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New England MMA Spotlight: Johnny “Cupcakes” Campbell




There is an eternal argument for the origin of fighters; whether they spring from the womb with supernal ability, or evolve into something greater amid the rank sweat of wrestling mats and gym-life brawls. Regardless of your opinion of this sport’s own “Nature vs Nurture” thesis, one fact remains: To become the elite of the elite, one must have both innate talent and hard-won skills in spades, or act as stepping stones for those who do.

While Norwell, Massachusetts is just another obscure New England town, it harbors a den of true killers, filling the region’s MMA cages under the battle flag of South Shore Sportfighting. The MMA gym has molded some of the best athletes in New England MMA, and now the last layer of polish has been applied to their shining star; ready to take to the world stage. Enter the New England Phenom Johnny “Cupcakes” Campbell.

A born fighter, Campbell brings one of the greatest natural skill sets in the sport, harboring inhuman reflexes that flip from offense to defense faster than the eye can follow. An innate ability to read movement has seen Campbell skate through six and seven punch combinations with a laugh, only to snap forward and level a competitor with a blinding counter or unorthodox throw. A true showman, Campbell’s need for danger and excitement in the cage draws out the best in his opponents, only to show that even their best is left wanting in the face of such perfect movement and volcanic volatility.

Taking a cue from UFC work horse Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Campbell has strung together six wins in ten months as he works towards his new home of 125lbs, having left a tangled wreck of humanity in his wake. His display at Cage Titans 21 was the most indicative of his style, mentality, and drive to be the greatest, taking on the massively heralded ATT standout, Juan Puerta, in a bantamweight title fight. Working a game of slip-and-fire striking, Campbell had fans biting their nails leading into the fourth round when disaster struck; his shoulder blown out of the socket in an exchange. Undeterred, Campbell fought through the injury by grinding his shoulder into place against the mat, all while defending a rear naked choke from the BJJ purple belt to close out the round. Though his style leads to difficult score cards at times, the judges would never have a say in the matter. In typical Cupcakes fashion, the man dodged a series of standing attacks from an onrushing opponent and landed a judo throw that dashed his adversary’s head into the mat, knocking him out cold and stealing the thunder of ATT Atlanta’s most decorated fighter in a one-of-a-kind finish.

Having dispatched Top Five Flyweight Billy “The Wolverine” Giovanella in his last outing with a cascade of crippling ground and pound, “Cupcakes” will look to take to the next level as a Flyweight on the big stage, and put the division into a diabetic coma.



I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I have a sharp eye for movement, deep technical knowledge, and I love giving young fighters a confidence boost as they enter this beloved sport.



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