The main event of Cage Warriors 113 is the latest casualty to the ever-changing event as French sensation Morgan Charriere took to social media to announce that his opponent Darko Banovic would not travel to the Manchester event.
Since the coronavirus became a global pandemic, Cage Warriors 113 has suffered several withdrawals and even a change of location from London to Manchester, but promotional president Graham Boylan joined MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast to underline his insistence to stage the event earlier this week.
Charriere was due to face Banovic in the main event of the Manchester event, where he was due to put his interim featherweight belt on the line. The French fan favorite left his native France early as an extra precaution knowing that travel restrictions were likely to heighten due to growing coronavirus concerns. However, on Wednesday, he claimed that Banovic did not want to travel to compete.
Cage Warriors have confirmed to MMA Fighting that Banovic could not make it to the event due to travel complications.
Charriere took to Twitter to share his version of events.
Très déçu d’avoir à vous annoncer que mon combat pour la ceinture n’aura pas lieu vendredi. — KING MOGO™ (@Morgan_Chapa) March 18, 2020
Darko Banovic à décidé de ne pas se déplacer aujourd’hui pour venir m’affronter. Nous lui avions trouver toutes les solutions pour lui assurer un retour après le combat. pic.twitter.com/EBHMoIkiwo
The translated thread read:
“Very disappointed to have to tell you that my fight for the belt will not take place on Friday. Darko Banovic decided not to travel today to come and face me. We had him find all the solutions to ensure him a return after the fight. So we looked for a last-minute, fruitless replacement. Only refusals, even from fighters already planned on the 66kg card to whom I offered an additional 1k from my pocket. So I’m on my return to France now with a bitter taste because I tried everything to make this fight. I’m sorry guys and girls, thanks for your support and the strength I saw it all.”
In light of the headline bout being canceled, Mason Jones and Joe McColgan’s vacant lightweight title fight will likely moved to the forefront of the event.
Charriere (15-7-1) is one of the most famous fighters in France and was deemed one of the most valuable proponents in the region due to his amorphous fan base and the sport recently becoming legal in the area.
In the lead up to the fight, Charriere underlined how he felt the Cage Warriors title was the next step to securing a UFC contract. He most recently impressed fans and media with his stoppage win over U.K. stalwart and former featherweight champion Dean Trueman.
Banovic (17-7-0) hails from Bosnia and Herzegovina and is in his 10th year as a professional fighter. Although he was set to make his promotional debut in the Manchester main event, he is currently on a two-fight win streak.
Check out this week’s Eurobash for a concise look at the Cage Warriors 113 card including interviews with Graham Boylan and Joe McColgan.