Source: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images for Oktagon MMA

MMA star Jack Cartwright takes inspiration from Katie Zelem

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Manchester MMA athlete, Jack Cartwright, today met England football star and captain of Manchester United Women’s team, Katie Zelem, in the build-up to the biggest fight of his career against Croatian fighter Antun Racic at Oktagon MMA on Saturday 4 November in Manchester.

Manchester United fan Cartwright, who has recently resumed his career after taking a break to care for his baby son, gave Zelem a taste for MMA at his gym Wayfarer Academy in Longsight, whilst taking inspiration from Zelem’s words about leadership and commitment to her sport.

“It was a pleasure to introduce Katie to MMA and to chat to her about her passion for football, her career and Manchester”, said Cartwright. “I am so happy that Oktagon has chosen Manchester as its first stop on UK soil. We hope to put on a show and inspire the next generation of MMA fighters.”

Cartwright continues: “I have been training really hard and I am not looking past 4th November. I am so excited to fight in front of a home crowd at the AO Arena, and I know that the atmosphere is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to get out there, put on the best performance of my life and prove why I am the best fighter in Europe.”

After joining Cartwright in some MMA training exercises Zelem was impressed: “I can confirm it is hard work! I think you can never appreciate something until you’ve done it yourself. I did 20 punches, and my arms are already tired. I don’t know how Jack does it, all those rounds consecutively is admirable. I wish Jack the best of luck for his Oktagon fight on 4th November, and I hope he can do it for the Manchester crowd.”

Cartwright, a formed Cage Warriors bantamweight champion, will be part of a star line up at the AO Arena in Manchester on 4 October, as Oktagon MMA debuts on UK soil. The highly anticipated event is hailed as the newest and most thrilling MMA spectacle in Europe. The event will also feature a celebrity fight, with reality TV star Jake Quickenden and stand-up comedian Paul Smith having devoted the past ten months of their lives to MMA training as part of the ‘Stage to Cage’ TV series on Channel 4.

Oktagon MMA in Manchester will also serve as the grand finale of the Oktagon Challenge, a reality TV show streamed on Channel 4. The captivating series follows four MMA athletes from England as they go head-to-head with four MMA athletes from Ireland. Throughout the series, the rising stars not only demonstrate their skills in the cage, but also take on challenges beyond their comfort zone. The ultimate winner will be determined on 4 November in Manchester in front of a live crowd.

For more information about Oktagon MMA at the AO Arena in Manchester on Saturday 4 November 2023, visit Oktagon’s official website. Tickets are now available. To book your seat and be part of the action, visit here.