Since its creation in september of 2017, Fight Club Rush quickly became a hot spot for Swedish and North European MMA talent. When FCR then became the first Nordic promotion on UFC Fight Pass, it leveled up as an elite promotion in the region and beyond.
As we await a new year of FCR action, we take a look at the most explosive fighter debuts in FCR during the Fight Pass era (in no particular order).
Alexander Lööf - FCR 9
Following in the footsteps of his team mate and fellow knockout artist Tobias Harila, Västerås Fight Clubs Alexander Lööf was looking to forge his own path in pro MMA. He certainly wasn't looking for an easy debut, however.
Seasoned European MMA champ Amir Malekpour welcomed Lööf to the pro leagues. Not the most ideal opponent for ones pro debut, to put it mildly.
While Lööf showed promise throughout the fight, it seemed like he was down on the judges scorecards as the fight began coming to a close. Capitalizing on his opponent beckoning him on, Lööf took advantage and fired off his haymaker of a right with less than a minute left on the clock. The strike landed flush and sent his opponent crashing to the canvas with just seconds to spare.
Lööf secured his first pro win while snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. That's how you make an explosive pro debut!
safiullah husseini - FCR 11
MMA truly is the sport where anything can happen, which our next entry is a testament to. At FCR 11 Västerås Fight Clubs Safi Husseini was scheduled to make his pro debut against established striker Jakob Valegren - who had recently given top ranked Renato Vidovic a run for his money.
On paper Husseini should have had an advantage on the ground, as he has a storied background in wrestling. Valegren is known for his fast hands and his knockdown of Vidovic was fresh in the fans' memories. This was not a fight fought on paper, though, but inside the cage.
Husseini dropped Valegren with a stiff jab, the very first strike of the fight, finished up with ground and pound and set the record for the fastest finish in FCR history at just 11 seconds.
That was the very definition of an explosive and unexpected debut.
Felipe Lima - FCR 8
There is no questioning the toughness and heart of Swedish veteran and fan favourite Fernando Flores. He has shared the cage with many of the best in the region and is a tough out for any fighter.
As Brazilian-Swedish prospect Felipe Lima was about to headline his first event against Flores - on UFC Fight Pass no less - many wondered if the hype was real.
If anything the hype undersold Lima and his capabilities. Lima fired off a flurry of dynamic, explosive strikes, never letting up and never ceasing to entertain. It was 15 minutes of exciting, unbridled violence that left fans with their jaws on the floor.
Though he didn't get the finish, Limas win was a huge statement, and his hype hasn't decreased in the slightest.
Hecher Sosa - FCR 10
While he certainly had acolytes at home, three time Spanish MMA champ Hecher Sosa was relatively unknown to Nordic fans when he made his FCR debut on short notice - against Swedish champion Jonny Touma.
It was no easy task and the preparations were certainly not ideal. Sosa would not let that hold him back, though, and put on a hellacious pace from the opening bell. He simply did not give Touma any space to work (or breathe) and finished off with his now trademark flying knee, securing a first round finish. Sosa would go on to sign an exclusive deal with FCR following the win.
Karlen Minasian - FCR 12
Just when it seemed like Hecher Sosa was the new, hot bantamweight in town, that was challenged just two events later. Ukrainian Karlen Minasian had relocated to Örebro Fight Gym in Sweden but was not well-known to Nordic fans.
The soft spoken Minasian had an intense staredown with Sosa at the weigh ins, sparking fans interest around the region.
The following day, Minasian would need just around 40 seconds for his trademark counter hooks to land, finishing Sosa in violent fashion. Minasian would go on to challenge for the FCR title in his following fight, after one of the most shocking FCR debuts in modern times.
Josefine Knutsson - FCR 8
Despite making her pro debut, expectations were high as striking sensation Josefine Knutsson made the walk to the cage as an MMA professional for the very first time. She had dazzled in her amateur MMA fight, but the pro leagues are different.
Undefeated Italian Adriana Fusini served as opposition - though her pro experience didn't give her a head start in any regard. Knutsson poured on the offense, unleashing a devastating amount of strikes on her opponent.
Somehow Fusini managed to stay in the fight, though one wonders if it did her any good. Knutsson may not have gotten the knockout in her debut, but she got as close as humanly possible, completely dominated, and everybody knew her name after that.
Bernardo Sopai - FCR 13
As bantamweight standouts Hecher Sosa and Karlen Minasian duked it out, trying to secure a title shot, Allstars' Bernardo Sopai patiently awaited the chance to fight for the newly vacated bantamweight belt.
Minasian would end up victorious, setting the stage for a bantamweight title bout as FCR held its first event in Stockholm.
The first round was undoubtedly slow and uneventful. However when Sopai began finding his rhythm and cutting loose in the second round, fans were reminded of why Sopai is held in such high regard.
A devastating high kick dropped Minasian, the following strikes were academic, and Sopai managed to win the FCR title in his very first fight in the promotion.