Fighter to Watch 2017: Tom Duquesnoy

Fighter to Watch 2017: Tom Duquesnoy
Photo: FloCombat
On January 10, French media outlet L'Avenir de l'Artois reported that Duquesnoy had signed for the UFC with his debut expected to take place on April 15. FloCombat has since confirmed this report with sources close to the Duquesnoy camp, though the date of his UFC debut is still uncertain.

If Tom Duquesnoy isn't on your MMA radar yet where have you been?

The Frenchman has been on the warpath on the European scene and has swept all competition aside with style while competing in BAMMA for the last two years.

Duquesnoy has built up a professional record of 14-1-0, with his sole loss coming against Makwan Amirkhani back in early 2013. Since then, Duquesnoy has been on a tear, and he picked up his first major title in April 2014 when he defeated Teddy Violet for the BAMMA featherweight title.

After defending the featherweight belt three times, he dropped down to bantamweight, where he defeated Damien Rooney before taking out the BAMMA bantamweight champion Shay Walsh in just 75 seconds in May 2016 at BAMMA 25. In doing so, Duquesnoy created history by becoming the first-ever man to hold the BAMMA featherweight and bantamweight titles at the same time.

In his last outing, Duquesnoy came up against his strongest opponent since Brendan Loughnane when he took on Alan Philpott at BAMMA 27 in Dublin, Ireland. Both Duquesnoy and Philpott went toe-to-toe in an exciting two-round affair that saw the Frenchman get the victory after 3:35 of the second round when he took Philpott's back and sunk in a rear-naked choke for the tap.

Both Philpott and Duquesnoy came out the fight looking like top prospects, but with Duquesnoy picking up the win on the final fight on his BAMMA contract, he looks set to be the one who moves on to the elite world scene in 2017.

Where Duquesnoy heads next is another question altogether. Seemingly all major promotions are in play, and the decision of who he signs for next is yet to be made.

One thing that is for sure is that as a member of Jackson Winkeljohn, Duquesnoy has a solid team around him and that his decision will be well-informed.

Speaking to FloCombat earlier this year, Duquesnoy made it abundantly clear that he wouldn't get ahead of himself and that he would only join an organization if he felt was ready to take the strap off the man currently holding it.

"I've always worked with this one philosophy," Duquesnoy said. "If you want to be amateur, you should be good enough to be professional. If you want to be professional, you should be good enough for the UFC, and if you want to be in the UFC, you should be good enough for the title. That's what I've always worked by that and that's how I've progressed with my career so far."

Where Duquesnoy fights next is unclear, but wherever that is he needs to be a man you keep your eye on.

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