The Catch Wrestling World Championships – held by the legendary Wigan Snake Pit -–takes place this weekend.
The hugely popular showpiece will take place at the University of Bolton Stadium on Friday.
After the event enjoyed major success last year at the same venue, Andrea and Roy Wood did not hesitate to hold a second world championships this winter.
Like in 2018, competitors will fly from all over the globe to take part in the now-annual tournament.
Fighters from all disciplines are competing against each other under pure catch rules. Entries include backgrounds in MMA, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and various styles of wrestling.
The standard of entries even includes former UFC stars Tom ‘Kong’ Watson and John Hathaway as well as Olga McGlinchey, who represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games, and Nathanial Brown, who is currently training with the British wrestling squad.
The aim of catch-wrestling is to gain control over your opponent in order to pin or submit them.
In the event of no pin or submission, the referee will make a decision based on who has been more dominant throughout the match.
The matches are often compared to a game of chess as opponents have to work intellectually to earn the best offensive position. Organiser Andrea Wood has promised that this year’s showpiece will be even more spectacular than last year.
“I cannot wait for November 1st! We’ve got double the entries of last year – and it’s a fantastic standard,” she said.
“We’ve got Olympic competitors, European and World champions, UFC champions and a wide variety of martial-art backgrounds stepping on the mat to see who walks away as the Snake Pit Catch Wrestling World Champion 2019.
“Honestly, it’s going to be an awesome night!”
The event will be also held in tribute of Ian Bromley who sadly passed away in February.
“Ian Bromley is a very dear friend who we lost this year,” said Wood.
“He has been our very close friend for over 30 years, he was like a brother to me and a son to my dad and will be terribly missed.
“Words, tears and heartache don’t even begin to explain the loss to everyone who has ever had the pleasure of meeting him and knowing him.
“He had a lifelong love for Catch Wrestling and was absolutely one of, if not the finest, gentlemen and wrestlers you would ever meet.
“He oozed ability, passion, humbleness and courage. A great coach and wrestler.
“His team would share with you his incredible amount of patience and time for everyone who wanted to learn. Full of life and energy. Full of hugs and smiles.
“He was such an encourager and motivator and always cared not only about wrestling but about you as a person as well. He had a beautiful, beautiful heart and he will always be kept alive in our home and The Snake Pit.
“His name will be spoken of, his memory will be treasured, he will always be honoured and he will have the highest place of respect. He will always be loved by us. It is our honour that the Snake Pit Catch Wrestling World Championships will be in tribute to him.”
Tickets are just £40 for the event (including food and reserved seating) and can be purchased through www.snakepitwigan.com