Kirkcaldy’s Steven Ray will make his long-awaited return to the UFC in London next month.
After fighting out his previous contract last summer, leading to several months on the sidelines, Ray has now signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC and will face Kajan Johnson on March 17.
His recent UFC exile came after choosing not to accept his renewal offer prior to his defeat to Paul Felder in Glasgow in July.
The Fifer, nicknamed Braveheart, had hoped a victory over Felder would enable him to negotiate a more lucrative contract, but the 27-year-old now accepts that was a mistake.
So after months of uncertainty, it came as a huge relief when UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby told him they needed a replacement for Rustam Khabilov on the upcoming London card.
In a statement to his fans, Ray explained: “I took a gamble with my career under some bad advice, not realising I was risking not being re-signed with the UFC.
“I only ever thought I was risking the price in contract.
“I want to thank Sean Shelby and the UFC for giving me another chance, as it was my fault for fighting out my contract.
“I also want to also thank my new manager Ali Abdelaziz for even making this possible.
“He was willing to help me without even being signed with him, which shows he’s a legend!
“Thanks to all my friends, family, coaches, team mates, my sponsors and all my fans that have continued to show amazing support throughout.
“The journey continues.”
The former St Andrews High School pupil has recorded five wins and two losses in the UFC’s lightweight division.
During his seven month lay-off, Ray set up his own gym, Braveheart MMA, in Mitchelston Industrial Estate, Kirkcaldy. Find the club on Facebook.