EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Cage Warriors president Graham Boylan
We sat down with the president of Cage Warriors ahead of CW 82
1. With CW 82 being your biggest event yet, what can the fans expect from the show?
It’s going to be a great night. As always Ian dean has put together a brilliant card, and that’s the key. But we are also upping our production a further notch or two, and looking forward to a real MMA party come Saturday night.
2. The promotion seems to be going from strength to strength, what are your goals currently going forward? Where do you see CW in the next few years?
We have had a good year, and we’ve done what we said we would – perhaps even a bit more than we said we would do. Our primary goal is to always deliver a “fighters first” promotion. Great athletes deserve a great platform that develops their careers – so bringing on the right mix of partners is key: fightpass, btsports, viasat, eleven, cf athletic and a couple more awesome partners we will announce over the next 48 hours.
3. CW has bred some of the biggest stars in the sport, how do you spot these talents?
Time and effort. Ian and myself place a lot of emphasis on this. You have to remember we are, before anything else, big, big fans of the sport. We love it, and that helps us follow the young kids coming up at the grassroots level of the sport.
4. You seem to have a genuine star in Paddy Pimblett, where do you see his future?
Paddy will determine his own future. He’s a brilliant fighter and a brilliant guy – cool, funny, humble. That’s why people love him.
6. Would it be possible to see Conor McGregor return as a guest to a CW event?
Conor is welcome any time. A true CW legend.
7. Do you feel that CW can begin to branch out to Europe and the U.S soon?
Europe yes; the USA no. We did our first show outside the UK since our return last year in Dublin last month. That went pretty well and we would like to go to a few more European territories.
8. Dan Hardy recently announced he could return – is there a chance we see that under the CW banner?
That would be cool!
MMA goes from strength to strength. I am a bit worried that there are a few unstable promotions that cut corners and don’t do things the right way. This could impact us all negatively but generally the growth of the sport is ongoing and very positive.
11. You recently signed a new regional deal for regional fighters. What can fans expect from this deal?
This is one pillar of our “fighters first “philosophy. We don’t make any money out of these shows, but we do place importance on helping good local shows to raise their standards (regulatory, medical and so on) and to deliver good young fighters to promotions like ourselves. For fans it hopefully means they see more local decent shows in their areas.
12. How do you feel about the company’s growth in the last year?
As I said earlier, we’ve had a very good year. 8 shows, good TV deals and coverage, some awesome fights and it’s been a lot of fun. With the support of our investors – who are brilliant by the way – we continue to grow our management team and we are looking to do greater numbers of bigger shows going forward. Onward and upwards.
Check out CW82 live on Saturday night on BT Sport!