Eight Brits ventured abroad in March in search of MMA glory, however, only three emerged victorious.
March started sourly, as upstart heavyweight Jordan McKie (1-2) was swiftly TKO’d by Nick Barno (4-1) in the main event of MMA Galla 2, held in Odense, Dennmark. The win is Barno’s third over British opposition, following consecutive middle frame TKO’s of Rob Beech and Darren Moore in 2015.
South of the equator, three Brits appeared on EFC Worldwide 57, hosted at Carnival City in Johannesburg, South Africa. The headline bout featured a rematch between Daniel Henry (10-2) and Igeu Kabesa (8-1) for the EFC Featherweight crown. Kabesa won a narrow decision in their March 2016 bout, but this time around Henry ensured the judges would not be required, forcing Kabesa to submit to a D’arce choke in the very first round. The win extends Henry’s win streak to three and puts the Scot in prime position for the UFC’s return to Glasgow in July.
Also on the card, Christian Holley (10-4) succumbed to strikes in the second round of his lightweight bout against Martin van Staden (17-9). The loss marks Holley’s fourth straight since he banked a decision against Artem Lobov in 2013. Tony Mustard (6-2) faired no better, falling to Wessel Mostert (4-0) via strikes for his second straight loss.
Two weeks later and Scotland was representing again. Amateur female strawweight Fee Chrystall (2-1) handed Tiffany Conama (3-1) her first loss inside the cage at Global Knockout 9 in California. “Feedor”, who prepared for the bout at Jackson Wink Academy, endured a tough first round from the aggressive Conama, however, Chrystall was able to utilise her superior footwork and movement to outduel her American counterpart in rounds two and three, earning the split decision verdict.
Elsewhere, featherweight prospect Jay Cucciniello (7-0) headlined AFL 11 in the Canary Islands. The Spanish-based scrapper battled Cage Warriors veteran Daniel Requeijo (9-4). Cucciniello victimised Requijo with strikes, forcing a TKO stoppage with 17 seconds remaining in the third round. The win notches Cuccinello the AFL Featherweight title and keeps his unbeaten record in tact.
Heavyweight Luke Morton (3-4) trekked to Ukraine to compete on the WWFC: Cage Encounter 6 event, held at the Kiev Sports Palace. Morton fell swiftly to Moldovan Sergiu Spivac (6-0), who overwhelmed Morton with strikes a mere 40-seconds into the contest.
#10 ranked lightweight Charlie Leary (13-8-1) also battled overseas in March. This past weekend, the BCMMA, Budo and FCC Lightweight Champion ventured over to Abu Dhabi to compete on Bahrainan promotion Brave CF’s fourth event. Leary fought fast-rising prospect Ottman Azaitar (9-0) in a one-round barnburner. Despite having his moments, Leary was unable to subdue the Turkish powerhouse, who secured the knockout win midway through the opening stanza. The loss brings an end to Leary’s five-fight win streak, whilst Azaitar remains unbeaten as a pro.
Lastly, Jack McGann (11-4), ranked 7th amongst the UK’s lightweights, made his fifth trip to Russia in 10-months, as he battled with UFC-veteran Levan Makashvili (14-2-1) in the co-main event of Fight Nights Global 62: Grand Prix Finals. Despite a strong start, McGann would fail to win over the judges, losing a unanimous decision to the Georgian.