Banbury-based bareknuckle fighter eyes world title after claiming British crown at weekend

A bareknuckle boxer who trains out of the Banbury Martial Arts Centre is eyeing up the world heavyweight title after successfully claiming the British cruiserweight honours at the weekend.
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Former UFC contender and recently crowned domestic bareknuckle champion Brad Scott overcame a bruising battle, in which his opponent broke both hands, to claim the title last Sunday (March 26) at BKB 31.

Brad’s opponent, former professional rugby player and Royal Marine Ryan Barrett, was unable to come out of his corner at the beginning of the third round due to the injuries sustained in the cruiserweight title clash at the O2 Arena.

33-year-old Brad, originally from Wiltshire but now spending his time in Oxfordshire, was delighted to win the championship but thinks it was an unfortunate end to what was warming up to be a crowd pleaser.

Brad celebrating his victory on Sunday at the O2.Brad celebrating his victory on Sunday at the O2.
Brad celebrating his victory on Sunday at the O2.

He said: "Even though I got the result, I was gutted he didn’t come out for the third round. I had just started landing punches and got my distance and timing down.

"I feel like I was landing a lot more punches than he was, he was throwing more, but I was landing more, and I know what I’d rather do!

"He was awkward, and it felt like he was trying to kill me. He came out throwing punches as hard as he could, but that worked against him because he became tired and broke both his hands."

Brad only made the transition from MMA to bareknuckle last year after competing at a high level in the sport in a nine year career, which included a number of appearances in the UFC.

Brad Scott is now eyeing up a world title shot in bareknuckle boxing.Brad Scott is now eyeing up a world title shot in bareknuckle boxing.
Brad Scott is now eyeing up a world title shot in bareknuckle boxing.

Nicknamed "The Bear", Brad gained fans attention with his aggressive mauling style, however, he may have to adopt a different approach to save himself from the high-risk damage of bareknuckle fighting.

Brad said: "I’m pretty marked up now; my hands are still swollen. There’s not any protection on the hands, as the name suggests, it is bareknuckle.I thought it would be similar to MMA in terms of punching, but it is not. With the small 4oz MMA gloves, you can punch as hard as you want and your hand will be pretty much ok, but that is not the case with bareknuckle.

"I’ve had three bareknuckle fights, and my hands have been in a state all three times afterwards. I don’t want to break my hands because I need them for my job at Bicester sewage treatment works, so I can’t afford to injure them.

"It hurts a lot more as well, you feel every punch. I didn’t know whether it was worse to block punches with my body or my arms because I kept getting dead arms.

Brad’s illustrious career in MMA saw him fight in Australia, Dubai, and even in front of a crowd of 25,000 in Mexico City, however, the packed-out Indigo at the O2 had its own challenges.

Brad said: "It was more intense because I can see my friends when I’m up there, as I’m fighting and in clinches, I can look over the shoulder of my opponent and see my pals and girlfriend in the crowd."

Now Brad hopes the promoters at BKB will match him in a fight for the world title against current heavyweight champion Russian giant Akhmed Baguzhaev, who recently claimed the title with an impressive technical knockout victory in Thailand.

"I want to fight abroad for the world title; Thailand would be great, but I’m really not that bothered what’s next. I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me, but the world title would look great in my collection; it's a beautiful looking belt."

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