The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented guy on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
While our last week’s Prelim Breakout Star carried tons of hype, this week’s is a little more unheralded. However, that’s what this segment is all about; bringing rightful publicity to the little guy.
Nickname – The White Mike Tyson
Affiliation – Straight Blast Gym
From – Swansea, Wales
Height – 5’11”
Weight – 185 lbs (Middleweight)
Record – 21-6 (0-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
As the nickname would suggest, the man has some serious power in his hands. When he connects he gets KOs and he gets them often; his last four fights have ended with one. And those victories come at a high level; two of them were part of a one-night Rage in the Cage tournament and one was for the BAMMA title.
What makes his KO power even more difficult for opponents is that he’s willing to take a shot to give one. This makes it far more tempting for fighters to exchange with him, which is an extremely dumb idea.
Why he has been overlooked
When he got signed by the UFC, there was a fair amount of fan fare around the signing. With him being out of Ireland’s SBG with John Kavanagh, people already had their eyes on him. The unfortunate thing is that that signing was roughly 14 months ago. After signing the deal he was forced to back out of fights with Marcos Rogerio de Lima and Eryk Anders respectively due to injuries. As a result, people have pretty much forgotten he was signed by the UFC. If he has his way, they’ll remember this weekend.
What makes this a good match-up
At only 5’11”, John Phillips is not a tall middleweight. In fact he’s shorter than the UFC average (6’0″ as reported by Fight Matrix in 2012) Additionally, he has broad shoulders which make his functional reach fairly low. In Charles Byrd, he fights one of the few guys in the division that may be at a disadvantage when it comes to reach and height to him. Only 5’10” himself, Byrd may have trouble getting in on Phillips, which will make him have to trade more often; a recipe for destruction.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 139-60-1 (2 NC) (6 DNF)