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‘The only thing that bothers me is panic buying of biscuits!’ - Aimable ready to fight as coronavirus forces Cage Warriors 113 to Manchester

PUBLISHED: 18:25 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 18:25 17 March 2020

Steve Aimable will face Perry Goodwin on Cage Warriors 113 this Friday, an event forced to move from London to Manchester because of the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: BRETT KING

Steve Aimable will face Perry Goodwin on Cage Warriors 113 this Friday, an event forced to move from London to Manchester because of the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: BRETT KING

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MMA star Steve Aimable says he’s not worried about fighting amid the coronavirus pandemic this Friday – as long as panic buying doesn’t limit his choice of celebratory biscuits post-battle!

Steve Aimable, left, dropped a points decision to featherweight champion in a non-title fight Mads Burnell at Cage Warriors 111. Picture: ROSS HALLSSteve Aimable, left, dropped a points decision to featherweight champion in a non-title fight Mads Burnell at Cage Warriors 111. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Essex talent Aimable (14-6) faces Perry Goodwin (9-6) at Cage Warriors 113 on Friday night – an event with one of the most extraordinary build-ups in sporting history due to the coronavirus.

The event was due to be held at the Indigo in the O2 but, with almost all other elite sport cancelled or postponed around it – including UFC London at the same arena on Saturday – Cage Warriors president Graham Boylan has insisted it will go ahead.

With the news last night that the 02 is to close, that’s meant moving it to Manchester’s BEC Arena and putting it behind closed doors.

While many would be understandably unsettled by all the upheaval, Aimable, who fights out of Colchester’s BKK Fighters Gym, insists he’s unruffled.

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He said: “I’m not worried, to be honest. I was thinking that it might get cancelled, but nothing has changed for me – we’ve been preparing as if it will go ahead.

“I’m happy the fight is going ahead, it just means now I’ve got to travel all the way up to Manchester and start cutting weight – I just hope I don’t start cutting and then we’re told the fight is cancelled.

“I’m not one of these guys who gets worried about things, what will be will be. The only thing that bothers me is panic buying of biscuits! I went into Aldi the other day and all they had was fig rolls – I love them, but I want some other biscuits after the fight!”

Of the event being behind closed doors, Aimable added: “During the fight I don’t really notice anything apart from my corner team. When you win it’s nice to see the crowd excitement and all of that, so it’s going to be weird, but I’ve got no excuses for not following my team’s advice now - I can’t say I didn’t hear them!”

Steve Aimable unloads some heavy shots on his way to beating Josh Abraham at Cage Warriors 99 in Colchester. Picture: BRETT KINGSteve Aimable unloads some heavy shots on his way to beating Josh Abraham at Cage Warriors 99 in Colchester. Picture: BRETT KING

The fight is Aimable’s first since he lost on points to current Cage Warriors featherweight champion Mads Burnell last November. That battle was originally meant to be for the belt, but Aimable missed weight by the smallest of margins – just 90g – and thus it went ahead as a non-title fight.

But he still became the first man to push submission ace Burnell to a decision in Cage Warriors, and proved he belongs among the division’s elite. So, when it was announced that Burnell was hurt and French KO artist Morgan Charriere would be facing Darko Banovic for the interim belt on Cage Warriors 113, Aimable was a little shocked.

“I was a bit surprised”, he explained. “Morgan’s team said they asked for me, but apparently Cage Warriors said I wasn’t at that level. It’s business. Morgan deserves a shot at the title, so it is what it is.

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“Looking back at the Mads fight, I put too much pressure on myself and was thinking about what a win would do for me – I could see myself getting onto the UFC card at London, and that would change my life. Then missing weight took the fire away. I didn’t think it had at the time, but thinking about it now, it did.

“This fight camp I’ve gone back to enjoying it again and having fun. It wasn’t me last last time.

“But I take nothing but positives from the fight itself. I took him the distance and he hardly shot for takedowns at all because he felt I was too strong – that’s a confidence boost for sure.

“In fact Perry thinks I’m on the juice, so that’s a compliment too. Just because he’s got the dad bod, that’s not for me just yet!”

Of the Goodwin match-up, Aimable added: “I’m expecting a tough fight. He’s game and I think we’re quite similar – both tough, like the stand-up and have good wrestling.

“There’s a lot of dangers he posesses, but it’s the same as all the others – I’ve got a good gameplan in place which has worked every time apart from the Mads fight. It’s going to be one to remember, for sure.

“Look for a 15-minute war - a potential fight of the night which will be exciting for the TV audience and, with everyone being tuned in to watch, it’s a good opportunity for me.”

- Cage Warriors 113 will be closed to the public but broadcast live across the world on UFC Fight Pass.


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