The sport of mixed martial arts is currently the fastest growing sport in the world and it is swiftly spreading to all corners of the globe. More people are now realising how exhilarating and entertaining the sport of mixed martial arts is. MMA gyms are now becoming easier to find, and young UK talent continues to set the world alight.
A country that has a rapidly growing presence in the MMA world, is also known for their historical fighting spirit. This country is Scotland and they're currently home to some of the most exciting fighters in Europe. Let’s have a look at 10 of the best Scottish MMA fighters right now (in no particular order):
Gym: Higher Level Martial Arts - Edinburgh
Danny began his MMA career in 2011. Before joining with the UFC, Henry had a strong record of 10-2. Henry fought the majority of his fights in South Africa with EFC Worldwide and in his final fight for their promotion beat Igeu Kabesa for their featherweight championship.
Danny made his UFC debut in 2017 against Daniel Teymur where he won the Fight of the Night honours.
Gym: MXP - Stirling
Chris Duncan, who turned professional in 2014 has amassed a record so far of 5-0-0. Chris’s latest fight was against Leandro Souza on the Ultimate Fight League 3 with a R1 KO/TKO.
Duncan’s most notable victory is surely the way in which he dismantled Sam Slater on Bellator 217. Keep an eye out for this fighter for when he takes on his biggest challenge yet, Masayuki Kiikuiri in Tokyo on November 10.
Gym: Scottish Hit Squad - Coatbridge
Craig, who went 9-0 over as a pro over the span of four years was a BAMMA champion after beating Marcin Lazardz by submission. The fan favourite is now 8 fights deep into the UFC with his most notable victory coming from his matchup with Magomed Ankalaev where Craig locked in a triangle choke and tapped Ankalaev with only 1-second remaining in R3.
Paul’s latest bout was on the UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Stephens in which he dominated the tough Vinicius Moreira and submitted him in the 1st round with a rear-naked choke.
Gym: Aberdeen Combat Centre - Aberdeen
Mcbain, who only took up MMA at the age of 20, won all eight of his amateur fights before turning professional and is one of Scotland’s most popular fighters, notably for his infamous Cage Warriors post-fight video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNDEWU56Cb0) and is currently 6-1-0, fighting under the Cage Warriors promotion.
The locomotive is known for winning fights against tough opponents such as Lloyd Manning, Sam Spencer, Steve Aimable and more.
Gym: The Griphouse Gym - Glasgow
Tristar Gym (2016-2017) - Canada
Syndicate MMA - Las Vegas
Joanne, who fights in the Women’s Flyweight Divison of the Ultimate Fighting Championship is currently 14-4. She is a former Muay Thai champion and is #3 in the flyweight rankings.
Calderwood is Scotland’s first-ever professional female mixed martial artist, with notable wins coming against Ariane Lipski, Cortney Casey and more.
The 32-year-old first got started in Muay Thai training by accident. When she was 13, her younger brother was meant to go to a class with his friend, however, they never came. Her mother asked her to go along to keep him company. She fell in love with it and begged her mother to allow her to give up competitive swimming to do the two classes each week.
JoJo’s most recent fight was 7th September on UFC 242 where she defeated Andrea Lee in a split decision.
Gym: HMAC - Inverness
Dubbed, “The Hitman” Houston, Ross certainly lives up to it. The current Cage Warriors Welterweight Champion won the belt at Cage Warriors 98 in Birmingham, defeating Stafano Paterno via a split decision. The bout was the 2018 Fight of the year for Cage Warriors where Paterno forced Houston to dig deep and to show the real grit that he was made of.
Houston’s most recent bout was against Dalby, in which the fight ended due to there being too much blood on the canvas. In the third round, there was so much blood coming from their cuts, that it meant neither man could get to their feet due to them both slipping on the canvas. Marc Goddard ruled the fight a no-contest saying that he was concerned about the surface. After this, Dalby was resigned to the UFC, and we’re certain it won’t be long until Ross is also snapped up.
Gym - Braveheart MMA - Fife
Higher Level MMA - Glasgow
Stevie “Braveheart” Ray is currently competing in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and has competed professionally since 2010. Ray was also the Cage Warriors Lightweight Champion, as well as the BAMMA British Lightweight Champion with a 16-5 before heading up to the UFC.
In addition to fighting himself, Ray runs the Braveheart MMA gym, where around 50 people train.
Stevie Ray is one of Scotland’s most successful martial arts athletes and has his next bout against the highly ranked Michael Johnson at UFC on ESPN+ 20 on October 26, 2019.
Gym: SBG Moray - Moray
As a pro since 2016, Aidan is currently fighting for Cage Warriors with notable victories against Kingsley Crawford, seasoned pro, Kris Edwards and more. He very narrowly lost to Steve Aimable on CW 105 - Cage Warriors, which was an absolute war of a matchup, showing the Scotman’s true grit.
Gym: DMMA - Dundee
Scott Malone is the 18th ranked of 179 active UK/Ireland Pro Bantamweights and fights under the Cage Warriors promotion. “Boom Boom” impressed early on with some great victories over Josh Reed and Adam Amarasinghe.
Scott’s latest bout was a loss against the highly touted Jack Cartwright on Cage Warriors. Scott will be looking to bounce back very soon.
Gym: Scottish Hit Squad - Coatbridge
Bungard, who became the first Scotsman to sign for Bellator when his deal was announced last year is currently 14-5-0.
Chris burst onto the Bellator scene in style with a sensational first-round submission over the former BAMMA world champion, Terry Brazier. Bungard was able to submit him in just two minutes and six seconds to squash the former champion’s 9-fight streak.