Cage Warriors president Graham Boylan has revealed plans to host three consecutive events in September rolling from a Thursday to a Saturday, tweeting the announcement on Monday.
Boylan had hinted at a return last week but then posted: “September – 3 Nights – BK2BK – LIVE – Thurs, Fri & Saturday Night. @CageWarriors ITS ON.”
Cage Warriors, who hold most of their events in Britain, would be the first British-based MMA promotion to return amid the coronavirus pandemic. Other sports such as soccer, snooker and horse racing are all happening in Britain, albeit behind closed doors.
Mason Jones, the promotion’s lightweight champion, tweeted: “Here we go then, what night is the champ defending on?”
Here we go then, what night is the champ defending on? https://t.co/y2yfPFcbhq
— Mason Jones (@MasonJones1995) June 22, 2020
Paddy Pimblett, the charismatic Liverpool lightweight, added: “Ohhhhh shittttttt it’s going offfff in September we just need a date now.”
Ohhhhh shittttttt it’s going offfff in September we just need a date now 😎 #Repost @GrahamBoylan with @get_repost
W….T…..F…..🤯 @cagewarriors #mma #ukmma #cagewarriors #thebaddy #paddythebaddy https://t.co/U5duI43Vai
— Paddy Pimblett (@PaddyTheBaddy) June 22, 2020
Rhys McKee, the surging Northern Irish welterweight, said: “Ready to lift gold on the first night, defend on the second, and wrap it up on the 3rd.. #orderup”
— Rhys McKee (@RhysMcKee) June 22, 2020
No dates or venues have been announced although the Manchester BEC Arena, which is privately owned, could be a target.
In March, as Britain prepared for lockdown, Cage Warriors moved Cage Warriors 113 from Indigo at the O2 Arena in London to Manchester’s BEC Arena, as AEG announced it would be shutting all its venues.
The event was headlined by Bartosz Fabinski’s decision over Darren Stewart – a fight moved from a UFC card in London – and Cage Warriors implemented social distancing, temperature checks for fighters and corners, and also created more spaces from warm-ups and changing.
Britain’s coronavirus outbreak has eased since its peak in April, when daily recorded new cases reached highs of 6,119.
By contrast, June’s high for daily recorded new cases is 1,871. England’s shopping centres and schools are open with social distancing measures, while Boris Johnson, the prime minister, is this week expected to announce a reduction of the two meter social distancing rules.
As Manchester looks to be a frontrunner to host Boylan’s crop of talent, as of June 22 the town has 1,714 confirmed cases from a population of 552,858.
Other Cage Warriors hotspots in Britain include Greenwich in London (712 cases from a population of 287,942), Liverpool (1,675 cases from a population of 498,042) and Cardiff (2,204 cases from a population of 366,903).
Alistair Hendrie is a freelance writer for The Body Lock MMA. He has previously written for Mirror.co.uk and Fighters Only. Check out his Kindle book, Fight Game: The Untold Story of Women's MMA in Britain, featuring interviews with Rosi Sexton, Joanne Calderwood and more.