Welterweight champion Ross Houston (8-0 1NC) has been released by Cage Warriors and has subsequently relinquished his 170lb title. “The Hitman” and his former promotion announced yesterday they had parted company in “amicable fashion.”
On news of his release, Houston’s management company, Black Panther Sports said the Scottish prospect is in negotiations with three different organizations for his next fight in April.
So exactly who are the contenders for his sought after signature?
Last time out, Houston fought a bloody brawl at Cage Warriors 106 against UFC fighter Nicolas Dalby. The fight ended in a no contest due to the excess blood on the canvas. Ever since, the Scot has been campaigning for a shot in the sports leading promotion. He even called for a rematch with Dalby to take place in the UFC, when speaking to the Scrap in 2019. However, those calls seem to have fell on deaf ears and Houston seems unlikely to become the 96th Cage Warriors fighter to make the move to UFC.
Beyond the UFC, Bellator is believed by many to be the next best option. Houston would be a welcome addition to an already stacked welterweight division. He could join fellow Brits Michael “Venom” Page and Paul Daley in chasing current champion Dhiego Lima. “The Hitman” would also fit in to Bellator’s expansion into the UK, where they are set to continue their push which began in 2019. In terms of money, exposure and big fights. Bellator is probably the best place to be for Houston.
Next on any fighters list in 2020 should be One Championship. The Asian promotion is targeting 50 events this year and would provide Houston a platform to announce himself on the world stage. Numerous high-profile fighters including Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez and Vitor Belfort have joined the organization as of late. Could Houston be next?
The Professional Fighters League are an attractive option to any free agent, due to the large financial incentives on offer. Their million-dollar tournaments are giving fighters the chance to make money, unavailable elsewhere. Brendan Loughnane, of Manchester, England signed with the promotion last year after being passed up by the UFC. Houston might be tempted to join him and take his chances in the sports most lucrative tournament.
In a post on Twitter, Houston mentioned a bunch of different promotions. Any of whom could well snap him up in the near future. The South African outfit EFC are in the conversation. As is Polish promotion KSW, RIZIN and ARES Fighting Championship. The 29-year-old Houston looks to be starting a bidding war for his services. It’ll be interesting to see who emerges victorious and gets to sign the highly regarded welterweight.