TWO Welshmen are making their debuts – and history – by competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) this weekend.
Jack Marshman and Brett Johns will become the first men from Wales to take part in UFC – a mixed martial art cage fight, known for its bloody action and minimal rules.
Contestants who are matched in various weight categories enter the Octagon, an eight-sided cage and have to defeat their opponents by knockout, submission or judges’ decision. Fights are shown around the world and audiences for the biggest fights number in the millions.
Middleweight Jack “Hammer” Marshman, 26, from Abertillery, will be in Belfast to fight Sweden’s Magnus Cedenblad, 34, who joined the UFC in 2012 – winning all but one of his five fights.
Marshman,is not only a champion cage fighter but is also a member of the British Army’s 3rd Battalion parachute regiment.
He has been fighting professionally for six years and vacated his belt as middleweight champion for the London-based CWFC (Cage Warriors Fighting Championship) to take part in Saturday night’s event.
Bantamweight fighter, Brett Johns, 24, who fights out of Swansea, is also appearing in his first UFC bout and will be taking on fellow debutant Kwan Ho Kwak, 27, from South Korea.
Fighting professionally since 2012, Johns has an impressive record prior to joining UFC, with 12 wins and zero losses under his belt.
Johns should not be over confident though, Kwan Ho Kwak is also undefeated with 9 wins and zero losses, including 6 by knockout.
Known to many as Brett “The Pikey” Johns, the fighter trains out of Swansea’s Chris Rees Academy, which specialises in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts.
Fans of Marshman and Johns have been out in force on Twitter, including CWFC who have been wishing Jack Marshman luck on his upcoming fight.
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) October 7, 2016
— Chris Jones (@chrisjones1807) November 15, 2016
Both Marshman and Johns join previous CWFC alumni Michael Bisping from Manchester and Conor McGregor in moving over to UFC.
Irishman Conor McGregor, famous for his quick tongue and even quicker fists, recently became the first fighter in UFC history to win belts in two different weight classes.
Johns and Marshman will enter the Octagon on Saturday, November 19, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for UFC Fight Night 99.