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Matchmaker Ian Dean Talks About The Return Of Cage Warriors
written by Martin Smith
With less than three days to go before the return of Cage Warriors in the U.K., excitement is already building in what is expected to be a fantastic night of MMA. The card is stacked with top European names such as: Paul McVeigh, John Quinn, Jim Wallhead, and Greg Loughran. After a number of pullouts due to injuries and various other problems, the hard work is almost complete for matchmaker Ian Dean.

“It’s been a challenge” says Dean. “It’s been difficult. We had a lot of pullouts - some injuries, and some things that were completely out of our hands. We’ve just got to get on with it. This week alone we had Rosi Sexton having to withdraw from the card. She’s fine, she’s not injured, but unfortunately her situation is out of our hands”.

It’s been a story of the build-up for the matchmaker. Having matched the likes of Frank Sharipov and Mikey Gomez on the card previously, he’s been in the unfortunate position of having to replace fighters week by week as the event draws nearer.

“We had Frank Sharipov not be able to get a visa for the U.K. in time,” said Dean. “Even though he lives in the U.S., he’s not a U.S. citizen. He’s a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, and he needs a visa to get here.”

“We also had Mikey Gomez, who was due to fight Jimmy Wallhead, suffer knee ligament damage. And we’ve had other problems up and down the card” added Dean. “I can’t even remember what the original card was”.

The card from top to bottom remains a quality one however, and with ten fights currently scheduled for the event, including U.K. MMA veteran Jim Wallhead being matched with Shaun Lomas earlier today. The fans in attendance can expect a very special night this Saturday.

“Special? I don’t know. Special means different things to different people,” he states. “For me, having a Cage Warriors show back, in a great venue, right there in the heart of the Midlands, it’s fantastic.”

“I’ve been counting down the days, really, until we did another show. I think people are going to leave thinking, ‘Wow! This was a good show.’”

The main event sees John Quinn take on Pascal Krauss for the welterweight title, with both men defending their unbeaten records. Two other title fights are on the card, including Bellator veteran Greg Loughran taking on Kenneth Rosfort for the lightweight title and Paul McVeigh going head-to-head with M-1 veteran Jose Luis Zapater for the bantamweight title.

The night’s other fights include a tough welterweight fight between Pete Irving and Nordin Asrih, Denzil Thomas and Ali McClean meet in a lightweight fight, and Jim Wallhead takes on Shaun Lomas.

“We can expect what Cage Warriors always tries to deliver. No gimmicks – just pure MMA,” continues Dean.

“We’ve got some great fights on the card, including John Quinn versus Pascal Krauss in the main event for the welterweight title. Both guys are 8-0, they’ve never been the distance, Quinn’s had seven wins inside the first round. Krauss has only been to the second round a couple of times. They’re both very good guys, they’ve both got a lot of submission wins and they can both stand and bang.

“I think Greg Loughran and Kenneth Rosfort, our lightweight title fight, will be fireworks all the way. Both of them guys can really bang, and I don’t think a lot of people have really seen how powerful Loughran’s striking is.”

With this event, the first Cage Warriors event in the U.K. in nearly two years, fans of the sport are hoping that it will be a regular return for one of the U.K.’s most popular MMA promotions. Fans will be excited to see what the weekend ahead will bring, the matchmaker reiterates his passion for the promotion and is hopeful of another show down the line.

“I hope so,” says Dean. “I mean yeah, why not? There were provisional plans for one later in the year, but let’s get this one out of the way. We’ll have this show on Saturday, we’ll go back, we’ll debrief and we’ll go from there really”.

For more information about the Cage Warriors event visit http://www.cagewarriors.com/
Ian is a super cool guy, it's awesome to see Cage Warriors back in the mix.
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