Cage Warriors makes history with first government-recognized MMA shows in U.K.

Cage Warriors’ upcoming triple-header in Manchester is set to make history in more ways than one.

The U.K.-based promotion’s “Trilogy” events, which will take place on Sept. 24, 25 and 26 at the BEC Arena, represent the first time the promotion has hosted back-to-back events across three days. But, more significantly, the upcoming events have received something no other U.K. MMA promotion or event has ever had before – official government approval.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-changing guidelines regarding public gatherings and event protocols, the promotion applied to the U.K. government to get their three-night run rubber-stamped by lawmakers in Westminster.

The resulting approval, signed off by the U.K. government’s Secretary of State Grant Shapps, permits elite sportspersons taking part in government-specified events to be permitted exemptions to the standard self-isolation requirements upon their arrival in the U.K.

Under this week’s amendment, Cage Warriors’ upcoming shows have been officially added to the list of approved events, along with two championship boxing cards, an under-18 British Gymnastics meet and a Matchroom Snooker event.

The approval not only means Cage Warriors’ event is cleared to go ahead with full government approval, it also represents the first time the U.K. government has officially recognized the sport of MMA.

While MMA is governed by state athletic commissions in the United States, the sport remains unregulated by the U.K. government. The English Mixed Martial Arts Association (EMMAA) has been established under the global IMMAF umbrella to help promote best practices for organizations holding events in the U.K., while Safe MMA was set up as a voluntary organization to provide third-party medical screening and record-keeping services, as well as to act a point of information and medical advice for athletes competing in the U.K. and Ireland.

However, Cage Warriors’ official recognition via the government’s COVID-19 event legislation represents a notable landmark for the sport in the U.K.

Cage Warriors 114, 115 and 116 take place Sept 24, 25 and 26 at the BEC Arena, Manchester. All three events will stream live worldwide on UFC Fight Pass.

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