While winning a belt in any major MMA organisation is a dream for many fighters. Winning more than one is something special, but to become a world champion in two different weight divisions, that is truly legendary.
Conner McGregor, Amanda Nunes of late and who could forget about the man to do it first, One Championship’s Martin Nguyen. Just a sample of the list of fighters ever to aspire to this fabled brand of “Champ Champ.”
Today, we will be taking a look at a Cage warrior with these exact aspirations and persevering nature to become one of these illustrious names on the list.
Matthew “The Beast” Bonner 10-6-1 has become one of these very rare occurrences. After not too far off winning his current middleweight championship on June 24th against Nathias Frederick at CW 123 via rear-naked choke, 4:16 of round number 4. The lust for gold still burns like dragon sickness in the belly of “The Beast”.
I was lucky enough to grab a few questions with the current number one of the 185lb division. To shed some light on his current aspirations to become double trouble, for both the 185lbs and the current “recently vacant” 170lb division.
I’d like to start this off by congratulating you on becoming the King of the middleweight division, defeating such an immense opponent. As well as obtaining the title, it must have been a dream come true.
“Thanks very much. I’m pleased to have won and it’s always great to get a finish. We figured during camp that the choke was the easiest way to get the win and get another belt to Next Gen.”
I have to ask, What was going through your mind after that illegal knee from Frederick in the 2nd?
“You can actually see on the fight tape that I say straight away that, that has to be a point deduction. It didn’t surprise me at all that Frederick tried that. I’d seen in his earlier fights he can be reckless with illegal strikes and doesn’t have any regard for the rules”
After an amazing 20 year experience in the mixed martial arts industry, it must become another algorithm to decode. Also with substantial damage that they bring, illegal moves must be identified and worked around. If the ref deems it necessary to continue.
The desire to join the ranks of UFC is very strong for most in any franchise. You have been vocal about your desire to join the ranks in previous interviews, spanning over your career. Did this spark up the desire to seek yet another title in your organisation?
“I did feel that my win against Frederick and my previous three wins against really strong opponents was enough to bridge that gap to the UFC. If that isn’t the case then adding more gold and being a part of the exclusive Cage Warriors double champ club really appeals. A year ago if you’d told me I’d be Cage warriors champ, I’d have been made up. The idea of me being a 2x world champion is tremendous”
In regards to the weight differential, gaining the weight can be just as torturous as dropping it. This, for most fighters (in my opinion) would be the better option. Does the notion of having to drop the weight make this decision harder? As there has been a substantial but limited body of scientific research investigating the prevalence of weight-cutting in different combat sports?
“It does make it harder. I used to fight at welterweight and it was tough. I didn’t have the team and knowledge around me then though, that I do now. I really believe I can drop the weight and be really strong there.”
If, and when you’re successful in procuring the opportunity to challenge for the currently vacant 170lbs title. Is there anyone in particular that you’d like to be drawn against?
“After Ian Garry has been signed I think the welterweight division is very similar to the middleweight division. It lacks that really strong No1 Contender. That’s why I think it’s the right time to move down and challenge for the belt. I guess possibly Justin Burlinson. He looked strong on his debut outing for Cage Warriors.”
Mattew took to social media over the weekend, with a clear message to cage warriors hierarchy. I hope he gets the response he deserves. The 170lb division is definitely missing a “Beast.”
“So the welterweight belt is vacant now Ian garry has moved to the UFC🤔 LETS GO CHAMP CHAMP!! @cagewarriors.”
I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to talk with me today. Before we go, do you have a message for the fans?
“It was my pleasure. If anyone wants to follow my journey then they can always catch up with me on the usual social media pages. Thank You to anyone and everyone for their support and if you think I deserve my shot at the Cage warriors welterweight gold then message Cage Warriors and let them know!”.
As previously stated, Matthew has been in and around this industry for 2 decades. I can’t think of anyone more deserving, and willing to aspire to become a multiple weight divisions champion. I shall be watching, eagerly in regards to this. Only time will tell whether “The Beast” will feast on welterweight gold.
Name: Matthew BonnerPro MMA Record: 10-6-1 (Win-Loss-Draw)
Nickname: The Beast
Current Streak: 4 Wins
Date of Birth: 1990.12.26
Last Fight: June 24, 2021 in CWFC Weight Class: Middleweight
Last Weigh-In: 184.2 lbs
Affiliation: Next Generation MMA Liverpool
Height: 6’2″ (188cm)