So, the news has broken. Three of the pioneers of MMA in this country have returned and are bringing mixed martial arts back to Berkshire. Back in the early noughties, Andy Sledge, and the James brothers, Paul and Simon, brought us the FX3 promotion; a Reading based company, rivalling Cage Rage as the premier show in the UK. Hosting eleven events from 2005 to 2009, the cards were littered with a who’s-who of not just domestic MMA, but global. To put this into perspective, these guys featured two UFC champions on their cards. In Reading.
Just to whet the appetite of the younger fan and bring a nostalgic tear to the eye of the more seasoned reader, here’s some of the stars who’ve featured on FX3 cards:
– Jose Aldo (yes, THE Jose Aldo)
– Michael Bisping
– Jimi Manuwa
– Brad Pickett
– Linton Vassell
– Paul Daley
– Andre Winner
– Dean Amasinger
– Phil Harris
– Nick Osipczak
If you didn’t know before, now you know what serious players these guys were in the evolution of the sport. Roll on seven years and like a phoenix from the flames, back they’ve come, in a new guise, as part of the Budo FC set up.
Joining up with Budo seems to be a natural fit for the former FX3 team. Andy Sledge and Budo head honcho Chris Clarke have had a long standing personal and professional relationship, going back to Clarke’s infancy in the industry. Clarke has gone on to push the boundaries with Budo, expanding out from his home base of North West England into Wales, Scotland, London and now the Home Counties. Couple this with their link with Brazilian heavyweights Aspera FC, Budo can no longer be classed as an ‘upstart promotion’, they’re now a player in the UK industry. CEO Chris Clarke told us;
“I’m delighted to have these guys come in and work with Budo on promoting the brand in the South. These guys helped build the UK scene over 10 years ago when the sport was still in its infancy and some of their fighters went on to be global superstars. Together, we’re looking to deliver a number of shows in 2017 and cement Budo as a big player in the area.”
Budo have announced their first four dates for what will undoubtedly be a busy 2017 schedule. They are:
Budo 18 – Reading (March 4th 2017)
Budo 19 – Swansea (March 11th 2017)
Budo 20 – Falkirk (March 25th 2017)
Budo 21 – Bolton (April 16th 2016)
Exciting times at Budo HQ. Stick with Addicted OTR for further updates. You know these guys aren’t going to be standing still.