English middleweight talent Tom Breese had quite a perfect performance this past weekend at UFC Fight Island 5, as he picked up a first-round TKO victory over the formerly undefeated KB Bhullar.
Until earlier this year, it had been a while since we’d seen Breese compete. Injuries, athletic commissions, and an anxiety attack he’d suffered cost him some appearances over the last few years.
We’ve only gotten to see him fight seven times in the five plus years he’s been in the UFC, with two of those fights happening this year. It looks like he’s back and ready to work his way to the top now however, which is very exciting to see.
Since we first saw Breese compete at just 23-years-old, we knew we had a hot prospect on our hands that could go far in this sport.
Breese made his professional debut in 2010 after going 3-0-1 as an amateur, winning that fight via submission (rear naked choke). He then went 2-0 in 2011, winning both fights by submission (rear naked choke, triangle choke), before going 3-0 in 2012 with two triangle chokes and one TKO.
His sixth victory saw him capture the BAMMA Welterweight Championship, the same title Leon Edwards had before joining the UFC. After starting his career out at 6-0 in just 25 months however, he didn’t fight again for another 22-and-a-half months.
Upon returning, Breese had a little bit tougher of a fight than he was used to two years prior, as his opponent took him into the third round for the first time in his career. Breese eventually got the submission (rear naked choke) stoppage at 4:57 of round three and kept his undefeated record intact.
Breese then debuted in the UFC that next year and went 2-0 in 2015, TKO’ing both the 11-3-1 Luiz Dutra Jr and the 17-3-1 Cathal Pendred, each of which he stopped toward the end of round one.
It’s funny, Breese submitted everyone outside of the UFC, and now that he’s in the UFC, he’s primarily a boxer that knocks everyone out.
This was followed up by a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) victory over the 31-6-2 (1 NC) Keita Nakamura four months later, before he dropped a razor thin split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) defeat to the 17-1 Sean Strickland.
This unfortunately was the last time we really saw Breese as an active fighter, until now at least. His fights with Durta and Pendred were both in 2015, and his fights with Nakamura and Strickland were both in 2016.
We wouldn’t see Breese fight for exactly one week shy of two years later, where he picked up a first-round TKO victory over the 13-3 Dan Kelly. The same thing happened after this fight, as he was out 19 months this time, before coming back in February of this year to face the 13-3 Brendan Allen.
His fight with Allen didn’t go his way, as he was taken down and viciously pounded on until the referee ultimately stopped the fight via TKO at 4:47 of round one.
As mentioned above however, he rebounded on Saturday with a first-round TKO victory over the 8-0 KB Bhullar, who it took him just 103 seconds to dispatch of.
This begs the question, what’s next for Tom Breese? He’s now 5-2 in the UFC with four first-round knockouts to his credit, and aside from his return earlier this year, he looks better every time we see him.
A bout between the winner of Krzysztof Jotko (22-4) and Makhmud Muradov (24-6) would be epic to see. Jotko is a good striker himself, and is currently riding a three-fight win streak, four if he beats Muradov.
Now Muradov, he hasn’t been with the UFC for long, going just 2-0 since September of last year, but he’s an absolute killer with 19 finishes to his credit, 16 of which come via knockout. Either of them would make a good opponent for Breese’s next fight.
Andrew Sanchez (12-5) would also make for a good next opponent, who’s coming off a first-round KO of Wellington Turman. No one expected that fight to go the way it did, it was a shocking breakthrough performance, but what better next fight to make than two talents coming off first-round knockouts?
Continuing potential opponents coming off first round knockouts is a bout between Breese and Dricus du Plessis (15-2), who just won his UFC debut in a big way on Saturday. Aside from losing his fifth fight, du Plessis only has one loss, against a man he defeated prior.
Furthermore, du Plessis is the former EFC Welterweight Champion, two-time EFC Middleweight Champion, and KSW Welterweight Champion. He’s coming off a first-round KO victory over Muay Thai black belt Markus Perez.
This is the best match up for Tom Breese out there right now. Breese has finished all but one of his victories, while du Plessis has finished all fifteen of his victories. A 12-2 finisher versus a 15-2 finisher anyone?
What’s next for UFC middleweight prospect Tom Breese?