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9 Brits looking to follow the recent rise of ‘The Count’



After Uncle Dana announced UK’s first UFC world champion, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping, will make his first defence against Dan Henderson, possibly in Manchester, a light bulb dimmed a little above my head as I decided to play the game that no one really likes, and that is, who in the UK could get that call for the Manchester card? Here are 9 fighters looking to follow the recent rise of ‘The Count’.

The scene on this side of the pond has grown over the years and Manchester’s very own lightweight, “The Hangman” Saul Rogers would benefit a call. He was on the verge of appearing on the McGregor – Faber TUF finale card in Vegas against Artem Lobov, until issues his Visa didn’t allow him to appear. This irritated Dana White and “The Hangman” lost his chance. If bygones can be bygones, the Manchester card’s a perfect show for Saul Rogers to finally show the world what he can do and continue his force of 2015.

In Liverpool, two guys from Next Generation MMA are ready to join the UFC ranks. First up is a 21-year-old featherweight who’s been spoken about since his debut in 2012, say hello to Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett. A charismatic Liverpudlian, whose exciting fighting style has fans travelling from all over to witness him in that cage. His record at present stands at (12-1) with notable wins over Teddy Violet and Ashley Grimshaw.

Next is new Cage Warriors lightweight champion, 24-year-old Chris Fishgold. At (15-1-1) he is primed for that UFC card in Manchester. This would be another chapter to add to this athletes’ life story of rejuvenation and a superb accreditation for Next Generation MMA to have two stars together on the same card.

Current BAMMA middleweight champ John ‘The White Mike Tyson’ Phillips (19-6) recently offered fellow countryman and new Cage Warriors Middleweight champ Jack Marshman (20-5) the opportunity to find out who is the best out the two. This is a salivating bout that would do wonders for Mixed Martial Arts in Wales along with being a great bout for the UFC card in Manchester.

North East of England’s James Mulheron (10-1) is the current Made4TheCage Heavyweight champion, and recently appeared on the first Bellator card in London defeating veteran Neil Grove. His journey’s been tough as he broke his leg in a bout against Ruben Wolf, it him 8 months to re-enter the cage where he destroyed Tomasz Czerwinski to win the belt. Mulheron can make waves in the UFC octagon; he may be the man to follow Ian ‘The Machine’ Freeman’s footsteps.

Original member of team Roughhouse, ‘Judo’ Jimmy Wallhead (29-9) is an experienced fighter who’s fought around the world for MFC, KSW, BAMMA and Bellator. Wallhead’s on a 4-fight winning streak and has been overlooked by the UFC for many years – this may change. Overlooked also is London born Jake ‘Brutal’ Bostwick (17-8), the 27-year-old carries an undefeated record since 2009. Bostwick trains at the Double K Gym in London and American Top Team in Florida; all this work is leading to something special. Hold on, how about Bostwick v Wallhead in a UFC octagon, could that happen?

BAMMA Lonsdale lightweight champion Marc Diakiese‘s (9-0) last fight was a 36-second TKO victory over Kane Mousah at BAMMA 25. ‘BoneCrusher’ has an abundance of talent and confidence that’s recently got him in a little back and forth with KSW president Martin Lewandowski about the company’s lightweight champ, Mateusz Gamrot. Neither are in the same promotion, but this could be an interesting one if they both get that UFC call.

Then there’s Michael ‘Venom’ Page a talented welterweight, who’s yet to be given that test. But that ladies and gentleman is another story.

This article comes to you via Mark Wincott. Follow him on Twitter @Tattooed_Ginge

image credit – Dolly Clew/Cage Warriors