Cage Warriors president Graham Boylan has seen the success the UFC has had with their purpose-built UFC Apex facility, and has plans to create one for his own promotion.

Speaking to MMA Junkie to confirm details of the promotion’s upcoming triple-header of shows on September 24, 25, and 26 in Manchester, Boylan said the success of the UFC’s facility, combined with conversations he has had with arenas across Europe, has led him to conclude that a similar facility for Cage Warriors is the next big step for the promotion.

“This has opened my eyes to the fact that it would be really good for us to have our own mini-arena, ‘The Cage Warriors Arena,’ in the UK,” Boylan explained. “We are physically looking into securing a commercial property to put our own studio-style arena together that stays consistently set up.”

In addition to the UFC’s successful transition from independently-owned arenas to their own purpose-built facility in Las Vegas, Boylan revealed that the less-than-encouraging outlook conveyed by arena executives across Europe has led him to his decision.

“We had dates penciled in for some of the biggest arenas in Europe,” he said. “We had dates penciled in for Sweden, Denmark, Belfast (Northern Ireland), Wales. But (arena executives) do not see people in arenas for events this side of Christmas.”

With the removal of ticket sales as a revenue stream for the foreseeable future, the appeal of a self-contained, permanently-set-up mini-arena in a self-owned facility started to make even more sense.

“If you weigh up the costs of renting these big arenas that we go into – and we do 10 a year – and you weigh up the cost of that over two to three years, we could potentially have our own arena set up,” Boylan continued. “No de-rigging, no building, it’s there, ready every time we want to use it, and we can use it for other stuff, too. This pandemic has opened my eyes up to that, and we’re looking for that spot right now.”

Cage Warriors’ next events will take place over three days at the BEC Arena, where they successfully held a behind-closed-doors event, Cage Warriors 113, back in March. But while Boylan and his team are currently working to fill three fight cards for the trio of UFC Fight Pass-streamed events in Manchester, plans are already underway to identify and secure a suitable venue to create ‘The Cage Warriors Arena,’ where an arena setup similar to the one we’ll see in Manchester can be created as the promotion’s own arena venue.

“We’re going to create a studio space,” he explained. “What you’ll see happen in Manchester, we can create in a space and leave that permanently set up. I’ve got a lot of commercial leases in London with my gyms, I’m very aware of commercial real estate. So I’m looking for the right place, with the right ceiling height, to set up a full-size cage, a rig, a couple of changing rooms, and have it constantly set up and left there for whenever we need to use it.

“I’m pushing to get this done. I don’t know how long it is going to take, but I’m pushing to get this done. With the goalposts moving every day, our prime target right now is these three shows, and finding our own Apex in the UK.”