Image source: Darren Stewart Instagram (@darren_mma)
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for MMA and sports in general over the past fortnight with many sporting events being cancelled around the globe due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Some big MMA promotions including Bellator have cancelled shows however the UFC and Cage Warriors are controversially battling through the issues, determined to put on events. The UFC have gone to some extreme measures to ensure this weekend’s event remains intact.
The UFC event was originally hosted in London and the Cage Warriors London show is scheduled for Friday 20th March, the day before the UFC’s London show although the Cage Warriors show will continue but behind closed doors.
The UFC’s London event was to be headlined by Tyron Woodley vs. Leon Edwards. However, the UFC have been forced to relocate the event back to the U.S. meaning Edwards was unable to travel and was ultimately forced off the card.
Edwards was not the only fighter on the show who suffered this fate as most of the card was forced off and the UFC are now faced with building a fight card from the ground up.
It now appears that some of the fights that fell through on the UFC London show will be added to the Cage Warriors London card. There are two fights that have been officially confirmed by Cage Warriors President Graham Boylan:
Stewart vs. Fabinski is the latest addition and is a surprising one as the two were originally matched up with different opponents. Stewart was set to face Marvin Vettori and Fabinski’s original opponent was Shavkat Rakhmonov. Fabinski was also scheduled to fight at welterweight whereas Stewart was scheduled to fight at middleweight so Fabinski will make the jump up to middleweight for the fight.
Travel restrictions have meant that Vettori and Rakhmonov are unable to compete in the UK leaving the two European middleweights facing off at Cage Warriors London. Graham Boylan confirmed the news via the Eurobash podcast saying the bout is verbally agreed pending any travel restrictions.
“We have verbally agreed with both sides, but this obviously all travel dependent, for London’s Darren Stewart to compete against Bartosz Fabinski, who is stepping up to middleweight to fight.”