Liverpool MMA fighter and ex-UFC man Chris Fishgold is set to return to action for French promotion Hexagone MMA after a two-year hiatus from mixed martial arts.
The Merseyside native has not fought professionally since his last bout against Jared Gordon in the UFC in July 2020.
That fight proved to be the death knell of his career in the company, with the Liverpudlian leaving the promotion shortly after.
It was an acrimonious end to life in the UFC for Fishgold, who turned up to the weigh-in of his final fight three pounds overweight before losing to Gordon via unanimous decision.
The Liverpool fighter was signed to the UFC in 2018 after impressing during his time in Cage Warriors, amassing a 17-1-1 professional record and winning the world lightweight title three times in the promotion before leaving to join Dana White’s company.
However, the 30-year-old failed to make his mark in the promotion, winning just one fight and losing three over two years.
Since his UFC departure, Fishgold has gone on to compete in two bare-knuckle boxing matches but this will be his first MMA fight since the loss to Gordon.
The Liverpool fighter will be desperate to regain the form and quality he was exhibiting before his ill-fated spell with the UFC, so it is of the utmost importance he restarts his MMA career on a positive note to regain some momentum.
The former Cage Warriors star is set to take on French fighter and fellow lightweight Yazid Chouchane in Hexagone MMA’s ‘6’ card. The Frenchman could prove to be a tough opponent for Fishgold, coming into the fight fresh off the back of a 46-second TKO victory in his last encounter.
It will be an interesting clash of styles, with Fishgold being an incredibly competent grappler, winning 13 of his fights via submission. Meanwhile, Chouchane is a fighter who relies more upon his striking skills.
While the Scouser boasts a superior record (18-4-0 to Chouchane’s 8-3-0), the challenge will be to minimise the effect of his inactivity. Given he has not competed in a two-year period and the Frenchman has fought as recently as September, the 30-year-old’s rustiness could play a role in the bout.
Fishgold won’t be the only Liverpudlian in action on the night, with head coach of the Aspire Combat Academy Dean Garnett also on the card.
Garnett is well known for his coaching abilities, with one of his protegees being Muhammad Mokaev, who is now signed to the UFC and is currently unbeaten after three fights in the company.
However, the Aspire coach is also a competent fighter himself, with the 34-year-old boasting a 9-2-1 record in professional fights.
Garnett will take on French featherweight Miguel Haro and will arguably be the favourite in the bout, with his opponent having an inferior 9-9-0 record.
The card is scheduled for January 22 and all the action from the Zenith in Paris will be streamed via DAZN.