ROC: Rise of Champions – Developing the fighting talent of the future

ROC: Rise of Champions – Developing the fighting talent of the future

Rise of Champions is the UK promotion co-founded by Brad Pickett and his long-time coach Mickey Papas who has worked with him from the beginning of his career. It was born out of a desire to nurture up and coming talent, to treat fighters with a great deal of respect and to put on great fights for the fans. Brad fought for, cornered at and attended a myriad of shows over his extensive career including the good, the bad and the ugly.

Brad spoke of an experience at one show where he asked a fighter who had just fought why he was trying to apply his own steri strips. The fighter responded that he had been told that there was only one medic on site and he was cageside, in case he was needed during one of the fights. The fighter was going to have to make his own way to the hospital if he deemed it necessary.

At another event, a fighter’s record was shown as 1-2, but on further investigation on Tapology actually turned out to be 1-15. The fighter retired through injury a few seconds into the fight.

So, Brad and Mickey set out to make Rise of Champions the best of all that they had experienced, put the fighters first and take pride in putting on the best possible fights. ROC is now less than a week away from their 6th show and they have also delivered on that promise to nurture young talent. Take a look at Mike Ekundayo better known as Ekundayo Airlines (because in his own words, he puts people on flights!) A Team Titan fighter who appeared on ROC 1 and 2 as an amateur and then 3 as a pro and 5 in his pro championship bantamweight bout. Since ROC 5 Mike has fought for Bellator and Cage Warriors and remains one of the hottest talents in the UK. UFC star Craig White has also headlined the card as well as featuring other well-known fighters such as Cage Warriors bantamweight champion Nathan Greyson and fan favourite and Cage Warriors star Corrin Eaton.

Current ROC amateur light heavyweight champion Luke Trainer has worked his way through the ranks at ROC, earning a dominant decision victory over Matthew Byfield at ROC 5 to take home the belt. And Richmond Fitness Club fighter Lone’er Kavanagh makes his third ROC appearance this weekend to fight Muhidin Abubakar for the inaugural ROC amateur flyweight belt.

It is clear to see that Brad is delivering on his promise to build the stars of the future and anyone who has attended any of the Rise of Champions events will know that he is also putting on exciting fights that the fans want to see as well.

The next Rise of Champions event takes place this weekend, Saturday 1st September at the Brentwood Centre in Brentwood, Essex. A whole host of talent is on the card, including the headline fight between Max “Power” Nunes and Dan Konecke. Tickets are still available online now at

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