Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, presents the return of Cage Warriors Fighting Championship action with a bang this Saturday, Nov. 1, with two Cage Warriors 73 main cards headlined by world championship fights set to begin at 2 p.m. ET, emanating from Newcastle, England’s Metro Radio Arena.
Fight Network’s live broadcast will air on Cablevision’s Optimum TV, Grande Communications, Shentel Cable and Armstrong Cable in the U.S., nationwide in Canada, Roku devices across North America, and globally in over 30 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Headlining the first main card set for 2 p.m. ET, Alex Enlund battles Nad Narimani for the vacant Cage Warriors featherweight title. In other featured bouts, Moktar Benkaci meets Ronnie Mann, Leeroy Barnes takes on Kyle Redfearn, Liam James throws down with Dean Trueman, Ellis Hampson squares off with Lewis Monarch, plus Mark Connor and Ian Malone kick off the televised festivities.
The action heats up with the second main card set for 5 p.m. ET, as Stevie Ray defends the Cage Warriors lightweight strap against Curt Warburton. The co-feature pits Juan Manuel Suarez against Jim Wallhead, while other contests include Shaj Haque vs. Damien Rooney, Matt Inman vs. Lewis Long, Brett Caswell vs. Marcin Lasota and Stephen Martin vs. Paddy Pimblett.
Enlund (10-2-0-1nc), who’ll have the benefit of vocal home support as a native of the north-east of England, has accumulated a 4-1 record since joining CWFC.
After a move to bantamweight in March 2013 was aborted following a difficult weight-cut and subsequent loss to Martin McDonough, Enlund has looked extremely impressive, embarking on a three-fight win-streak.
The 27-year-old jiu-jitsu specialist rebounded with wins over Sebastian Romanowski and Danny Lawson, before disposing of Artem Lobov at CWFC 65 in Dublin earlier this year.
Nine of his ten wins have come by way of submission, and Enlund has been taken out of the first round just once in his professional career.
“Fighting for the CWFC world title is an absolutely massive opportunity for me,” Enlund said. “Winning this belt, especially in front of a home crowd at the Metro Radio Arena, would be a huge achievement. Nad Narimani is a good opponent and someone I’ve seen a lot of, so I’m looking forward to testing my skills against a well-rounded competitor and bringing the belt home.”
Narimani (7-1) has risen rapidly through the rankings having made his professional debut just over three years ago, starting with a 5-0 run that included notable victories against Marcin Wrzosek and Karsten Lenjoint.
The 27-year-old Englishman then kicked off his CWFC career against future title challenger Graham Turner in July 2013, but was edged out via split decision, tasting defeat for the only time in his career so far.
But Narimani, who has taken five of his seven wins by stoppage, returned to winning ways courtesy of first-round submissions of previously-undefeated pair Theo Michailidis and Benjamin Brander.
Narimani, who hails from Bristol, said: “This is a huge event and opportunity for me, and I’m proud to be getting this chance to show what I can really do against a very highly-ranked opponent. I’ve been working extremely hard so you can expect me to showcase some new skills and come away with another big win in Newcastle on November 1.”
Enlund and Narimani will be vying for a title that was most recently held by Jim Alers, who vacated the belt earlier this year after two successful defenses prior to his move to the UFC.
Ray (15-5) is currently in his second stint as CWFC lightweight world champion, having first clinched the belt courtesy of wins over Jason Ball and Sean Carter in CWFC’s four-man, one-night lightweight title tournament at CWFC 60 in October 2013.
The 24-year-old relinquished the strap following a fourth-round submission defeat to Ivan Buchinger last New Year’s Eve at CWFC 63 in Dublin, but the title returned to Scotland in June after Ray exacted revenge against Warburton.
“I’m looking forward to defending my belt, particularly in Curt’s hometown,” said Ray. “It’s not too far from home for me either, so you can expect an invasion of Scottish fans and a crazy atmosphere.”
Warburton (13-5) signed to compete exclusively for Cage Warriors Fighting Championship last year, and made a successful debut for the promotion at CWFC 62 with of a first-round submission of Wesley Murch.
A three-fight veteran of the UFC, 33-year-old Warburton has put together a 6-2 record since his departure from the UFC following a defeat to Joe Lauzon in June 2011.
Warburton said: “The judges won’t save Stevie Ray this time. I’m going to put things right in Newcastle on November 1.”
The full fight card for Cage Warriors 73 live on Fight Network includes:
Part 1 (2 p.m. ET)
-Alex Enlund vs. Nad Narimani – vacant CWFC featherweight world title bout
-Moktar Benkaci vs. Ronnie Mann
-Leeroy Barnes vs. Kyle Redfearn
-Liam James vs. Dean Trueman
-Ellis Hampson vs. Lewis Monarch
-Mark Connor vs. Ian Malone
Part 2 (5 p.m. ET)
-Stevie Ray (c) vs. Curt Warburton – CWFC lightweight world title bout
-Juan Manuel Suarez vs. Jimmy Wallhead
-Shaj Haque vs. Damien Rooney
-Matt Inman vs. Lewis Long
-Brett Caswell vs. Marcin Lasota
-Stephen Martin vs. Paddy Pimblett