Two former amateur standouts, Shoaib Yousaf and Javonne Morrison have signed to fight at ACB 54 on March 11.
The featherweight prospects will feature on the undercard of ACB: Supersonic at the Manchester Arena, which Luke Barnatt headlines in a monster clash against Mamed Khalidov.
Yousaf earns credentials as top amateur fighter with IMMAF gold medal
Yousaf (1-0) was the only member of the United Kingdom amateur team to claim a gold medal at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships, during UFC International Fight Week last July.
Under the guidance of former UFC fighter John Maguire and experienced coach Nigel Burgess in Las Vegas, Yousaf fought five of the best amateurs at 145lbs which included a win over fellow Brit Connor Hitchens in the semi-finals before beating Ireland’s Nathan Kelly to claim the gold medal.
Making the successful switch from amateur to pro
Following a glistening amateur career, the Bradford-based fighter – who has spent time at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand – has also made an unbeaten start as a pro, beating Denis Ahern at ACB 47 in Glasgow.
After submitting Ahern in the first round, ACB quickly snapped up Yousaf, signing him to a multi-fight deal.
Despite being the underdog, Morrison will be no pushover in Manchester
On the opposite side of the cage, All Powers‘ Morrison (2-1) makes the jump up from 135lbs to compete on the stacked Manchester event in front of his hometown fans.
The protege of Brendan Loughnane and Kane Mousah, “Quadzilla” has also proven himself as on the regional circuit, fighting for Manchester-based promotions such as Full Contact Contender and Tanko Fighting Championships.
Yousaf is being touted as the ‘heavy favourite’ for this match-up, but Morrison brings a do or die attitude to the cage, constantly pressuring his opponents. His only loss as a pro, against Reece Street at FFC 16, was a massive learning curve for Javonne and his team in Stockport. The Mancunian rallied from that defeat and looked impressive on the inaugural Tanko FC show where he finished Brad Evans in the first round.