Elliott Hoye will fight in the main event at Shock N Awe 29 – but faces his toughest test yet.
The flyweight, who trains out of Fratton’s Gym 01, meets Sami Yahia at Portsmouth Guildhall on March 16.
Hoye bids to continue his promising progress and extend his unblemished record to 4-0.
The Brighton-born talent delivered three victories last year, finishing with an impressive first-round submission win over Abdel Lif at Shock N Awe 28 in November.
He next faces a dangerous opponent in Yahia, though, who has registered seven wins from his 11 bouts.
Gareth Johnson believes it’s the sort of challenge Hoye needs as he aims to further his career.
Shock N Awe’s promoter said: ‘We’re bringing over someone from France who will be a real tough test for Elliott.
‘He has a record of 7-4. We’ve done our research on him and this kid is very, very fast and very well-rounded.
‘But Elliott is 3-0 with all three wins coming via finishes.
‘Are we going to try to get someone with a couple of wins and couple of losses on their record for him?
‘Well, no, because not only do we want it to look good for the show but for our fighters then we want to make sure they’re tested against real opponents.
‘Elliott would have been main event on the last show but Cameron Hardy stole that limelight.’
Shock N Awe has established itself as the south coast’s premier mixed martial arts show.
The likes of Molly McCann and Jack Marshman have won titles before moving onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – the biggest promotion in the sport.
Johnson feels Hoye, along with team-mate Cameron Hardy, are following a similar trajectory.
Gym 01’s head coach added: ‘What we do with Shock N Awe is build up fighters’ amateur careers and give them a solid base in the pro ranks to move onto the bigger shows.
‘That’s what we did with Molly McCann, who is fighting on the UFC Fight Night London card the same day as Shock N Awe.
‘Then there’s Jack Marshman, who is also in the UFC.
‘He is our former middleweight champion and the likes of Elliott and Cameron will probably follow in their footsteps.
‘They’ve been tested against solid opponents at Shock N Awe before going on to bigger things.’
To purchase tickets for Shock N Awe 29, CLICK HERE.
UFC Fight Night London will be shown after the event is finished.