It’s been a fantastic few weeks for UK MMA and this weekend it will get even better when ACB descend on the Sheffield Arena for ACB 70: Luke Barnatt vs Scott Askham.
The ‘Battle of Britain’ main event should cap the evening off in style, but before we get to that there’s going to be a whole host of talent to keep an eye out for.
Here are our picks for the guys that could leave a lasting impression on the night.
1. Shoaib Yousaf
Yousaf (2-0) is considered one of the UK’s hottest prospects at 145-pounds and so far in his young career he’s gone a perfect 2-0 inside the ACB cage.
Yousaf made his debut back at ACB 47 last October when he defeated Irishman Denis Ahern in the first round. He then followed up that win with an impressive performance against Javonne Morrison at ACB 57 earlier this year, again getting the win in the opening round.
This weekend, the 2016 IMMAF World Championships gold medal winner will face fellow Englishman Jordan Vucenic in Sheffiled. Mark this one down on your cards, Yousaf is man worth keeping an eye on.
2. Kane Mousah
Mancunian Mousah (9-1) will look to take his winning streak to three in a row at ACB 70 when he takes on Alex Enlund in the co-main event of the evening.
Mousah is one of the UK’s finest 155-pounds fighters and has only lost once in his career to Marc Diakiese. Since that defeat, Mousah has bounced back well recording wins over Onur Calgar and Lewis Monarch on his ACB debut in March.
The Englishman will now face Enlund (14-2), a man who was called up to UFC, but who was released before he could make his debut following a slew of injuries that prohibited him from entering the Octagon.
Both men will have one eye on the UFC returning to UK shores next March and win this weekend could push them back into the reckoning for a call up.
3. Adam Townsend
First he was in… then he was out… now he’s back in again… Townsend hasn’t had the easiest ride in ACB so far that’s for sure.
Townsend (17-4) was expected to make his ACB debut back in June when he was scheduled to headline ACB 62 opposite Alexander Shabily. Unfortunately, Townsend’s weight cut didn’t go to plan and after he failed to get within 3kgs of the weight limit, the fight was postponed.
After a brief period where there was talk of Townsend retiring, it was announced that he would return this weekend at ACB 70 and take on Russian fighter Husein Kushagov (6-3). With three wins in a row, Townsend is another who has a good winning record behind him and who could be making moves into the ACB title mix with another win.
4. Alex Enlund
So close, yet so far. Enlund (14-2) was so close to making his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 93 in Hamburg this time last year, but it seemingly wasn’t to be.
Having been kept on the sidelines June 2016 the Englishman will no doubt be raring to go on Saturday night and he will certainly have his hands full when he takes on Mousah in the main event.
With wins over the likes of Artem Lobov and Cage Warriors featherweight champion Nad Narimani both included in his seven fight win streak, another win this weekend could put Enlund in the mix of the 155-pounds division.
5. Sam Boult
Boult (8-1) is coming off the back of a successful ACB debut last July when he defeated Adam Boussif.
That evening Boult won the fight in the first round and put the disappointment of having lost his undefeated record back in May after suffering a defeat to Adam Proctor at Made4TheCage 24.
Prior to that run, Boult had won seven fights in a row and was fast establishing himself as one of the hottest talents around at 170-pounds. At ACB70 he now gets the chance to take out another English prospect, Ashley Reece.
6. Bubba Jenkins
It’s fair to say Jenkins’ (11-4) ACB debut didn’t quite go to plan. The American made his first appearance inside the ACB cage in March when he was defeated by Ali Bagov who hit a beautiful inverted-triangle choke to submit him in the second round.
Jenkins simply had no answer to Bagov that evening, but this weekend he gets the opportunity to get back to winning ways to against Brazilian fighter Diego Marlon (26-10).
There’s plenty of the line for Jenkins this weekend so it will be interesting to see if he can rise to the occasion in front of the Sheffield crowd.
7. Aaron Robinson
What Robinson (2-0) lacks in experience he makes up for in potential. The English bantamweight is a very highly regarded prospect in ACB and is said to have impressed the locals a lot when he went over to train in Russia with his teammate Dean Garnett.
Robinson made his ACB debut back in July when he defeated Adam Caffrey with a beautiful rear-naked choke submission after just two-minutes of the first round.
This weekend Robinson takes on Cheya Saleem on the undercard of ACB 70 and this fight is one of many reasons why fans are going to want to be in their seats from the get-go.
8. Ashley Reece
Reece (5-0) is currently undefeated as a professional with five wins and four finishes.
“The Beast” has been patiently waiting his next fight having expected to feature on the ACB fight card in Gdansk, Poland earlier this year, but this weekend he will get the opportunity to let all his frustrations out when he takes on Sam Boult.
Reece impressed on his ACB debut back in March and he will be looking to catch the eye of the Russian bosses yet again this weekend at the Sheffield Arena.
9. Aaron Aby
The Welsh flyweight Aby (9-3) will be looking for his third straight win in ACB this Saturday when he faces Englishman Daniel Missin.
Aby made his ACB debut back in March when he defeated Connopr Hignett via a split decision in Manchester. The Welshman then jumped straight back into the cage at ACB 65 in Gdansk when he beat Sam Halliday, this time inside the distance via a submission in the first round.
Another win for Aby this weekend and he’s right in the mix of things at 125-poounds in ACB. Let’s see if he can get the job done.