One of the biggest stories to come out of Welsh MMA in 2023 was Oban Elliott’s Dana White’s Contender Series victory, which saw him earn himself a place on the UFC roster. Months later, he’s set to take on Val Woodburn at UFC 298 on February 17th in Anaheim, California.
Becoming the seventh Welsh fighter to put pen to paper with the UFC was no easy task. With his debut just over a couple of weeks away, let’s go back and appreciate the hard work and challenges that led him there.
Training With the Best
Shore Mixed Martial Arts has earned its reputation for being one of the best gyms in the country. From the UFC, to the PFL, to Cage Warriors and beyond. The gym has been well represented with big names like Jack Shore and Brett Johns typically making the headlines throughout the years. However, with this new breed of talent coming through, the growth will continue.
“The Welsh Gangster” has been a regular at the gym for many years now. Training under the likes of Richard Shore and Carl Parker has elevated his game to another level. After watching his performances in 2023, we now have a good idea of what level that is.
Cage Warriors Title Contention
The 26-year-old made his pro debut back in 2019 and in just his second bout, he made his way over to Cage Warriors. Despite regularly competing at welterweight nowadays, there have been stints at both lightweight and middleweight for the Welshman.
His CW record sits at 7-2 with some truly memorable fights and moments. A showman by every right of the word. He knows how to put on a show, not only in the cage but on the mic. Fans will remember his incredible first-round KO of George McManus back in 2021.
His most recent victory in the famous yellow gloves came back in April. A statement victory over James Sheehan in Dublin set him up for, what many would have guessed, a deserved title shot. However, he had other plans…
Oban Elliott vs. Kaik Brito
August 22nd, in Las Vegas, at the UFC Apex. It’s what dreams are made of. A Contender Series fight against Brazilian powerhouse Kaik Brito presented Elliott his opportunity to break onto the UFC roster and let everyone know what he’s about.
Before his scrap, Oban openly spoke about how the passing of his father had carried him to this moment. He wasn’t leaving that place without a contract. That was shown when he faced off with Brito in front of Dana White.
A remarkable display of will and determination meant that it was Wales who would be welcoming another fighter to the UFC. A majority decision, but a fight of the night majority decision was contract-worthy in the boss’ eyes.
On social media, Elliott’s been showing off his crazy physique and has promised to show the same skill and determination that he did in Vegas on February 17th in front of a sold-out Honda Centre.
Oban Elliott takes on Val Woodburn at UFC 298. We’ll be covering the event right here on Combat Sports UK. Stay tuned.
Featured Image Credit to Embed from Getty Images