A MIDDLESBROUGH mixed martial arts fighter is taking part in his first event for one of the sport’s leading promotions companies.
Undefeated mixed martial artist George Hardwick is set for his Cage Warriors debut when he faces fellow undefeated fighter, Madars Fleminas .
Cage Warriors is widely regarded as one of Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotions, with their events spanning two decades.
It’s been the breeding ground for some of MMA’s biggest stars ever, including former UFC champions Michael Bisping and Conor McGregror.
The event, which takes place on October 26, will also be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
The 22 year old , from Normanby in Middlesbrough, is fresh off a win in July which earned fight of the night honours, something George isn’t chasing a second time running, but wouldn’t be shocked to see.
He said: “I think I’ll out work and out move Fleminas. I never aim for a fight of the night, I aim to dominate. But combining Fleminas’ toughness and my work rate I won’t be surprised to steal the show with this fight.”
When looking back on his fight of the night win in July, George feels that there was a lot of valuable lessons he can take into his Cage Warriors debut.
He said: “It taught me a number of things and legitimised a number of things for me as well. I had a very short amatuer career compared to Robin Roos who was an IMMAAF world silver medalist but despite that I was still the one able to keep composed throughout the rounds and make adjustments on the fly that won me the fight.”
George also feels that fighting at his natural weight has helped his game as opposed to cutting weight, something which is always a talking point in the MMA community.
“A lot of people doubted the idea of me moving up to welterweight and not cutting weight, but I’ve won both fights I’ve had at the weight and feel faster, more durable and more positive around fight time without putting myself through the cutting process,” He said.
However, the magnitude of this event doesn’t effect George’s mindset or game plan.
He said: “There’s no change in preparation at all. There may be more exposure and eyes on the fight but I couldn’t care less. I don’t do this for anything other than my own enjoyment of the sport. Those moments in the fight of physical and mental freedom are the best moments of my life so where a fight is being broadcast does not effect that.”
George fights out of Middlesbrough Fight Academy and expects North East mixed martial arts to explode going into a new decade.
He said: “North East MMA is gonna take over. We’ve got real fighters going out there to test themselves, not just pad records and build a name. With me fighting in Cage Warriors and my brother Harry fighting in Bellator at the end of this year expect the Hardwick name to burst onto the international MMA scene in 2020.”