“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
– Winston Churchill
Summer, 1940. The German Blitzkrieg sweeps through Poland, Belgium, and The Netherlands. At the end of June, France surrenders. Great Britain stands alone—the last remaining linchpin against a Nazi dominated western Europe. Facing long odds and the bombs of the German Luftwaffe, the resolve of the British people would be tested. It would prove itself unbreakable. The Battle of Britain would blunt the advance of the Third Reich, avert a full scale invasion of British soil, and begin to turn the tide of war. The rest, as they say, is history.
The fighting spirit of the British people has never been in doubt. After all, we Americans are their misbehaved stepchildren, with many of our own, still British citizens at the time of our bid for independence. It’s a fighting spirit that is woven into our DNA and rooted in our shared history, so it’s no surprise that as the UFC’s global footprint grows, the talent among our British counterparts grows with it.
Among the standouts is the UFC’s first British star, Michael Bisping. Having won 5 of his last 6, the famously brash Brit is clamoring for a shot at the pound for pound king, Anderson Silva. The critics say he’s not ready—that he hasn’t proven himself against enough top tier talent. Of course, Bisping disagrees, and on January 19, he looks to make a statement with a victory over Vitor Belfort in his home country of Brazil. On page 48, be sure to check out Bisping’s thoughts on the match-up, its implications on his career, and where he sees his place in the division.
Sticking with our British theme, on page 64, we shine a spotlight on some other UK fighters riding an upward trajectory in the UFC. The ever popular Dan Hardy has continued to refine his razor-sharp stand-up and has displayed a vastly improved wrestling game in his last few outings. WEC veteran Brad Pickett is coming into form in the UFC, garnering a coveted “favorite fighter” accolade from Dana White himself. The man who dampened Diego Sanchez’s bid to rebuild himself, John Hathaway, is there too, alongside Ross Pearson, Che Mills, and a slew of others. We hope you enjoy the update on our brothers from across the pond and familiarize yourselves with their faces if you haven’t already. They are all fighters to watch in the coming year, and I can assure you, they have come to fight, no matter the odds.