Alex Enlund – “I’m the most skilled guy in the Featherweight division”

Cage Warriors Fighting Championship have been without a Featherweight Champion since Jim Alers vacated the strap to join the UFC. But come 1st November the promotion will be crowning their first English Cage Warriors Champion in three years as Featherweights Alex Enlund and Nad Narimani will battle it out in a five round bout.

Enlund who enters the biggest fight of his career with a record of 10-2-0-1nc will be the hometown favourite hailing from South Shields and will be looking to use the support to gain an advantage. “Just having people there to support me makes me feel better about it. All of these people are coming out to see me and I put so much pressure on myself that I couldn’t have any more pressure. I have very high expectations for myself and seeing all these people here for me will be a huge sense of accomplishment for me.”

The title implication was only announced to the media just over two weeks from the event and Enlund admits he was even a little shocked about the call but more than willing to oblige. He also has been overwhelmed with the support he has received since the announcement was made. “I was on my way back from training last Wednesday when Ian Dean rang me and asked if I would be interested. I had said yes before he even finished his sentence. I was a little bit emotional at first as a shot at the title is what I want more than anything else. It wasn’t then until the announcement was made and the messages started to arrive wishing me luck and others explaining how much I deserved the shot that it really hit home. It’s an opportunity I will be taking with both hands.”

Given the title implications in the fight both Enlund and Narimani will now have to prepare for a five round fight as opposed to the standard three rounds, something which Enlund had been doing anyway. “I have been sparring five rounds most of the camp so it’s no different for me. It’s the same opponent but just two rounds longer. I know the dynamics change and the pace is slightly different but I push myself so hard in training throughout 5 and 6 rounds that it won’t be an issue. I train with some of the best and you just can’t let up or take it easy in training.”

Whilst Enlund has impressed with his slick jiu jitsu in amassing a total of nine career submission wins, he is anything but a one dimensional striker and has continued to improve his stand up game. Aided with some elite level training partners Enlund has quickly had to become accustomed to stand and trade to make for an easier life in the gym. “I have to kick box with some super high level strikers like Curt Warburton and Ross Pearson every day. Every time I am training with these guys I get better and if I’m not improving in the gym they will let me know about it. Yes my ground game is my base but if anyone doubts my striking that will be their downfall.”

Standing in the way of Enlund is Nad Narimani who himself has been very impressive since joining Cage Warriors. Following a close split decision loss to Graham Turner last July he has sprung back into winning ways with two first round submission victories. So what does Enlund make of Narimani? “I have watched a few of his fights as he was supposed to be fighting Liam James. I spent some time breaking down his patterns and looking at the things he does. He is a good boxer with a nice tight stance and he has good wrestling which he favours. But you know things change so I won’t be expecting anything from him as a lot changes in 9 months. He will be completely different to the Nad who beat Brander like I will be a completely different Alex Enlund who beat Lobov. If you watch back my fights you can see a difference between how I was against Romanowski and Lobov. I am expecting the best Nad but equally I am much better than in my last fight.”

Former opponent Artem Lobov is one of Conor McGregor’s main training partners and going into the fight with Enlund was the favourite. But Enlund made quick work of the “Prospect Killer” submitting him in just 2 minutes 24 seconds. And while many would be over the moon with that victory, Enlund holds his win over Sebastian Romanowski with higher regards. “My win over Sebastian was a bigger win for me than the one over Lobov. I was just coming off of a loss and it was the turning point in my career. Sebastian was a very tough southpaw and I submitted him in the first round. The fight came at a time which I had just lost and really needed the win to turn my career around. Certainly my biggest fight so far, until 1st November.”

Through talking to Enlund you can hear in his voice just how the loss to Martin McDonough has urged him on to improve his game and motivate himself to not be in that position again. “It was a blessing in disguise. I went to Bantamweight thinking that I was too small for Featherweight but quickly realised that size doesn’t matter, but skill does. The loss helped me concentrate on my skillset more than ever and I genuinely believe I am the most skilled guy in the Featherweight division. I think too much is put into being big and strong but not enough people focus on their skills.”

Enlund has been able to hone his skills throughout various gyms across the North-East of England and mixes his training between “Fitness 2000 in Sunderland with Peter Irvine, I’m at the Bad Boy gym once a week and also at Northern Kings.” Travelling around to get diversity is very important to Enlund and something which he feels all martial artists should experience. “I like the idea of travelling around. You get great diversity and different skills in every gym. Also it’s not comfortable and easy which is key. I’m kind of like a leech travelling to as many gyms as I cannot just in the North-East but in across the world, taking a little bit from everyone.”

One of his close training partners is Lightweight title contender Curt “The War” Warburton who for the second time in their Cage Warriors careers will be fighting on the same card as Enlund. Something which certainly helps them both out. “It certainly does help to have Curt fighting on the same card. The last time we both fought in Newcastle we both finished our opponents quickly and I’m hoping for the same outcome this time. Curt is a tremendous training partner and is such a hard worker. Having him in the same room as me really motivates me.”

With a number of Cage Warriors Champions making the transition to the UFC I asked Enlund is this was something which had entered his mind since finding out he would be fighting for the title. But as expected there is only one thing on his mind right now and that is 1st November. “I am just focused on this fight and training 100%. What happens in my career is my manager’s responsibility. My job is to train and fight. I am only doing this to be the best and I’m compulsive with improving. After I win the Cage Warriors Title and defend it if the UFC happens then it does but that doesn’t concern me. That’s my manager’s job.”

So what would it mean for Enlund to be crowned Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion? “It would be a huge honour to be Cage Warriors Champion. I am already very proud of my own achievements and have already done more than anyone ever expected of me. I want to the Champion and keep the title for a long time. It’s not often that you get to tell people that you was the World Champion. It’s my time!”

Alex would like to thank “Lean Greens who have been very supportive to me. Fightstore Pro, TM Supplements, Profixing, Top Gun Tattoos, Momtaj, Coxon Eletrical Services, Stoneys Barber Shop, Alan Stone and Wayne Coxon who is supplying my fight banner.”

Be sure to follow Alex on twitter @AlexEnlund and keep up to date with the Cage Warriors 73 card at

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