Luton-born Malik is raring to go for his Cage Warriors debut

MMA fighter has big plans in the sport

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 1:49 pm
Luton-born MMA fighter Faisal Malik
Luton-born MMA fighter Faisal Malik

Unbeaten mixed martial artist Faisal ‘The Mastermind’ Malik, from Luton, will have his Cage Warriors debut this weekend as he aims to make history as the first British-Asian World champion.

As the UK’s leading South Asian MMA fighter, the bantamweight has an unblemished professional record having won each of his five fights within one minute and five seconds, after he used the sport to transform his destiny from an overweight teenager who was often in trouble with the law.

Now the 27-year-old, who earned his nickname due to the intelligence and speed with which he takes out his opponents with a mixture of grappling and striking, will step up a level to compete at Cage Warriors 137 on Saturday at Colchester’s Charter Hall.

The Luton-born fighter predicts he will ‘run through’ highly-rated Frenchman Johan Segas in similarly spectacular style to his previous opponents before going on to become Cage Warriors’ first British-Asian champ – and then doing the same again in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

As Europe’s leading MMA promotion, Cage Warriors boasts it is ‘Where Champions Are Made’, having produced several notable UFC titleholders, including Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping.

Malik now wants to replicate their success, and is hungry to get back in the octagon following two years disrupted by the pandemic, saying: “Becoming a world champion would be amazing, an incredible achievement, and a dream – particularly as I’d be the first man from a British-Asian background to do so.

“If nothing else it would prove to me that the belief that I have in myself is well-placed.

“But I don’t want to look too far forward – I have to keep winning and making a noise by winning. That’s what I have to do to become a history-making world champion.”

On his latest opponent, he continued: “I’ve been watching Johan for a couple of years.

"From what I have seen, he’s a tough fighter who is game but has not got enough to cause me problems and I predict I will run through him.

“I will win by a stoppage – and whether it’s a TKO or a submission, I will finish him in the first one or two rounds.

"People watching my Cage Warriors debut will see a very dominant performance and yet another win.”

Malik trained in boxing until he was 15 and started to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at 16 – which helped the 5ft 8ins youngster slim down and stopped him getting into fights.

He now plays to open a gym in Luton and offer free sessions for underprivileged young people to get into MMA, adding: “MMA is fairly new and around where I'm from there's not really a gym.

"I've got seven coaches for different disciplines.

"I want to bring everything in house so those kids won't need to travel up and down the country.

"I was overweight and from the streets and now I'm a professional fighter, 5-0 and on the verge of firing into the UFC.

"I want to help the kids suffering with mental health, even adults as I believe physical fitness is the number one medicine.

"My goal from the gym is pretty much to create high-level fighters, I'm talking UFC world champion.

"I want to show that if I can do it, they can do it too, and I want to help as much as I can along the way."