Mike Malott has become a promising contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight division. The 31-year-old Canadian fighter is set to face Adam Fugitt in a featured UFC 289 event on Saturday at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. Malott is riding a wave of momentum with five consecutive victories, all of them finishes. His most recent win came at UFC Fight Night 220, where he defeated Yohan Lainesse with an arm-triangle choke in the first round of their Feb. 25 matchup.
1. Traditional beginnings
Malott began his formal mixed martial arts training at House of Champions in Stoney Creek, Ontario, under the guidance of decorated muay thai practitioner Alin Halmagean. He made his professional MMA debut at the age of 19, submitting James Saunders with an armbar in just 32 seconds during an Extreme Cage Combat show on April 16, 2011. The event also featured early versions of future UFC competitors Gavin Tucker and Chris Kelades.
2. Continued growth despite championship success
In February 2017, Malott claimed the Xcessive Force Fighting Championship lightweight title with a 36-second knockout of Craig Shintani in the XFFC 13 main event. Instead of becoming complacent, he took an extended break from MMA competition, spanning 1,414 days, to improve his skills, particularly in grappling. Since returning to the sport as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Malott has achieved a 4-0 record with three submissions.
3. A history of efficiency
Malott secured his entry into the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series by defeating Shimon Smotritsky with a guillotine choke just 39 seconds into their Week 6 matchup on Oct. 5, 2021. This marked the fourth sub-minute finish of Malott’s career and earned him a spot in the prestigious fighting organization.
4. Academic achievements
Not just a fighter, Malott also holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The university, founded in 1818, boasts notable alumni such as “Anne of Green Gables” author Lucy Maud Montgomery and Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space.
5. A family of athletes
Malott’s younger brother, Jeff Malott, is a professional hockey prospect with the Manitoba Moose, an AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. The 26-year-old has scored 60 goals in parts of three seasons with the Moose and made his NHL debut in the 2021-22 season, playing in one game for the Jets.