MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: Brad mixes it with elite
BRAD Scott is ready to hit the big time tomorrow night as he fights at his first UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) show since signing a deal with the world’s biggest mixed martial arts promotion.
The 24-year-old, from Melksham, takes on Dutchman Michael Kuiper, also 24, in a middleweight contest on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 30 at the Phones4U Arena in Manchester.
Scott, who launched his MMA career at Melksham’s Dragonslair Gym, shot to fame after making the welterweight final of the Ultimate Fighter – The Smashes last December, losing a thrilling contest to Austalian Robert Whitaker (by decision) in front of a television audience of millions.
Last December’s The Smashes final took place in front of a partisan Aussie crowd and the Wiltshire fighter (8-2) is looking forward to having home support when he steps into the Octagon in Manchester.
“It goes without saying that I’m excited and a little bit nervous at the same time,” said Scott, who prepared for his British UFC bow by training alongside a host of American stars at the MMA Lab gym in Arizona.
“Fighting in Manch-ester is obviously a lot easier for me because it’s meant that I could travel up and chill out this week and not have to do any horrible travelling.
“Fighting at middleweight has also been a lot more comfortable for me because I walk around close to that.
“All of my training has been good and sparring with people like Benson Henderson (UFC lightweight champion) has been amazing.
“To be honest, all I’m looking forward to is getting my fight out of the way and then sitting down to watch everyone else because there’s plenty of people who I’ve got to know, like Ross Pearson (Scott’s UK coach during The Smashes) who will be fighting.
“I’m ready to go out there and deliver the goods. I don’t want to go through three rounds of hell and I’m aiming to get a stoppage.
“There’s a minibus of people coming up from Melksham and then I’ve got a few other fans that are coming from different parts of the country.
“I’m the home fighter for once and that’s going to be different to what I’m used to.”
Coverage of the preliminary card of UFC Manchester, including Scott’s clash with Kuiper (12-2), is available online on uk.ufc.com from 5pm tomorrow.
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