Another year is nearly over and here at MMA UK we thought it was time to look back on the Scottish MMA scene.
There were high hopes that the UFC were coming back to Glasgow last July, apparently it was under consideration, alas it was not to be. However it seems likely they will return next year having provisionally booked for next July.
Despite having more fighters signed during the past year to the bigger promotions, there was a real lack of shows for MMA fans to get into.
On Top usually have at least three shows a year but they have taken some time away after their March show, they are due back February 29th 2020. Cage Warriors still seem to have an aversion of coming north of Hadrian’s Wall despite having a Scottish champion.
What we were left with was a couple of Budo events in Grangemouth and the return of Art of Combat in Dunfermline who had two shows as well. Forza made a return late in the year and a debut from Evolution of Combat which took place in the summer in Glasgow. UFL had a couple of shows in the east coast and MXP put on their Ignite show in Alloa.
Already next year we have been confirmed Evolution Of Combat are to return to Glasgow on 15th February, On Top returning on 29th February and Battle Arena coming to Paisley in April. Rumours of Bellator putting on their first Scottish show, a third visit from the UFC and possibly MTK’s Probellum coming north then 2020 could be the busiest MMA year for Scots.
Moving on to the Scots fighters and it was a year of two halves. The first part of the year and there were mixed results. Early wins for Joanne Calderwood and Paul Craig would then see them both suffer defeat in June. Danny Henry and Stevie Ray also would lose in the UFC. Henry has been out injured since his fight in March however Ray went on to gain his biggest win, beating Michael Johnson, Calderwood returned to winning ways dominating Andrea Lee in Abu Dhabi and Paul Craig had a quick win in September then travelled recently to Brazil to draw with legend Shogun Rua.
In Bellator, Chris Bungard got off to a flyer beating Terry Brazier in Newcastle, followed that with a loss then ended the year with a first round win a couple of weeks back in London. Robert Whiteford made his Bellator debut in London and won by knock out against Sam Sicilia. Chris Duncan fought for one fight early in the year for Bellator and won he has now signed a deal to fight in Dublin, early 2020.
In Cage Warriors, the Scots have not fared as well. Winning the welterweight title in 2018, big things were expected from Ross Houston, however he only fought once in the past year, albeit a cracker, a draw with Nicolas Dalby in June, Houston appears to be in a dispute with Cage Warriors and 2020 can only be an improvement on 2019 for him. Scott Malone put on a good show against Jack Shore for the bantamweight title and was a favourite going into the bantamweight tournament later in the year in which he suffered a quick stoppage. Malone should get back into title contention after a couple of wins. Aidan Stephan won one and lost one while Paull McBain never competed in last 12 months.
With what looks like a busy 2020 for Scottish MMA it should provide plenty of opportunities for local fighters from amateurs to the professionals. If the UFC come then we could see Ross Houston be signed up to compete. If Bellator come then it is likely they will add to the three Scots currently signed. 2020 could be a great year for Scottish MMA.