A THIRD Welsh fighter is set to make his debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship this weekend.
John Phillips is following in the footsteps of Brett Johns and Jack Marshman, who both won their debut bouts in November at UFC Fight Night 99.
UFC is a mixed martial art cage fight, known for its bloody action and minimal rules. Contestants are matched in weight categories and 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.
Welsh fans of UFC will be asking: Can Phillips make it three wins for Welsh fighters?
Phillips, 31, known as “the White Mike Tyson” started as an amateur boxer for the Welsh Commonwealth team, before moving into mixed martial arts.
The fighter, originally from Swansea is being trained in the Straight Blast Gym, Ireland, along with the Conor McGregor, one of the promotion’s best-known fighters.
Fighting professionally since 2005, Phillips has a record of 21 wins to 5 losses, including an impressive 18 wins by KO. Of 27 fights, 17 ended in the first round.
Fellow Welsh middleweight fighter Jack Marshman has won 10 of his 26 fights in the first round.
Last November Phillips called out Jack Marshman on Twitter to demand a fight. Phillips said in the video that he could knock Marshman or Magnus Cedenblad (Marshman’s opponent at Fight Night 99) “into next week”.
— John phillips (@JohnPhillipsmma) November 21, 2016
Phillips will be fighting Brazil’s Marcos Rogerio de Lima at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado on January 28, for UFC On Fox 23.