It’s been an uncertain and long week for UFC welterweight, Bartosz Fabinski, but he gets to forget all about that when he steps up to main event Cage Warriors 113 on Friday night.
Fabinski (14-3) was scheduled to compete at UFC London this coming weekend against promotional newcomer, Shavkat Rakhmonov, but the world’s leading organisation cancelled the show due to complications surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. Many of the fights booked for the card were initially planned to be moved over to the US but Rakhmonov had visa problems so wouldn’t have been able to gain access to the country. As it turned out, the shows the UFC were planning to stage across the pond were cancelled anyway so Fabinski was left with no fight at all.
However, Cage Warriors president, Graham Boylan, made it known that he would try to save a number of the UFC London bouts by placing them on the upcoming card for the European promotion. Fabinski was booked against current UFC middleweight, Darren Stewart, in a bout above his current weight class but he is just pleased to be able to compete. The fight is under both men’s UFC contract. Cage Warriors 113 was nearly scuppered at the last minute due to the original venue temporarily closing, but the company managed to move the show 200 miles across the country to Manchester in order to keep the event alive.
“This past week has been very unusual and details about where I’m fighting have changed constantly,” discussed Fabinski. “However, I am now focusing on my bout taking place in Cage Warriors and I want to come out of this all with a victory. I’m very glad and grateful that the UFC and Cage Warriors were able to let this fight happen. I appreciate the effort that both promotions went to so I can step inside the cage.”
“Of course, I thought carefully about the coronavirus situation before agreeing to compete but I have chosen to fight,” continued Fabinski. “I’ve taken into consideration the consequences of me travelling and coming into contact with people but I’m a healthy man so I should be fine. Once I get back to Poland, I will go into quarantine at home for two weeks.”
The 33-year-old hasn’t competed since November 2018 because of different injuries he suffered. He’s had two surgeries in his time off but he is healthy again now and can’t wait to fight once again. Fabinski has a 3-1 record inside the UFC and holds career victories over Antoni Chmielewski, Hector Urbina and Emil Meek. He had a tough and challenging time getting to England given travel restrictions all over Europe but he is pleased he’s in his final destination now.
Unlike Fabinski, Cage Warriors won’t be an unfamiliar setting for Stewart (11-4, 1NC) who competed six times for the promotion on his journey to the UFC. ‘The Dentist’ is coming off the back of a split decision victory over Deron Winn and will be looking to add to his 64% finishing rate in Manchester. Fabinski acknowledged that there were no similarities at all between Stewart and his original opponent but he is aware of what he needs to do in order to get his hand raised.
“Stewart is different in almost every way to Shavkat,” claimed Fabinski. “He competes in a higher weight class, is much stronger and his style isn’t comparable. Everything has changed for me in this fight. Luckily, I don’t really game plan around my opponents so my preparations haven’t changed. I just focus on myself and work on the things that I will do inside the cage. Stewart is a really good opponent so this bout might go all the way to a decision. I must be switched on and ready from the very opening seconds until the end of the contest.”
Cage Warriors 113 takes place on Friday night from Manchester, England and viewers from UK/Ireland can tune in on UFC Fight Pass at 9 p.m. GMT. Fans in the US can watch from 5 p.m. ET.
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