Image source: Cage Warriors Instagram (@cagewarriors)
With news that the UFC have now postponed their next three shows MMA’s last hope of catching some action this weekend comes in the form of Cage Warriors 113.
The promotion has now hit another stumbling block as announced by Cage Warriors President Graham Boylan on social media. The Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) who owns the O2 Arena informed Boylan that all of their venues would be closed until further notice meaning Cage Warriors London could not go ahead.
Boylan and his team quickly turned this situation around though and rebooked a venue in Manchester to relocate the fight to. The promotion does not have to worry about reassigning fan tickets as the event had already been confirmed to be happening behind closed doors.
Boylan also commented on why he and the Cage Warriors team have tried so hard to keep the event going via a press release.
“The Cage Warriors team is working around-the-clock to get this done.
After everything they’ve been through, the fighters deserve to compete. After all the support they’ve shown us, the fans deserve some calm amongst the chaos. We’re determined to provide the world with a seriously exciting night of MMA this Friday.”
Therefore, five days out from fight night the event is still on and has been relocated to Manchester. However, it remains to be seen whether more restrictions will stop the event from happening during the week as there are now going to be daily updates given by the government on the coronavirus situation in the UK.
The event will host three title fights as well as some of the biggest names in Cage Warriors including Paddy Pimblett’s return to action. The card now also includes four UFC fighters including Darren Stewart and John Phillips.
The government could potentially still throw a spanner in the works for Cage Warriors, but the promotion seems committed to putting on the event and remains the last major MMA event standing this weekend.
With many other sporting events cancelled at the moment it’s easy to see why Cage Warriors and the UFC are trying their hardest to maintain their events as it likely means more eyeballs for their content with a lack of competition.
However, it is also fair to recognise the controversy caused by their actions during a global pandemic. Hosting events is not going to help slow the spread of the virus and there will still be a reasonably large gathering of people in the venue including event staff, fighters, coaching teams, broadcasters, commentators and commissioners, judges and referees.
Controversial or not… there is an MMA event scheduled on this weekend.