Luton fighter Faisal Malik exploded on to the pro MMA scene with a devastating win over Liam Johnson (0-3-0) at UCMMA54 last weekend.
Roared on by more than 100 fans at London’s Troxy, Malik took just 40 seconds of the first round to force Johnson into submission and chalk up his first win in the professional ranks.
Fighting at 70kg, Malik looked by far the bigger fighter as they took to the cage and he utilised his power and grappling skills to make the difference.
As the fight started, Johnson attempted a head kick to push Malik back, but as soon as this missed the target Malik had snatched his opponent to the floor.
When the pair grappled, Johnson tried to lock the Luton fighter in a neck choke and used the cage as leverage to attempt to get a submission.
Malik took the chance to turn his opponent over and with Johnson now underneath, Malik locked him in a rear neck choke and forced the submission within seconds.
Backstage, Malik outlined the tactics going into the fight as he said: “I saw some footage of him and I knew he was going to come out with a kick, so I would catch it and take him down.
“It all went perfectly, I couldn’t be happier.
“To be honest in the cage it is often more about me against myself, if I turn up and I perform, I will get the win.”
Asked about turning pro and the various upcoming events advertised on the night, Malik added: “I’m hoping to be back out on shows in May and September, but in between I’ll do some boxing or wrestling competitions just to keep ticking over.
“I’ve visualised and dreamt about turning pro for years and it went exactly as I saw it.
“I need to show my gratitude to my coaches, as there are lots of them and I need to train for every type of fight possible.
“I just wanted to thank all the fans for their support, as there were even people asking for tickets on the day.
“Luton is such a tight knit community and we really get behind our fighters.
“It’s our chance to show the town in a positive way.”
UCMMA55 has been scheduled for May 12, starting at 5pm and is back at the Troxy once more.