Follow Knuckle Junkies

Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies video

Sampo prepares for UFC debut

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

It’s been an arduous path to the UFC for St. Louis flyweight Josh Sampo.

The St. Charles MMA product bounced around the region before landing in the MMA limelight.

“The Gremlin” made his pro debut in Sedella, Mo in November, 2009. Fast forward four years – after pit stops in Kansas, Florida, Texas, and Florida – and he will be under the hot lights of the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas at the TUF 18 finale Saturday.

Sampo (10-2) will face Ryan Benoit (7-2). The Texas product, out of Saekson Janjira Muay Thai Gym in Plano, has only one other fight at 125-pounds. He’s a proven banger (with six of his seven wins coming due to strikes) to contrast Sampo’s vaunted ground attack that features five submissions, including a tap of Olympic wrestler Alexis Vila to earn the CFA flyweight championship.

Knuckle Junkies has covered Sampo since an April ’12 victory over Czar Sklavos at a Fight Hard MMA show. We caught up with him once again for a few minutes between training sessions to talk about his long awaited UFC debut.