Liverpool’s MMA scene continues to grow with the likes of Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann becoming superstars in 2022.

They have set the example to follow. Here are 5 more Merseysiders hoping to make a name for themselves in 2023.

Liam McCracken

Young Scouser Liam McCracken was only 3-0 in his early MMA career before he was signed to Bellator MMA. An excellent start as a pro came after an exceptional amateur career. Now at one of the biggest promotions in the world, the Aspire Combat Academy fighter has the chance to make a statement on a global scale.

The exciting talent gets his first shot under the Bellator lights in Dublin’s 3 Arena on February 25th. McCracken told the Liverpool Echo he is only on a one-fight deal with the Bellator promotion and has his eyes set on a crack at the UFC following a successful Bellator debut: “Obviously, they’re the rival promotion (to the UFC), but they offered me a one-fight deal.” (Via the Liverpool Echo).

Adam Cullen

Adam Cullen has dominated and finished off every opponent he has faced in his first six fights as a professional. The Next Generation MMA fighter has his eyes set on one thing and one thing only, the UFC.

Adam Cullen interview with Mersey Sport Live

Cullen told Merseysport Live: “I’m not really interested in any other promotions or anything like that; I want to be a UFC fighter. Everyone starts this journey to be in the UFC, so that’s the only thing I am interested in.” A win at Cage Warriors Manchester on April 15th will get the fighter one step closer to his ultimate dream.

Luke Riley

Cage Warriors fighter and teammate of Adam Cullen, Luke Riley has potential in abundance. Likely to be competing at CW Manchester in April, the undefeated youngster has never gone past the second round having out striking all his previous opponents with ease. Riley has only been a professional since 2021 and is already regarded as radars a future superstar. Victory in Manchester puts the Next Generation fighter one step closer to featherweight gold.

Gavin Hughes

Gavin Hughes’s debut is a rematch nearly a decade in the making. Facing Chris Bungard as the co-main of Cage Warriors 152 in Manchester, Hughes has a chance to put the Cage Warriors lightweight division on notice.

The former Bellator fighter has been preparing to make the walk since late 2022. Still, he has the opportunity to start his year off against a former title challenger in Bungard. A shot at gold is on the horizon for Hughes as he prepares to make 2023 his most successful year yet.

Tom Aspinall

Tom Aspinall is the first Kaobon fighter on this list. The heavy-set northerner set the heavyweight division ablaze in his first five fights in the UFC. In July, the UFC heavyweight suffered a devastating knee injury in his last outing against Curtis Blades.

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Aspinall has been on the mend ever since. He currently sits at number 6 in the heavyweight rankings. With Jon Jones vs Cyril Gane in two weeks for the vacant UFC title, Aspinall will be watching with interest as he reignites his UFC title run.