Top 5 British Fighters to Look Out for in 2019

The UK has always delivered a steady influx of fighters to the international MMA scene. UK based promotions like Cage Rage, BAMMA, Cage Warriors and UKMMA are renowned for giving us great fights and in their heyday perhaps rivalled any major organisation in terms of matchmaking. But the biggest service these promotions have provided is to act as a stepping stone for elite European fighters to arrive on the big stage. Some of the former names on the roster may be familiar to you: Michael Bisping, Conor McGregor and John Hathaway. Below is a list of five British fighters that started their careers in UK based promotions and are destined for big things in 2019.

1. Michael "Venom" Page (13-0) - Bellator

31-year-old undefeated Welterweight star Michael "Venom" Page is in a very small and select group of names that became an instant overnight star with his MMA debut. Page delivered one of the nastiest walk-off tornado kick KOs you will ever see in MMA, or in fact the ONLY walk-off tornado kick KO you will see in MMA (seriously you wouldn’t believe if it was in a Jet Li movie). A point-karate and kickboxing specialist, Page has delivered flashy knockout after flashy knockout. Most notably the flying knee that put durable journeyman Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos into retirement after a fractured skull. The knockout shocked long time MMA pioneer and referee Big John McCarthy so much that he claimed it was the hardest knee he ever heard. Page’s most recent victory was his surgical breakdown of well-respected former Bellator Lightweight title contender: David Rickels who was forced into a No Mas predicament. 'Venom' recently crossed over to the world of Boxing with David Haye’s Hayemaker promotion and won in devastating and stereotypical showboating fashion. Page is scheduled to fight rival British knockout artist: Paul "Semtex" Daley in 2019 and once and for all determine who the "King of Britain" is.

2. Nathaniel "The Prospect" Wood (15-3) – UFC

One of the more appropriate nicknames in the fight industry, 25-year-old prospect Nathaniel "The Prospect" Wood is part of a new breed of young fighters who have it all: the striking, the grappling and the attitude to match. The quickest way to the to the top of mount UFC is to win the notorious "50G’s baby" and Nathaniel is well on his way after his performance bonus worthy victory over Johnny Eduardo. UFC 232 was Wood’s coming out party after his second-round submission victory over fellow Bantamweight standout: Andre Ewell at UFC 232. We all know that you have a better chance of winning the lottery than making MMA math add up, but I can’t help but point out the fact that Andre Ewell recently outpointed former UFC Bantamweight Champion: Renan Barao. If Wood continues this hot streak, a fast track to the top-ten will be a guarantee. I can’t wait to see the evolution of The Prospect.

3. Alfie Davis (10-3) – KSW, Bellator, UCMMA

The London Shootfighters camp is known for it’s high level grappling talent but in recent years the West London based gym has heralded striking phenoms like Michael Page and former UFC fighter Galore Bofando. Well-spoken Alfie Davis is no exception. Just like his teammate and fellow fighter to look out for: Michael Page, Davis has recorded one of the nastiest knockouts in MMA history with a perfectly executed axe kick. Davis most recently lost a closely contested split decision in his latest outing for the premiere Polish promotion KSW against Leszek Krakowski. Whilst a minor setback, Davis will look to come back in style in 2019 picking up his form that found him beating Jay Dods at Bellator 179 with a kick to the body.

4. Tom Breese (11-1) - UFC

Tom Breese is a fighter that does not like letting the fight go to judges’ scorecard. 83% of his victories have ended in stoppage and only three of his twelve fights have left the second round. Birmingham’s Breese went 10-0 with an awkward style that posed serious problems to everyone he has faced until he came across Sean Strickland. Breese lost a close back and forth fight which could’ve gone either way. However, you’re only as good as your last fight and Breese’s last fight was a TKO stoppage of Dan Kelly in his Middleweight debut winning Performance of the Night. Tom Breese will look to build on the momentum of his victory and zoom up in the rankings in 2019.

5. Joanne Calderwood (12-3) – UFC

Joanne Calderwood hails from Kilmarnock, Scotland and whenever she steps up to the scales with the flag of Scotland painted across her face, I can’t help but think she’s the female embodiment of William Wallace (Braveheart). Joanne’s story of discovering combat sports is one of destiny, after being forced by her mother to attend a Muay Thai class with her brother at the age of 13. Joanne fell in love with Muay Thai and her record is a testament to her passion as she was ranked #2 in the world by the World Professional Muay Thai Federation in 2012. JoJo has fought some of the best in the business including a fight against current Strawweight Champion: Rose Namajunas. Despite a string of losses against highly touted fighters: Jessica Andrade and Cynthia Calvillo, and only one fight in 2018, Calderwood will hope 2019 is the year where she can present her case for a title shot in the women’s Flyweight division.

What did you guys think of my list? Who would you add or remove from the Top 5 UK fighters to look out for in 2019?

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.