Pietro Menga suffered his first professional loss to Raymison Bruno in the main event of Celtic Gladiator in Manchester on Saturday night.
The UK flyweight was drafted in as a short-notice opponent for Tim Elliott at UFC on Fox 26 in December. After Menga had his his weight cut stopped at 131 pounds, Elliott refused to take the fight, and Menga was later released by the promotion.
In an interview with MMA Fighting ahead of Celtic Gladiator 19, the Manchester fighter said that he hoped to try and push himself back onto the UFC’s radar with his performance against Bruno.
Menga failed to get off any significant offense apart from a brief spell of ground and pound at the end of the first round. Bruno forced Menga to carry his weight and scored frequent takedowns over the 15 minutes, controlling top position as the hometown favorite looked to get back to his feet.
Bruno looked to referee Jay Furness as he landed big grounded strikes in the final seconds, but Menga made it to the final bell.
With the unanimous decision win, Bruno (11-2) remains undefeated as a flyweight.