m going back up to middleweight only for this one fight,” explained Montagnani. “I think I perform to my best at welterweight as I’m too small for 185 lbs. All of the guys at middleweight usually cut down from around 210 lbs whereas I walk around at about 187 lbs so I’m pretty much on weight now. I’d definitely say 170 lbs is my optimal weight.”
“Yes, the Cage Warriors middleweight division isn’t that deep and I doubt I will be back at this weight after Friday night but who knows? If they offered me something worth my while then I might be tempted to compete outside of my natural division but other than that, you’ll see me back down at welterweight doing what I do!”
As well as fighting, Montagnani is also forging a career in the film industry where his next project is an MMA feature which begins shooting in August. He will have a speaking role in that upcoming film but is also in charge of the fight choreography so his life isn’t totally dependent on being successful in MMA. Montagnani got into martial arts at an early age as he began doing judo at four years old before being introduced to boxing and jiu jitsu later on. When he turned eighteen, Montagnani was enjoying himself so much training in all of the different aspects of MMA that he thought he jump into competing. Following two amateur bouts, he turned professional and hasn’t looked back since.
In his 15 pro bouts, he has only been to the judge’s scorecards twice which demonstrates how much Montagnani pushes the action inside of the cage and with 10 of his 11 wins coming by stoppage, he puts a lot of importance on scoring the finish. This, as well as his aggressive style in training, is where he got his nickname of ‘Mean’ from.
“Many people think that my nickname is ‘The Mean Albatross’ but that isn’t the case,” stated Montagnani. “That was from one fight in BAMMA where I was talking to someone and they suggested to put that name out there. Straight away everyone was like ‘no, take it down’ but it was too late,” chuckled Montagnani. “Since then I’ve just been Alex ‘Mean’ Montagnani.”
“Mean comes from when I was in the gym training and when I was fighting. Everyone told me that I looked really mean in there just smashing guys so that’s where the name was born.”
On Friday night, Montagnani faces former Cage Warriors middleweight title challenger, Mick Stanton (4-3), who has a name in the division. Stanton got the title shot on a days notice after previous champion, Lee Chadwick, failed to make weight before being stripped of the belt. He was submitted by Jonas Billstein in the resulting bout but rebounded with a decision victory over Jenaid Ebanks in February. Montagnani is embracing the opportunity to fight Stanton but hasn’t put too much emphasis on what his adversary will bring to the table. He is just relishing the chance to step back inside the cage again.
“This is a good fight for me,” said Montagnani. “From what I’ve seen, Stanton looks like a grappler kind of brawler so I’m expecting him to come out, be tough and try to take me down. I have no predictions for this fight. My focus is just on going out there and having fun. Everyone knows that I have knockout power, can submit people and also can go the full distance so I’m going to put on a show for everyone!”
Cage Warriors 105 can be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass and remaining tickets can be purchased here.