Cage Warriors will not allow the coronavirus to slow them down.
The United Kingdom based promotion had a card set for Friday night, but the O2 Arena in London shut down to prevent any mass gatherings in order to try and help contain the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
With AEG, the company who owns the O2 Arena, shutting down all of their venues, Cage Warriors announced plans to shift the entire card to Manchester with the show now taking place on Friday at the BEC Arena.
Cage Warriors president Graham Boylan revealed the news on social media, while adding that the card would take place behind closed doors without an audience in attendance.
In addition to the card being relocated, Cage Warriors also added two fights featuring athletes who were scheduled on the UFC Fight Night card in London that was originally slated for March 21.
The UFC ultimately postponed that card along with two more shows on March 28 and April 11, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to shut down businesses across the United States.
Darren Stewart will face Bartosz Fabinski, while John Phillips takes on Dusko Todorovic at Cage Warriors 113.
Despite all the warnings about social distancing and the U.S. government recently recommending that people should avoid gatherings of 10 or more to help cut down the spread of the disease, Cage Warriors is determined to move forward with the show on Friday in the U.K.
“It will take tanks, trucks and lots of men with guns to stop this event going on,” Boylan told MMAFighting when asked about the event moving forward as scheduled.
“I’m not a doctor and I’m not going to get into all of this, but you know what? There’s 10 f—ing million people on the Tube every day. The Tubes are still running, the bus is still running, everyone is still in London and everyone is still working. We’re going to make this and go along with the precautions and guidelines that we’re being advised by the government,” he continued.
“We’re going to keep it behind closed doors, we’re going to be washing hands, keeping distancing. We’re going to do everything we can within the guidelines. Our medics are going to be all over it. Our medics are going to be testing our fighters for symptoms. We’re going to do what we can to move forward with this event.”