Cage Warriors Moves CWFC 71 to Jordan from Sweden
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 07.31.2014
There was an issue with the Swedish commission…
In an official statement, Cage Warriors Fighting Championship has announced that the promotion is moving Cage Warriors 71 from Stockholm, Sweden to Amman, Jordan. The movie is the result of an issue Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation.
Cage Warriors 71 will now be held at the King Hussein Boxing Arena on Friday, August 22. The full card and other details will be announced later. Per the statement, the SMMAF refused to approve several bouts to be held under the full unified rules. Five bouts were submitted for approval, but only one fight, a featherweight fight of Martin Svensson vs. Dave Hill, received permission to be contested under the unified rules.
The other four fights did not receive approval, with the SMMAF saying in a statement, "The committee has found that several matches applied for by Cage Warriors have not made the required level." The SMMAF also referred to the fights as "unequal matching," and that the fighters involved do not have enough experience to compete under the unified rules.
Commenting on the announcement, Cage Warriors CEO Graham Boylan stated: "Moving this event out of Sweden is a decision we really wanted to avoid, but because of the actions of the SMMAF, we have unfortunately been left with no choice in the matter. To ask our elite fighters, who are among the best in Europe and the world as a whole, to compete under a diluted set of rules to what they have been doing throughout their professional careers is an abhorrent insult to these outstanding athletes and their abilities. Jack Hermansson is our middleweight champion and Jack Mason is probably the most experienced fighter in the UK, but their respective bouts were not approved. It's absolutely absurd. Suggesting that such fighters are not capable of competing under full unified rules is ludicrous beyond belief and I would never even consider asking them to compete under anything other than full unified rules. The SMMAF have left us in an impossible, and very sad, situation here, and unfortunately our only option is to take our athletes elsewhere for this event."
Here are the four bouts that SMMAF did not approve for the full unified rules: Jack Hermansson (8-2) versus Cheick Kone (11-3) - CWFC agreed to this title bout being contested over three five-minute rounds; Pannie Kianzad (5-0) versus Alexandra Buch (8-3); Jack Mason (28-13) versus Jonatan Westin (6-2); Liam James (8-6) versus Frantz Slioa (4-0). Applications for further bouts were in the process of being submitted before the decision to move the event to Jordan.
The statement from Cage Warriors suggested there is a conflict of interest in the decision making because one of the committee members of the SMMAF is the coach of Martin Svensson, one of the fighters in the only CWFC 71 bout that was approved for the unified rules. SMMAF's pro-committee said there was no conflict of interest for its decisions.
Former SMMAF and IMMAF president August Wallen commented on the incident: "I'm very sad about this situation. Many have worked hard to get Cage Warriors to Sweden and, as someone who helped to build MMA here, I'm concerned as I believe this could be a major setback for the development of MMA in the whole region. As a coach, I have looked forward to taking part in this great Cage Warriors event and I feel bad for all the fighters who have worked hard but will now be denied the chance to fight here in Sweden in front of a global audience."
Cage Warriors still plans on expanding in Scandinavia despite the issue. Graham Boylan also added: "Our first event in Denmark was a huge success last March and I have no doubt that the same would have been the case in Sweden on August 23. That will now have to wait slightly longer than we had initially hoped for, but I can assure our Swedish fans that it'll be worth the wait when CWFC finally gets there. The actions of the SMMAF have set a worrying precedent for MMA in Sweden, but this has not deterred us at all. Between fighters and fans, Sweden has played a major role in the growth of Cage Warriors and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so.