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Injury forces Phillips out of title clash


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John Phillips and Chris Fields face off at the Cage Warriors 48 weigh-ins in London last week. (Photo: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors).

THE injury curse of the Cage Warriors middleweight title tournament continues, as John Phillips has been forced to withdraw from his meeting with Pavel Kusch in the final at CWFC Fight Night 7 in Jordan on September 1.

Phillips (16-5-0-1nc), who submitted Chris Fields in the main event of Cage Warriors 48 in London last week to earn the title shot, sustained a hand injury during that victory.

The injury showed no sign of healing throughout last week so Phillips had a scan on Saturday that revealed a broken bone, which will keep him out of action for the foreseeable future.

Having set a deadline for the final of the tournament to go ahead at CWFC Fight Night 7, Cage Warriors officials have opted to hand the middleweight title shot to Chris Fields.

Despite coming off a loss, of the four fighters who had originally progressed to the tournament semi-finals, Fields (9-4-0) is the only one not currently injured.

“Because there have been so many injuries in this tournament, the whole situation has become very complicated and it’s something we’ve had to think long and hard about,” said Cage Warriors CEO Graham Boylan.

“But having done so, I don’t think anyone can argue with Chris Fields being the most suitable replacement, so we believe this is the correct decision in the circumstances.

“Yes, he’s coming off a loss to John Phillips but that certainly doesn’t change the fact that he’s one of the top guys in the middleweight division and a worthy contender.

“Postponing the fight wasn’t an option, especially because we had already given Victor Cheng a deadline to declare his fitness, and neither was bringing in someone else. That would have been unfair to the rest of the guys who were in the tournament.”

Boylan expressed his sympathy with John Phillips, whose injury looks set to keep him out of the cage for the rest of the year.

“After a very impressive win last week, this is horrible luck for John. Everyone was already starting to look forward to his rematch against Pavel Kusch but I don’t think it will be long before we see him back fighting for the Cage Warriors title again.”

The CWFC eight-man middleweight title tournament appears to have been blighted by an injury jinx from the outset. Boylan admits it’s proof that long-term tournaments are difficult to maintain.

“Since we announced this tournament at the end of last year, seven guys have had to pull out of fights because of injury. It hasn’t been easy but we’ve succeeded in bringing in quality replacements on each occasion.

“But I would have to say that I’d be very hesitant to stage another tournament like this again given how things have transpired.”

More fights are still to be announced for CWFC Fight Night 7, which takes place at the New Boxing Arena in Amman, Jordan on Saturday, 1 September, 2012. Keep track of us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates.

CWFC Fight Night 7

Pavel Kusch v Chris Fields - middleweight title bout
Conor McGregor v Jim Alers - featherweight title bout
Mark Holst v Leonardo Santos
Liam James v Olivier Pastor

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