ByJim Edwards, writer at Creators.co
MMA story chaser from the UK
Jim Edwards

The likes of Marc Diakiese, Stevie Ray and Arnold Allen have big futures on the world MMA scene, but inching ever closer behind them, another group of British fighters aren’t far away from their own breakout moments.

Here at Champions.co, we’ve selected 13 fighters you need to keep an eye on. If you think we’ve missed anyone, be sure to tell us at @ChampionsFight on Twitter.


Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB
Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB

Dean Garnett

  • Record: 9-0-1 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Current Streak: 9 Wins
  • Age: 28 | Date of Birth: 1988.07.25
  • Last Fight: March 11, 2017, in ACB
  • Weight Class: Featherweight | Last Weigh-In: 139.8 lbs
  • Height: 5'6" (168cm)
  • Currently Signed to: Free agent

Having turned pro in 2010, Garnett has been on a steady rise on the UK scene and has built an impressive record of 9-0-1. Garnett has already fought in some of the biggest promotions in Europe, with wins in both and to his name, as well as a draw under the MMA banner last July. Garnett’s performance at ACB 54: Supersonic was the best of his career, so far. He dominated his opponent Michael Tobin from the outset, and he finished the fight with an incredible spinning back kick after 41-seconds of the second round. Word has it, that the ACB owner, Mairbek Khasiev, is very fond of Garnett following his display in Manchester. Don’t be surprised if you see him fighting under the ACB banner again very soon.


Photo: BAMMA YouTube
Photo: BAMMA YouTube

Alan Philpott

  • Record: 16-9-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Apprentice
  • Current Streak: 1 Loss
  • Age: 24 | Date of Birth: 1992.09.22
  • Last Fight: December 16, 2016 in BAMMA
  • Weight Class: Bantamweight | Last Weigh-In: 134.8 lbs
  • Height: 5'7" (170cm)
  • Currently Signed to: BAMMA

Philpott is the current Lonsdale bantamweight champion and was last in action back in December when he took on the French phenom, Tom Duquesnoy. The Nothern Irishman may have been defeated that evening, but no one can deny that for the most part, he gave as good as he got against one of the most highly rated young talents in the world right now. What lies ahead for Philpott currently remains uncertain, but if he returns from his mini-break a refreshed character, and with his sole focus on making the best of his raw talent, he will no doubt a name to keep an eye on at 135-pounds.


Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB
Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB

Ryan Scope

  • Record: 10-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: Big Baby
  • Current Streak: 1 Loss
  • Age: 25 | Date of Birth: 1992.01.15
  • Last Fight: February 25, 2017 in M4TC
  • Weight Class: Welterweight | Last Weigh-In: 155.9 lbs
  • Height: 5'10" (178cm)
  • Currently Signed to: Free agent

What more needs to be said about Ryan Scope? The only thing that exceeds his talent is his bravery. Any natural lightweight willing to take the step up a weight division to face Lewis Long at welterweight is a brave man, and Scope paid the price last February losing his first ever professional bout. That shouldn’t distract anyone from his talent, though. His performance back at ACB 47 in Glasgow, Scotland showed that at 155-pounds, he’s one of the biggest prospects around. He’s another fighter ACB is very fond of, and whether it's them or BAMMA he ends up fighting in next, his future opponent will surely have his work cut out. If he can keep it together mentally, Scope can go on to compete with the best at lightweight.


Photo: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors
Photo: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors

Paddy Pimblett

  • Record: 13-2-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Baddy
  • Current Streak: 1 Loss
  • Age: 22 | Date of Birth: 1995.01.03
  • Last Fight: April 01, 2017 in CWFC
  • Weight Class: Featherweight | Last Weigh-In: 144.8 lbs
  • Height: 5'10" (178cm)
  • Currently Signed to: Free agent

Pimblett may have just lost his Cage Warriors featherweight title, but if you think that’s the last you will ever hear from him, you’re sorely mistaken. The Liverpudlian was defeated by Nad Narimani on April 1, but make no mistake about it, Pimblett is still one of the UK’s brightest prospects. His ground game is as good as it gets and his striking can only get better, given he’s barely 22-years-old. Write him off at your peril, in fact, he’d probably love you to do just that. Pimblett’s mentally strong at a young age, and that will only serve him well as he climbs the ranks. Expect him to strike back later this year in a big way.


Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB
Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB

Saul Rogers

  • Record: 12-2-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Hangman
  • Current Streak: 1 Loss
  • Age: 27 | Date of Birth: 1989.12.01
  • Last Fight: March 11, 2017 in ACB
  • Weight Class: Lightweight | Last Weigh-In: 155.2 lbs
  • Height: 5'10" (178cm) | Reach: N/A
  • Currently signed to: ACB

Rogers is coming off a shock loss at ACB 54: Supersonic back in March, but he should still be considered one of the guys most likely to make an impact on the world MMA scene in the comings years. Having only been denied a place on The UItimate Fighter: McGregor vs. Faber series finale because of a visa issue, Rogers has already proven that he’s got what it takes to hang with talent across the pond as well as domestically. His loss in ACB may have somewhat halted his rapid ascention for the minute, but don’t surprised if he’s back on track by the end of this year having recovered from his injuries.


Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB
Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB

Shoaib Yousaf

  • Record: 2-0-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Assasin
  • Last Fight: March 11, 2017 in ACB
  • Weight Class: Featherweight | Last Weigh-In: 146.2 lbs
  • Currently signed to: Free agent

Yousaf might not be one of the more recognized names on our watchlist, but trust us, this is a featherweight you need to keep your eyes peeled for. In 2016, Yousaf won the gold medal at the International Mixed Martial Arts (IMMAF) World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada. Yousaf swept all ahead of him, winning no fewer than fives fights in as many days. Yousaf then turned professional last October under the ACB banner in Glasgow, winning his first fight against Irishman Denis Ahern with an impressive armlock submission. He then followed up that win with another victory inside the distance at ACB 54 in Manchester last March, defeating Javonne Morrison via TKO in the first round. Keep your eyes on this man. He will be making waves if his rise up the ranks is managed well.


Photo: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors
Photo: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors

Chris Fishgold

  • Record: 16-1-1 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Current Streak: 6 Wins
  • Last Fight: November 12, 2016, in CWFC
  • Weight Class: Lightweight | Last Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs
  • Height: 5'8" (173cm)
  • Currently Signed to: Cage Warriors

Fishgold is the current Cage Warriors lightweight champion and is undefeated in his last six fights. The Liverpudlian trains with Pimblett at Next Generation MMA in Liverpool and has quietly built an impressive record with some good wins over some of the finest lightweight talent in Europe. Fishgold may not have the same on-camera charisma as his teammate Pimblett, but he’s more the type to let his actions doing the talking for him. Expect Fishgold to return to action later this year under the Cage Warriors banner. He’s another man at 155-pounds to keep an eye on.


Photo: FCC YouTube
Photo: FCC YouTube

Ashely Reece

  • Record: 5-0-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Beast
  • Current Streak: 9 Wins
  • Last Fight: March 11, 2017 in ACB
  • Weight Class: Welterweight | Last Weigh-In: 166.9 lbs
  • Height: 5'10" (178cm)
  • Currently Signed to: Free agent

Reece may not be one of the more recognizable names on the UK MMA scene, but ask anyone who’s been keeping an eye on the UK young talent, and he’s a man that many would've been keeping tabs on. Reece last fought back in March at ACB 54: Supersonic in Manchester, England. Reece showed his class that evening and defeated fellow Brit James Lewis in the second round via TKO. Like Garnett that night, Reece was another to catch the attention of the ACB owners. Wherever he fights next, he’s a man at 170-pounds to watch out for.


Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB
Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB

Brendan Loughnane

  • Record: 14-2-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Current Streak: 4 Wins
  • Age: 27 | Date of Birth: 1989.12.05
  • Last Fight: March 11, 2017 in ACB
  • Weight Class: Featherweight | Last Weigh-In: 145.9 lbs
  • Height: 5'9" (176cm) | Reach: 72.0" (183cm)
  • Currently Signed to: Free agent

Surely you must know the name, Brendan Loughnane? The Mancunian fought in the UFC very early on in his career and was part of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes series where he represented Team GB. Unfortunately for Loughnane, he was cut from the UFC after a close decision loss to fellow Brit Mike Wilkinson on the season finale fight night. Since then, Loughnane has gone from strength-to-strength and aside from a controversial split decision loss to Tom Duquesnoy in 2015, he’s swept all before him on the European scene. Having gained revenge over Wilkinson at ACB 54 in March, Loughnane now has the European scene at this feet with the likes of ACB, KSW and Cage Warriors interested in acquiring his services. Loughnane will one day return to the UFC—you can bank on that.


Photo: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors
Photo: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors

Lewis Long

  • Record: 14-4-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Foot
  • Current Streak: 2 Wins
  • Age: 28 | Date of Birth: 1989.04.10
  • Last Fight: February 25, 2017 in M4TC
  • Weight Class: Welterweight | Last Weigh-In: 169.0 lbs
  • Height: 5'10" (178cm)
  • Currently Signed to: Cage Warriors

Is 2017 the year that Lewis Long will finally make a move on the wider European scene? The Welshman has been on the verge of a breakthrough to bigger things for a few years now and having just recorded one of the biggest wins of his career earlier this year against Ryan Scope at Made4TheCage 23, Long now heads into Cage Warriors 83 against Che Mills with the possibility of really making some noise. Don’t be surprised to see Long doing big things in years to come. Whether it’s in Cage Warriors, ACB, BAMMA or even the UFC, Long will make big strides very soon at 170-pounds. He deserves more than just being a headline act ticket seller in Wales, let's hope he gets the opportunity to show everyone his talent on a bigger stage soon.


Photo: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors
Photo: Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors

Nathaniel Wood

  • Record: 10-3-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Prospect
  • Current Streak: 2 Wins
  • Last Fight: April 01, 2017 in CWFC
  • Weight Class: Bantamweight
  • Height: 5'6" (168cm)
  • Currently Signed to: Cage Warriors

Wood is a man on the verge of great things. “The Prospect” will fight Swiss fighter, Marko Kovacevic, for the vacant Cage Warriors bantamweight title at Cage Warriors 84 in June. He last fought back at Cage Warriors 82 when he defeated UFC veteran, Vaughn Lee, via a second-round TKO stoppage. Prior to that, Wood had recorded victories under both the BAMMA and Bellator MMA banners. Suffice to say, he’s one of the men to watch at 135-pounds in the UK and with the likes of Brad Pickett in his corner, he has the pedigree to be one of the UK’s biggest stars in years to come.


Photo: MMA Latest/Caoilte de Barra
Photo: MMA Latest/Caoilte de Barra

Cameron Else

  • Record: 4-3-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: Killa Cam
  • Current Streak: 1 Win
  • Last Fight: December 16, 2016 in Bellator MMA
  • Weight Class: Featherweight | Last Weigh-In: 145.2 lbs
  • Height: 5'8" (173cm)
  • Currently Signed to: Bellator MMA

Else’s record of 4-3 may not look the most impressive on paper, but he’s one of those fighters who doesn’t think twice about the name on the contract in front of him. While some have picked their opponents to build their records, Else has taken on all comers since day one. Else last fought back in December when he stepped up on just a few days notice to face SBG Ireland prospect, Dylan Tuke. The Brit ended up silencing the rampant Dublin crowd with a first round knockout, but since then, has struggled to get himself matched to continue his momentum. Fingers crossed Else gets his opportunity to prove his talent on a big stage soon.�


Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB
Photo: Jamie Lee Smith/ACB

Kane Mousah

  • Record: 9-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Danger
  • Current Streak: 2 Wins
  • Last Fight: March 11, 2017, in ACB
  • Weight Class: Lightweight | Last Weigh-In: 155.9 lbs
  • Height: 5'10" (178cm)
  • Currently signed to: Free agent

Losing is never easy to take in MMA, but to the great credit of Kane Mousah, he took the first loss of his career like a champ. Having built up a perfect record of 7-0, Mousah faced Marc Diakiese at BAMMA 25: Champion vs. Champion. Unfortunately for Mousah, that evening Diakiese hit the jackpot and knocked him out after just 36-seconds of the first round. Many could’ve hidden away and crumbled after such a loss, but Mousah has since won two on the bounce including a hard fought win at ACB 54: Supersonic in March. Mousah will have to prove he can win the big fights when it matters the most, but expect him to get the opportunity to prove he can do exactly that sometime very soon.


So how did we do? Did we miss anyone out? Let us know @ChampionsFight

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