What a roller-coaster few weeks it has been for NI promoter Clan Wars after their Dec 6th MMA event was postponed due to an unforeseen loophole in Covid-19 restrictions spurred a special licensing unit of the PSNI to stop the event going ahead at the last minute.
Police informed the Clan Wars staff that restrictions particular to the usage of hotels would lift on Thursday the 10th of December and advised them to either move to a venue not under hotelier licensing, or to reconvene at a later date.
As the cage, AV equipment and individual warm-up rooms were already in position for the event, the promoter decided to wait until the following weekend when the hotel usage clause would no longer apply.
The decision to postpone the event was communicated to ticket-holders and fighters alike in the middle of the night before the event was due to take. Subsequently, many awoke to news within just hours of their bout, and in some cases after they had traveled to Belfast with their corner teams. Weigh-ins had also successfully taken place, with 23 fights ready to go, pending negative Covid-19 test results.
Fighters, having already weighed in, have been in consultation with the promoters this week to safely re-secure their fights for the rescheduled date. One source said that they have 14 amateur bouts and one pro bout confirmed, pending negative Covid-19 test results – with a total of 15 fights since confirmed by Clan Wars.
According to insiders, weigh-ins will now take place on the same day as the fights (Saturday 12th) at new weights agreed upon between Clan Wars staff and fighters’ teams this week. This is an attempt to encourage athletes not to put unnecessary stress on their bodies so that they can be in the best possible health to compete. But it remains to be seen how fighters, after months and months of training under severe restrictions, will cope with this adjusted weigh-in system. It is also possible that some may be cutting too much in general for fights and may struggle with the extended week of dieting and cutting.
Another risk is the Covid-19 testing. As we have seen with international MMA events with testing systems in place, it is entirely possible that some fights could be lost to positive or false-positive Covid-19 test results. If a corner team member tests positive, one would assume the whole team will not be allowed into the bubble. Of the 15 fights remaining, one can only hope that the individuals involved have managed to adhere to social distancing and other preventative measures in the lead up to this camp and that Covid-19 will not be another task to overcome over the next 24 hours.
The moving of Clan Wars to the following week came with some fights falling off completely, including the debut of SBG Charlestown‘s highly-touted Sarah Elliot-Sheridan. Sarah was due to face Fiadh Magure of MMA Cork, a rising star of women’s MMA in The People’s Republic. It is (sadly) quite rare to see women’s MMA on Irish and NI cards, so the loss of this one along with many other women’s bouts earlier in the year is a huge loss for Irish MMA.
The rescheduled Clan Wars 38 card will take place at midday on Saturday the 12th of December, 2020. You can purchase the Pay-Per-View through Glistrr for £10 plus booking free (£11.35/€13.25 total). We have been told that you the stream stays online after the event for you to watch back if you cannot watch live. If you would prefer a refund for last week’s event you can contact Glistrr on email@example.com.