Mixed martial arts returns to the Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on March 2nd for the third installment of Samurai Fighting Championship. The promotion, which was rebranded from Cage Warriors Academy Wales, made its debut in October of last year.
The promotional remodel opened the door to professional bouts appearing on the card more regularly. As well as offering a platform to some of Wales’ biggest prospects to gain experience and build towards a professional career in the sport.
With the first event of the year just a month away, the official bout order has been released with 6 championship fights confirmed. Here’s who you can expect to see squaring off for a shot at gold at SFC 3.
Scott Pedersen vs. George Tanasa
Few in Wales had a better 2023 than that of Scott Pedersen. The 27-year-old experienced one of the best years of his life after going 3-0 with all three ending via finish.
His most recent win came at the inaugural Samurai Fighting Championship event in October when he finished his opponent, Mika Dabboville inside the first couple of minutes. The win cemented his place as one-half of the first professional SFC title bout. Now, the resurged Scott Pedersen is set to face an old foe.
Romania’s George Tanasa will make the trip to the Welsh Valleys with the hope of getting one over on the opponent that he drew with back in May of 2022. The fight, which came under the Cage Warriors banners, ended in somewhat controversial circumstances. Nearly 2 years on and they’re set for a rematch with a lot more on the line.
Given the promotion’s links to PFL Europe, a win for Pedersen could mean even more than just a title. With so much on the line, this is one main event that is sure to produce something special for Samurai Fighting Championship.
Sam Hill vs. Ioan Thomas
Team Renegade’s Sam Hill returns to defend his middleweight title after bringing home the belt in November. A dominant first-round finish over challenger, Josh Sinnett, means he’ll be the man walking out second in this clash.
The Englishman holds an unbeaten amateur record, with a fantastic submission game. This time around, he’ll be challenged by arguably Wales’ biggest prospect. Ioan “The Future” Thomas will have the opportunity to win the title and stretch his perfect record to 8-0 in front of his home crowd. A name that is already recognized by the MMA community as ‘one to watch’ and rightly so.
Thomas has spent the last few years building his amateur record with it all leading to this. His head coach, Richard Shore, has regularly stated that he believes this young man could go on to be Wales’ greatest ever fighter.
Two unbeaten amateur prospects. It’s the champion against the challenger.
Cameron Brown vs. Kane Darcy
An all-Welsh title fight. It’s Draig’s Cameron Brown, taking on Shore MMA’s Kane Darcy for the welterweight championship. Both men come into this bout with a great deal of amateur experience. Brown’s record currently sits at 5-4, whilst Darcy holds 9 wins and 7 defeats.
This will be both of their second appearances on a Samurai card and it’s a classic battle of grappler vs grappler. It’s been talked about for some time if and when Darcy would get his shot at a title and that time has finally come.
The 170lb belt will be staying in Wales, but will it be with Brown or Darcy?
Ellis Richards vs. Harrison Coventry
This fight is going to be crazy! Ellis Richards is one of the few fighters who will be competing on the first three Samurai events and this time, he’s getting his crack at gold. A 5-1 record, with all five of his wins coming in the first round. He has an incredible ground game with a very aggressive style.
With that in mind, he’s taking on another 5-1 amateur in Harrison Coventry. The 22-year-old is ready to test himself against one of the best. Another impressive BJJ style who loves to get his arms around you.
Both guys are flying high and calling this one is an impossible task. March 2nd, the bantamweight title is back in play at Samurai Fighting Championship 3.
Dan Kitchen vs. Matt Howarth
Now it’s time for some unfinished business. Dan Kitchen finally gets his opportunity to face off with Matt Howarth for the lightweight belt. The fight was originally scheduled to take place back in October. However, a late injury on Howarth’s side meant the fight was off. Finally, they can settle the score at SFC 3.
Kitchen is a proud member of Lion’s Den Gym down in Exeter. Whilst Howarth is another fantastic product of Team Renegade. Both hold five amateur victories and will be hoping to show off their striking and light up the crowd come March.
An all-English battle is another one that will get the blood pumping on fight night.
Befan Hall vs. Ciaran Coogan
Our first title fight of the night, between two of the best amateur flyweight’s around. Welsh wonderkid, Befan Hall will put his title on the line as he welcomes 21-year-old Ciaran Coogan to South Wales. Hall’s 7-1 record is on the line after recently winning the bantamweight title in October. The former double-champ is sticking at flyweight and hopes to push his win streak to seven.
Coogan comes in with a lot of experience and a great deal of submission victories. This is truly one of the best flyweight bouts that you could hope for. It’s been a little bit of time since Coogan has fought, but that won’t matter once his honed in inside that cage.
Who do you think walks away with the belt? You can stay up to date with all of the Samurai Fighting Championship news right here. SFC 3 goes down on March 2nd and we’ll be covering it right here. Stay tuned.
Featured Image Credit to Samurai Fighting Championship on X