When you talk about hard-working, determined and driven, Scotland’s own Chris Duncan’s name comes to mind. Duncan is another example of how the Scottish game is evolving and progressing.
Having been introduced to the sport in 2014, making his debut in his backyard of Sterling. Duncan was victorious in his amateur debut finishing his opponent in the first round. This was just the start of something special.
You could somewhat say, Chris Duncan’s current success is all down to his amateur career. Having had 9 amateur bouts before turning professional. Winning 8 of those, Duncan gained that cage time and experience inside the octagon before making that big leap to the pro ranks. Putting himself in uncomfortable positions time after time so when the time came as a professional. He was ready.
Having dominated the regional scene from 2014-2017, it was ultimately time to leave the amateur circuit behind. His professional debut came at UNITY Fighting Championship v Italian native Pietro Colonna. Colonna was riding a two-fight win streak before falling victim to Duncan’s Guillotine Choke. Duncan then took on the challenge of welcoming Steven Moore and Niall Smith to one of Scotland’s highly-rated shows, ‘On Top’. The Northern Irishmen caused minimal threat to Duncan, as he finished both via KO/TKO.
The consistent stoppages and eagerness to finish fights attracted Scott Coker and Bellator. Duncan was offered the biggest fight of his career to date. He made the short flight to Dublin, Ireland to make an appearance at Bellator 217 v hometown-favourite Sam Slater. Duncan shut that party down with a KO/TKO finish in the first round after landing several heavy shots. A statement was made by the heavy-hitting Scotsman and a contract offer had to be coming.
As time passed, with no word from Bellator about another fight or contract. Business resumed as usual. A fight v Brazilian Leandro Souza was next on the table. Leandro Souza was riding a five-fight win streak with five finishes. As he entered the octagon with Duncan, Souza was potentially the guy to cause Duncan problems and take that 0 away. Once again, the Scotsman shut down that train with ease finishing Souza in the first.
Duncan still continued to grind, taking trips across the world to better himself at gyms such as ‘Tiger Muay Thai‘ in Thailand and highly-known gym ‘American Top Team‘. The call Duncan and his team had been hoping for presented itself once again. Scheduled to take on Irishman Ryan Roddy in Dublin at Bellator 240, the bout fell apart with Roddy pulling out. A quick switch of opponents didn’t seem to faze Duncan. He still went in and put on a striking clinic v Poland’s Mateusz Piskorz, securing a round two TKO.
Duncan now sits at (6-0) in his professional career and is one of the hottest prospects coming out of the country. Six fights and six finishes speak for itself. Bellator were impressed and now it seems as Duncan has found a home.
What does it mean to you personally to be able to represent your country and carry that Scotland flag with you on a stage as big as Bellator?
Duncan – “I carried the flag since my first pro fight not even thinking about being on the big stage, but it’s good it’s carried on through that and now I’ve done it from the start, people feel at home when I do it.”
6-0 as a professional, 2-0 inside Bellator, when the pandemic blows over what’s next for you? Any guys on the Bellator roster you’ve got your eyes on? I’ve seen you’ve mentioned Kiefer Crosbie a few times now which is a fight fans dream all over it.
Duncan – “Now that I’m 6-0 now and I’ve had two finishes in Bellator. I’m hoping now they’ll give me someone with a decent name. I mentioned Kiefer Crosbie because he walks about with a bit of a swagger and thinks he’s the daddy so I’d like to put him to the test and show him who the real daddy is.”
Twice now you’ve fought for Bellator over in Dublin, Ireland. How does it feel and what does it mean to you to have your friends and family spend their hard-earned cash as well as Scottish fans flying over to support you in another country?
Duncan – “Yeah it feels amazing. I didn’t think I would get as many followers coming all the way over to Dublin. I think I sold about 80 tickets and that’s massive. People have to spend money on flights, accommodation and stuff like that so I was kind of starstruck when I looked at the numbers on the bit of paper. I saw how many people came over to follow me, support me and see me do well.”
You’re currently one of Scotland’s hot prospects and on the rise, the 6 finishes speak for themselves, fight by fight you’re going to start appearing on these big names’ radars and hitting the American market soon. Is that something that excites you as an upcoming martial artist?
Duncan – “Yeah as soon as I knew I was going to try take this up as a career, I really wanted to be in competition with these guys at the top level. I’ve decided to go all over the world and train so I’ve put it to the test. I’m just looking forward to doing it under the spotlight now and showing everybody what I’m made of.”
As you dive deeper into your Bellator career and financial life becomes easier, is training out at American Top Team something you continue to do for each camp as your competition gets tougher?
Duncan – “Now that I’ve been to American Top Team, I think that’s where I’ll go for all my camps now because I can’t seem to compare the training over here in Scotland to America. It’s just because it’s been around for a lot longer over in America. So I definitely think ATT will be my place of home for my training for the foreseeable future due to the top class training you get.”
How much do you feel you took away from your trips to Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket and how beneficial were those trips going forward in your career?
Duncan – “Being over in Tiger Muay Thai helped me a lot. It was the first place I ever went to do some training abroad. I won that in a competition at SFC for fight of the night. Ever since then I’ve started to travel the world and see other gyms and train with different people. It was good because there’s a lot of Russians in Thailand as I think they struggle to get a visa to go into America so getting some good wrestling in Thailand was a game-changer for my MMA career.”
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