Welsh MMA double-champion, Ieuan Mackenzie, has spent the last few years building a resume of amateur experience in his quest to turn professional. Now he prepares for arguably his toughest matchup yet, a title defence against Levi Batchelor.
Ieuan “The Lion” Mackenzie
21-year-old Mackenzie picked up his first amateur title in December of 2021. A win against top prospect Kenzie Jones meant he was crowned Cage Warriors Academy Wales featherweight champion.
Just a few months later, in April, he had a second belt wrapped around his waist after winning the Meltdown lightweight championship against John Watson.
The win meant that “The Lion” is now riding a three-fight win streak, all of which being finishes. The young prospect is having the time of his life with his record currently standing at 7-3.
Ieuan Mackenzie v Levi Batchelor
Now, he’s preparing to put his featherweight belt on the line as he faces off against bantamweight champion – Levi Batchelor. Like Ieuan, Levi picked up his title in December and has since defended it in the exact place he won it.
According to Ieuan, “we’ve wanted that fight for a while. So, it was really nice when we got the message through for the fight. Obviously, it was an instant yes”.
Levi’s unblemished record currently sits at 5-0 and it’s fair to say, a great deal of hype behind him also. “Young Money” works out of Shore MMA gym, where he trains with the likes of Jack Shore and Brett Johns.
“It’s really exciting. It’s another undefeated prospect. He’s going to bring a lot of eyes and then when I win, it’s going to put a lot of eyes on me. It’s a good challenge and I’m really excited for it,” says Mackenzie.
The two are scheduled to lock horns on June 25th at the Ebbw Vale Sports Centre at what will be the seventh instalment of Cage Warriors Academy Wales.
Regarding his preparation for his first title defence, Ieuan has made it clear, “the gameplan usually stays the same, everyone knows what I’m going to go in there and do.
“But we do obviously try and simulate my opponent. Kind of put me under that pressure that I’ll be put under when I actually fight.”
Training with Celtic Pride gym and working at the Craig Ewers Academy, it’s been no secret that wrestling and grappling are Mackenzie’s key tools for battle, and he’ll be hoping to show that, come June.
What would a win mean?
With a switch to professional fighting on the horizon, a win against Batchelor would do a lot for his growing confidence.
“It would show me the level that I’m at. I think that people maybe don’t understand that, where I believe I’m at now is the pinnacle of amateur MMA.
“So, I really think it puts me on the map and I’ll be, not just one of the best featherweights in the UK, but one of the best amateurs in the UK.”
Featured image credits to Meltdown Fighting Championship