With a big year ahead in kickboxing and Muay Thai, the UK's fight scene continues to grow, as the events get bigger and the fighters increase in quantity and quality. Recently I talked with Steven Wright and England's own Vinny Shoreman about the current fight scene in England in particular. You can listen to our discussion here, where we highlight many of the UK's talented fighters and the increasing number of quality events.
The UK has always been very solid when it comes to quality events and fighters. However, from a worldwide perspective, it never seemed to get the recognition that it deserved. Things are changing now, with many UK fighters set to make a splash internationally, and many already having done so.
Attention is being shifted their way. GLORY are holding a huge show in London. Enfusion is doing four shows in London. SuperKombat is holding tryouts there. That's not even mentioning the other domestic promotions that are coming up like Fight Sport Grand Prix Series, Super Fight Series on the kickboxing side of things, and the always consistent Muay Thai scene.
The fighters themselves are getting their big opportunities to showcase themselves as well. Jordan Watson and Tim Thomas have already been in GLORY and will be again, while Liam Harrison, Reece McCallister and Steve Wakeling are set to join them. Enfusion is looking to make a step up in 2013 and their cards are loaded with UK talent to watch out for. Muay Thai in America featured a number of fighters with big futures. Fighters from the UK are getting more and more opportunities around the globe and I predict in the coming year that they're going to keep making the best of those opportunities, and establish themselves and the UK as a country as a force to be reckoned with.
Some fighters to watch out for:
Tate is set for a big year, with one fight in February and two in March already. He's already established himself as one of the top 85kg fighters with his huge power and unorthodox full contact style. He really opened the door and showed that more full contact fighters can succeed in K-1 style rules, especially at 85kg where the division is still yet to be sorted out.
Still very young and with fighting prowess beyond his years that seems like it'll get even better, Salah is also starting off 2013 with some big fights. First off he's in Super Fight Series' 70kg tournament in K-1 rules on February 16 and then is on Enfusion on March 30. Here's a fighter that I think we'll be seeing for a long time, whether it be in K-1 rules or Muay Thai.
Just 18 years old, Sugden has already made the transition from full contact to K-1 rules and had success. He will also fight in the same 70kg Super Fight Series tournament as Salah and after that will be on the undercard of the huge GLORY 5 London show in March. Things are looking on the up and up for him.