Every now and again a special talent comes along that makes you stand up and saw WOW! Every sport has them, basketball had Jordan and Kobe, Soccer had Messi and Ronaldo, boxing had Ali and Tyson, but not necessarily at the same time.
But for the world of MMA, the UFC have signed one such talent, in the form of Frenchman Tom Duquesnoy.
Frenchman Duquesnoy, otherwise known as ‘The Firekid’ is a generation defining talent, who is a standout performer in any weight class. And at only 23, has his whole career ahead of him.
Fans of European MMA will already know the name, and fans of BAMMA, as The Firekid came in and dominated the bantamweight division. And like most divisions in BAMMA, it is stacked with talent.
However Duquesnoy has managed to beat some of their established fighters, and also rising stars in the world of MMA. Like fellow BAMMA alum Marc Diakiese and Mark Godbeer, Duquesnoy left BAMMA for the bright lights of the UFC as a champion.
During his time in BAMMA, the young Frenchman managed to finish both Shay Walsh and Alan Philpott, which is no mean feat, and went all three rounds with Brendan Loughnane, picking up a spily decision win.
The only blemish on his BAMMA career is a no contest, with Ashley Grimshaw, due to an accidental knee to the groin. But in terms of the division, Duquesnoy has fought the best in BAMMA, and with the exception of the Grimshaw fight, beat them all. However I do feel if the Grimshaw fight had of happened again, and this isn’t taking away from how good Grimshaw is, I’m sure the Firekid would have won that one aswell.
Duquesnoy is a striker, and knows how to finish a fight, which is evident in the fact that out of his 14 wins, 7 have been by KO/TKO, but he does know how to work on the ground, with four of his wins coming by submission. But no doubt now that he is training at Jackson-Wink his wrestling and general ground work will improve.
Also judging by the fact that Greg Jackson cornered him at BAMMA 25: Champion vs Champion, in Birmingham, England, shows how much the gym must think of him as well.
And with his UFC debut this coming Saturday in Kansas City, Duquesnoy will hope that his ground game has improved massively, as he goes up against ground specialist in Patrick Williams.
But like Tom, Williams can finish a fight, with only two of his 12 professional fights going the distance, and the majority ending in the first round.
This will be a tough fight for both competitors, and no doubt will be an exciting one for the fans. I can’t imagine their being any debut nerves from Duquesnoy, as his camp would have prepared him for the bright lights and expectancy in the UFC.
I think The Firekid will walk out of Kansas with a debut win, and will be very surprised if it makes it out of the second round. This is a talent no one will want to miss, and at 23 will have a huge, and successful career ahead of him.
The fight will be on the prelims, which will be available to watch on UFC Fight Pass, with the prelims starting at 11pm GMT, 6pm Eastern and 3pm Western.