Tom Breese might not have had the media attention enjoyed by fellow Tristar fighters Sage Northcutt and Joe Duffy, but he’s edged out the pair in one key area.
The undefeated Birmingham prospect is one of the rising stars of UFC, and took second place in the promotion’s ranking of 2015’s best newcomers – ahead of Northcutt and Duffy and behind only Holly Holm.
And Breese, who takes on Keita Nakamura at UFC Fight Night London, told SportsJOE he has no doubts that particular honour is deserved.
“You know, that’s where I should be. I believe I should be there and I’m better than these guys,” Breese says.
“I’m undefeated, I’ve finished everyone I’ve fought. It’s good to be recognised for my skills.”
Not only can the 24-year-old boast an undefeated record, but every single one of his victories has come within three rounds, either by submission or knockout.
Following seven wins from seven in other promotions, he has made an instant impact in UFC with back-to-back knockouts
Breese’s last victory, a first-round TKO against hometown favourite Cathal Pendred, earned him performance of the night at UFC Fight Night 76 in Dublin.
But he doesn’t feel a whole lot more pressure to put on a show in his first UK fight under the UFC banner, and in fact he can see a gap opening up for the next big British star to succeed Michael Bisping, who takes top billing at the London event.
“There’s pressure with every fight – I’m an undefeated prospect, I just deal with it,” he says.
“I just get in there and I do what I do. Come fight time you’re only going to do what you’re trained to do so it is what it is.
“There’s always a new gap, especially in UK MMA. We’ve never had a champion or anything like that.
“Michael Bisping has been the best fighter we’ve ever had but it’s definitely time for the new generation to come through.”