Welcome to Full Contact Contender 29!
Welcome, welcome, welcome to Full Contact Contender 29; the fullest, most contact-y (is that even a word? Who cares!) edition of Full Contact Contender to date! You’ll have to forgive the hubris, but we feel like tonight as much as any other it’s warranted, as we present to you, the FCC faithful, what we’re willing to go out on a limb and say is potentially our most complete and mind-melting card to date! As always there’s some familiar faces, new hopefuls and secret weapons plying their trade for your entertainment, as we look to close out our 20s with a bang!
What better place to start than at the top of the card, and what a party piece we have for you on this sunny Saturday night!
*Legal Disclaimer: UK weather may not actually be sunny; we just liked the alliteration*
Tonight’s main event sees two of the most highly-credentialled competitors in FCC history throwing down for our featherweight title. Reigning champion Matthew Camilleri will look to make the first defence of his 145lb strap, against none other than a returning FCC favourite from years past in Azi ‘One Bomb’ Thomas.
A multiple time FCC veteran following his debut in 2013, Thomas used FCC as a springboard for an almost decade-long career in some of the world’s top promotions. Plying his trade on such prestigious platforms as Cage Warriors, EFC Africa and KSW, Azi is a true world warrior with international credentials, sure to provide the reigning champion with all he can handle in tonight’s featured bout.
Maltese export Camilleri has been on something of a surge through the early years of his career. Having competed both in his home nation of Malta and his home away from home here in the UK, as well as training with the prestigious American Kickboxing Academy in the US and Next Generation in Liverpool, people are predicting big things in the 26 year old’s future.
With only a single defeat across his professional and amateur ledgers (here at FCC to current Bellator fighter and Cage Warriors veteran Jordan Barton no less), Camilleri has the credentials to back up his lofty ambitions. With a career best win in his last outing against ONE Championship alumni Shoaib Yousaf under his belt, Camilleri will no doubt be looking to elevate his stock even further with a defence against Thomas.
It simply wouldn’t be an FCC event if we didn’t have some thoroughly mouth-watering amateur appetizers plated up for your enjoyment to bolster the professional main course. Tonight’s amuse bouche is perhaps the tastiest amateur fight in FCC history, since the Michelin Star worthy Tear up between Ashley Reece and Martin Chester.
To be frank and honest, we’d need to enlist the services of Carole Vorderman to keep track of how many belts and in how many different divisions Kurtis Campbell has won belts. It’s probably somewhere in the region of a gazillion, but once Carol has got back to us, we’ll be sure to let you know. Point being, ‘The Pink Panther’ might just be the brightest diamond in amateur UKMMA at this moment in time.
Having run through the UK circuit like a hot knife through butter, we’ve been forced to cast the net a little further to find Campbell an opponent for tonight’s amateur headliner. With a massive 9-1 record, Skarżysko-Kamienna, Poland’s Miłosz Kruk is, according to our good friends at Tapology, the #2 ranked men’s amateur featherweight… not just in Poland, but the entire Eastern European region.
A young veteran, having competed in a frankly ludicrous nine of his ten career bouts in 2021, Kruk is a smashing machine with a habit of finishing fights with his dangerous striking game. That last sentence took this article up to exactly 666 words (go on, count them), which feels like some kind of terrifying omen for the potential destruction you’re about to witness in this featherweight title contest.
If you’re not in the mood yet (and if not, why not?) never fear, for outside of our pro and amateur headliners we have wealth of serious scraps to suit every pallette. In our co-main event, Rio Grappling Club’s Aaron Johnson (6-2) will face Manchester Predator’s Jamie Lee for the vacant FCC Professional Lightweight title. Speaking of Rio Grappling, Bellator and FCC veteran (and occasional FCC commentator) Jamie Hay returns to the scene of some of his most spectacular victories to face the experienced Craig Skelton.
And speaking of returns, a man once considered on of UKMMA’s leading light-heavyweight prospects, Andy Clamp (10-1) steps back into the cage after a break of over four years to face Greece’s Felix Polianidis. Clamp has been keeping busy on the grappling circuit of late, sharing the mats with the likes of UFC veteran Tom Breese and Bellator star Lee Chadwick, but will be competing at a high level for the first time since 2019 when he dons the FCC gloves this evening.
The typewriter is running low on ink but we’d be remiss not to mention a few more scintillating slices of FCC action coming your way this evening before we sign off. Amateur flyweight prodigy Connor Walsh returns to face Predator’s Tom Wright, former champion Emile Vujakovic looks to bounce back against a Polish amateur standout with 12 fights under his belt in Mateausz Szczepaniak, while the ultra-popular and undefeated Macaulay Donnelly takes on his most experienced opposition to date in Inspire Performance Centre’s Olli Morris.
So that’s FCC 29! They say it’s all downhill from 30, but something tells us that Full Contact Contender is once again going to prove itself to be the exception to the rule. In the meantime, sit back and relax as the voice of UFC Esports Alex Ritchings and the supremely talented (but ever so slightly less handsome than Brad Wharton) Bryan Lacey talk you through tonight’s action from the Bolton Arena.
If this is your first time in our warm embrace, welcome! If it isn’t, well then you already know the score…
Full on action…
Full on drama…
Full Contact Contender.
Adam Teh – FCC Promoter