Photo: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

MMA After Bisping: UK MMA End Of Year Report Card – Pt. 1

How did UK MMA fighters Dean Garnett, Alan Philpott, Saul Rogers, Ryan Scope and Paddy Pimblett fair in 2017?

Michael Bisping’s career will come to an end next year, but who is the man currently fighting outside of the UFC who could fill his shoes?

At the start of the year, 16 UK MMA fighters were tracked. Here’s the first part of the report card tracking their progress in the past 12-months.

(Photo – Jamie Lee Smith / DN4 Photography)

Dean Garnett

• Record: 9-2-1 (Win-Loss-Draw)
• Current Streak: 2 Losses
• Age: 28 | Date of Birth: 1988.07.25
• Weight Class: Featherweight | Last Weigh-In: 139.8 lbs
• Height: 5’6″ (168cm)
• Currently Signed to: ACB

Aspire MMA man Dean Garnett went 1-2 this year, but the record alone doesn’t tell the tale. Garnett officially signed for ACB midway through the year after impressing the ACB owner Mairbek Khasiev with his performance at ACB 54 in Manchester and was given the opportunity to fight former title holder Magomed Magomedov in a #1 contender fight at ACB 67.  After a competitive back and forth fight, Garnett was defeated for the first time in his career when he was submitted near the end of the first round.

Garnett was then given another fantastic opportunity when to fight in Australia at ACB’s first ever event in the Gold Coast. Again, Garnett was involved in a highly competitive fight with American Anthony Leone and he was submitted in round two when he was caught in a guillotine choke.

Summary: Both Garnett’s losses could’ve been win on different days, but that’s unfortunately not the way this game works. No doubt, Garnett will be looking to bounce back in a big way next year and prove to the world he can hang with some of the best that ACB’s 135-pounds division has to offer.

Will he get signed for UFC London? He turned down a short notice fight already this year, but he won’t be offered it again until he’s got wins strung together.

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(Photo: BAMMA Youtube)

Alan Philpott

• Record: 16-10-0 (1 NC) (Win-Loss-Draw)
• Nickname: The Apprentice
• Current Streak: 1 Loss
• Age: 25 | Date of Birth: 1992.09.22
• Weight Class: Bantamweight | Last Weigh-In: 134.8 lbs
• Height: 5’7″ (170cm)
• Currently Signed to: ACB

Alan Philpott is another from Aspire MMA in Liverpool who didn’t necessarily have everything go his way this year. After taking some time out to regroup after his loss to Tom Duquesnoy last December, Philpott returned at BAMMA 30 where he took on Shay Walsh for the vacant BAMMA bantamweight title. Philpott looked to be better than ever as he proceeded to put on a striking clinic, but just as victory looked to be in the palm of his hand, he made an error and he kicked Walsh in the head whilst he was on the mat.

It was a disappointing way to see such a great performance end, but it was enough for him to get the attention of ACB who signed him up a few months later. Like his teammate Garnett, Philpott fought on the ACB 76 show in Australia where he took Islam Yunusov. It ended up being a very long night for Philpott as Yunusov proceeded to put the wrestling grind on him for a full 15-minutes and hand him a unanimous decision loss on his debut.

Summary: It’s important to remember Philpott is only 25 and still developing. The fight itself at ACB 76 wouldn’t have been the best, but by the looks of his social media he took a lot away from the three weeks he spent in Australia. 2018 could be a big year for him if he can continue to make an impact on the ACB bantamweight division.

Will he get signed for UFC London? Not until he puts consecutive wins together.

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(Photo – Jamie Lee Smith / DN4 Photography)

Ryan Scope

• Record: 11-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
• Nickname: Big Baby
• Current Streak: 1 Win
• Age: 25 | Date of Birth: 1992.01.15
• Weight Class: Lightweight | Last Weigh-In: 155.9 lbs
• Height: 5’10” (178cm)
• Currently Signed to: Free agent

Newcastle’s own Ryan Scope lit up the Metro Arena this weekend by laying claim to the vacant BAMMA lightweight title. Scope edged a tight split decision victory over former UFC fighter Mickael Lebout in what was a back and forth war where both men had their moments.

Scope started off the year by taking a fight with Lewis Long at 170-pounds at M4TC 23: Carnage. That evening, he suffered the first loss of his career when he was submitted in the first round and he then went off the radar following an injury to his shoulder. Now, Scope looks to be back in the mix and is currently holding a BAMMA title despite technically being a free agent.

Summary: Scope looked great this past weekend and it was good to finally see him back in active competition. Injuries and personal problems have blighted his progress in the past year, but with that all now behind him, expect him to make a big run in 2018. It will be interesting to see whether he stays with BAMMA or signs for another promotion once he addresses his free agency.

Will he get signed for UFC London? Unlikely, but maybe later in the year.

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(Photo: Dolly Clew / Cage Warriors)

Paddy Pimblett

• Record: 13-2-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
• Nickname: The Baddy
• Current Streak: 1 Loss
• Age: 22 | Date of Birth: 1995.01.03
• Weight Class: Featherweight | Last Weigh-In: 144.8 lbs
• Height: 5’10” (178cm)
• Currently Signed to: Cage Warriors

It’s fair to say 2017 probably wasn’t the year Paddy Pimblett imagined it would be. He fought once and he was defeated by Nad Narimani at Cage Warriors 82 and his 9 fight win streak was broken as he lost his Cage Warriors 145-pounds title. Since then, Pimblett has for the most part been kept out the public eye which after several years of back-to-back training camps was very much deserved.

The Liverpudlian was pulled from his fight at Cage Warriors 82 following a concussion suffered in training, but with Cage Warriors’ return to Liverpool already booked for Feb. 2018, Pimblett is expected to return.

Summary: It’s incredibly important to remember that Pimblett is only 22-years-old. He’s had a lot of pressure put on him for someone so young and for the most part he’s done very well to deal with all of the attention thus far. I hope he’s used the time off he’s had well to relax and enjoy being that age without the pressures of having a fight to prepare for. Plenty of people seemingly wanted to write him off after his loss to Nad Narimani, but I still think he’s destined to do big things. Win or lose, people want to see him fight and that’s always a good thing.

Will he get signed for UFC London? No, but if he puts together some wins don’t rule it out later in the year.

(Photo – Jamie Lee Smith / DN4 Photography)

Saul Rogers

• Record: 12-2-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
• Nickname: The Hangman
• Current Streak: 1 Loss
• Age: 27 | Date of Birth: 1989.12.01
• Weight Class: Lightweight | Last Weigh-In: 155.2 lbs
• Height: 5’10” (178cm) | Reach: N/A
• Currently signed to: ACB

This year probably didn’t pan out the way that Saul Rogers expected it to. After losing for the first time in nearly 5 years at ACB 54 in March, Rogers has spent time out recovering from the injuries he sustained (broken arm).

He’s gone a little under the radar since the start of the year, but judging by his social media he’s now back on track and will be fighting again in 2018.

Summary: Not much to say here for Saul. He was put in a difficult position at ACB 54 where he had multiple opponents pull out of the fight just days before fight night. The fight itself was a bit disaster given the injuries and the nature of the loss. If he returns to the form that he was in before that, expect him to do some real damage in 2018.

Will he get signed for UFC London? No. Has long standing issues with the UFC following visa issues when competing on TUF. Not until that’s cleared up.

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Part 2 tomorrow will feature: Shoaib Yousaf, Chris Fishgold, Ashley Reece, Brendan Loughnane, Lewis Long

Part 3 on Wednesday will feature: Nathaniel Wood, Cameron Else, Kane Mousah, Danny Henry, Pietro Menga, James Mulheron

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