The last time a multiple division Champion was crowned in Cage Warriors FC, said fighter went on to conquer the same feat in the UFC and took the entire Mixed Martial Arts world by storm. That fighter was none other than “The Notorious” one himself – the first fighter in Cage Warriors and UFC history to hold titles in two weight divisions simultaneously – Irishman Conor McGregor.
With Cage Warriors’ announcement that he’ll move down to Featherweight to challenge the current Champion, Dean Trueman (10-4), for the title at CW 103 (Copenhagen, Denmark) in March, Cage Warriors Lightweight Champion Søren “The True Viking” Bak (12-1) will attempt to make history and become the second simultaneous two weight class division Champion in the promotion’s history.
Of course, this isn’t the first time someone has attempted to accomplish (nearly) the same feat as McGregor did in 2012; beloved Englishman Paddy Pimblett (14-3) moved up a weight class and challenged Bak for the Cage Warriors Lightweight title at Cage Warriors 96 (Echo Arena, Liverpool) in September ’18. Despite having the home crowd of the ‘Echo’ behind him and securing a rear-naked-choke (RNC) on Bak early in the first round, Pimblett ultimately lost the contest via unanimous decision and his homecoming (and chance at history) was spoiled by “The True Viking”.
Now, Søren Bak finds himself presented with that same opportunity as his previous opponent and Conor McGregor before him. Only this time, Bak attempts to go down a weight class rather than go up. We’ve all seen this go wrong as recently as Cejudo vs Dillashaw, however, if anyone can do it – it’s Søren Bak. We are talking about a fighter who withstood being wrapped in a body triangle and locked in a RNC for over two and a half minute and didn’t tap to Pimblett as the ‘Echo’ roared in support of one its very own.
Bak is a young, raw talent – a versatile Grappler and dangerous submission specialist with his striking skills rapidly improving and evolving each fight. I have no apprehensions in regards to Bak’s weight cut or abilities at 145 lbs, however, if he does defeat Trueman at CW 103, he should remain at Lightweight moving forward as it’s his natural weight class.
In addition to his undeniable talent in the octagon, Søren Bak has quietly created an almost theatrical and very marketable persona in “The True Viking”; I don’t know if Bak’s story about his Danish/Viking ancestry in the CW 96 promotional video was all factual, but it definitely captured my attention and imagination. He makes his walk to the octagon with a real Viking ax – the marketing options are endless. And, he performs where it counts – inside the octagon – just like McGregor did as he made his way through the European circuit all the way to the UFC.
It’s only a matter of time before Søren Bak makes his inevitable transition to the UFC, but a win in March will be a huge first step on the road to stardom and cementing his legacy in the sport. Keep your eyes peeled for “The True Viking” as he continues to conquer accolades and all opponents in his path. He may not be wearing a horned helmet with the ax yet, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point he does – he is a Viking after all…