Dundee fighter Scott Malone feels his next bout will be the one that can help him get his big break into elite mixed-martial arts (MMA) set-up the UFC.
The 31-year-old hopes his upcoming challenge for the Cage Warriors bantamweight title against Jack Shore will lead to him competing in the sports’ Ultimate Fighting Championship series before the year is out.
He knows, though, that will only happens if he wins the fight on April 27 in Cardiff.
To ensure that, Malone has been working hard in training to get himself in peak condition.
“I have got a very big fight coming up against bantamweight champion Jack Shore,” he said.
“The UFC is my goal and I think my next fight, if I win, I have a better chance of getting into it.
“I have been working a lot with Enhanced Sports Performance Dundee on my strength and conditioning training.
“I had a wee break over Christmas and New Year but there are 11 weeks until the fight so I’ve got time to get in shape.”
Malone enjoyed a terrific 2018, winning many tough encounters against quality opposition.
And he has been recognised by his colleagues in the sport after recently scooping two awards at the MMA UK Scottish Awards.
He won Knockout of the Year and Performance of the Year for his emphatic TKO (technical knockout) win over the then undefeated Adam Amarasinghe at Cage Warriors 98 in October last year.
That success sandwiched two other victories at Cage Warriors 91 and 100 over Jason Jenkins and Josh Reed, his first fight on the main card.
The 6-1-0 record bantamweight remains undefeated at the high-level Cage Warriors events and hopes to keep progressing throughout 2019 after receiving the respect of his peers.
The Dundee MMA athlete added: “Winning both awards for the same performance was nice.
“It’s voted for by the best MMA coaches around Scotland so it’s a great honour.”
If he can keep up this level of performance, the Dundonian could be taking on the likes of Conor McGregor and Jon Jones in no time.