Happy New Year and most importantly of all, welcome to Full Contact Contender 25!
Not only does this event mark the start of a new year and a new chapter in the FCC story, it sees us make the short hop across the road from the University of Bolton Stadium (or whatever it’s called this week) to the Bolton Arena.
The more some things change, the more they stay the same… so at FCC 25, our main event will be a blast from the past featuring two of FCC’s longest-serving stalwarts. Jonno Mears made his FCC debut all the way back in 2013, picking up victories as both an amateur and a professional. In fact, the sole blot on his professional copybook came at FCC 23… at the hands of Daryl Golding.
Blackledge MMA’s Golding first came to prominence for his legendary 2014 FCC amateur lightweight title fight against Bellator star Ashley Reese. He too went on to make a mark as a professional with FCC, accumulating in his 2019 British title victory over Mears; a belt he would go on to defend against Dan Gibbon later that year.
The pair have found mixed fortunes since. Mears bounced back with a trademark first-round submission to cap off his 2019 campaign, while Golding made his debut under the bright lights of Cage Warriors at London’s O2. Whilst his hand wouldn’t be raised that night, Golding experienced three tough rounds at the highest level and is now ready to make another run at the top. For him, tonight is about validation. For Mears, it’s about revenge. May the best man win.
FCC 25 is far from a one-trick pony. Our co-main event sees another Blackledge MMA project, ‘The Lord’ Jordan Barton (5-1) taking on undefeated NextGen/MMA Malta featherweight Matthew Camillari. We’ll also be sounding the patented #UNITALARM on our main card, as the returning Karl ‘The Wrecking Machine’ Etherington faces Polish powerhouse Jan Lysak.In one of the night’s most hotly anticipated bouts, NextGen’s Liam Molloy takes on SBG Manchester’s Manny Akpan. Both are veterans of FCC and Cage Warriors, with Akpan coming in hot off his professional debut with the latter promotion. You’ll also be treated to the returns of the likes of Lawrence James, Tom Clarke and FCC’s own Jamie ‘The Haymaker’ Hay, as the trio look to take the next steps in their professional careers.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an FCC card without a whole host of the North West’s finest amateurs vying for the titles that have catapulted so many into the professional ranks with some of Europe’s biggest promotions. In the bantamweight division, NextGen’s Chris Whitehead (4-1) faces Blackledge MMA’s Sam Kelly (4-0-1). Meanwhile, Fight Factory’s Edrine Spencer (5-1) takes on Ieuan Davies of Blackledge MMA (6-1) for the featherweight belt. Jay Irving (3-1) meets the returning James Huck (4-1) for the welterweight strap, while last and by no means least, middleweight Emile Vujakovic (4-1) faces off with Ireland’s Jordan “Jumbo” O’Neill at 185lbs.
As if that wasn’t enough, the next generation of UK MMA hopefuls – across all weight divisions and representing some of the UK’s finest teams – will be putting it all on the line to start proceedings, with over twenty contests continuing FCC’s legacy as one of the best value for money tickets in town!
If you’ve been before, you know what’s in store, and if you’re popping your FCC cherry, it’s time to get merry! Grab a ticket and grab an eyeful of the full on action and full on drama that is… Full Contact Contender!
Adam Teh – FCC Promoter