Ben looking for name recognition

East End fighter Pablo Ben is out to make a name for himself when he features in the latest MMA show from Ultimate Challenge UK

East End fighter Pablo Ben is out to make a name for himself when he features in the latest mixed martial arts show from Ultimate Challenge UK next weekend.

Former Taekwando specialist Ben made his cage debut in a first-round defeat by Dyson Roberts at the Troxy last month and returns to the Stepney venue next Saturday night looking for his first professional win.

But while the 25-year-old, who lives in Stepney, is confident of securing a maiden MMA victory against opponent Michael Brown, he knows that he cannot be considered a top-class fighter until he develops his own nickname.

While Bethnal Green's Brad "One Punch" Pickett and Jamie "The Real Deal" Hearn occupy the headline slots on the 15-bout show, Ben admits he is desperate to develop a catchy alias that will help take his career to the next level.

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He said: "I want to make a name for myself in Ultimate Challenge and I need to get a good nickname, something that reflects my style of fighting.

"I grew up watching UFC and guys like Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and I'm hoping that's where I'll end up, fighting in the United States. But first I need a nickname that lets people know what I'm all about."

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Ben's first priority is to recover from last month's loss, which came when the rookie fighter was paired with veteran Roberts with just 24 hours' notice.

Leeds ace Roberts used his greater experience and superior preparation to blast his way to an opening-round win, but Ben is adamant that he will put on a better display this time around.

"I'm aiming to show people what I'm capable of this time because I didn't have enough notice for my last fight," he said.

"I don't even consider that a proper fight because it was really just a chance to get some experience. People couldn't believe that I'd been put in with a good fighter like that at such short notice.

"But this time I've had a chance to prepare properly and people will see what I'm all about. I'm planning to go in there get a knockout or a submission. This time it's going to be a different story."

The headline fight on the Troxy show sees East London favourite Pickett take on Italian challenger, Dino Gambetesa for the vacant Ultimate Challenge world featherweight title.

The event also sees the return of the Grand Prix tournament, in which eight fighters from each of the six major weight divisions are battling to become the undisputed champions in each weight category.

Tickets for Ultimate Challenge UK's Unstoppable show at the Troxy, 490 Commercial Road on March 28 are available at

For an exclusive interview with East London MMA legend Brad 'One Punch' Pickett and leading promoter Dave O'Donnell, see next week's Advertiser.

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