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Ian William "The Machine" Freeman (born November 10, 1966 in Sunderlandmarker, Englandmarker) is an Englishmarker mixed martial arts fighter. He currently fights as a light heavyweight for Cage Rage. He is the reigning British Light Heavyweight champion.


Martial arts background

Ian Freeman came into martial arts from boxing, in which he'd trained for around 10 years. Whilst working as a doorman, he ended up fighting with a man who was high on drugs and a friend mentioned that rather than punch him, he should have choked the man unconscious. Curious as to what he could learn, he started training in Goshin Jujitsu for around six to eight months before competing in amateur vale tudo competition. In his early days, he trained periodically with names such as Marco Ruas and Renzo Gracie.

Mixed martial arts career

After competing in amateur vale tudo, Ian Freeman turned pro in 1999, considered an early ambassador for the sport and given the nickname, "the Iron Ambassador". In early 2000, UFC approached Ian to fight at UFC 24, where he lost to Scott Adams. He fought two further times in UFC, winning both bouts. Pursuing other avenues, Ian's career seemed to hit the skids with four losses in a row, managing to bounce back with a submission win in a rematch with Stanislav Nuschik.

Ian's greatest triumph was arguably his win on home soil over Frank Mir at UFC 38. The heavy underdog, Ian Freeman lived up to his nickname as he systematically ground Mir down and broke his spirit, winning a first round stoppage in front of a British crowd. The match was bittersweet for Ian, having dedicated the match to his father who, unbeknownst to him, died the previous day of cancer. Victory saw Freeman with the chance to make his mark on the UFC heavyweight division but his next bout saw him stopped by Andrei Arlovski. A draw with Vernon White signalled the end of Freeman's second stint in UFC and saw him return to the fledgling UK MMA scene for which his win over Frank Mir had done so much.

Unfortunately, after one successful fight for the Cage Warriors promotion, Ian took a break from MMA, citing chronic fatigue syndrome and an intense training schedule which had caught up with him. He returned 11 months later to fight Ryan Robinson for the vacant Cage Rage Heavyweight title. Defeating Robinson inside one round with his now-customary ground and pound, Freeman vacated the title and announced he was dropping to Light Heavyweight. In early 2005, Ian again appeared to ebb away from MMA, appearing as a referee in ITV's ill-fated Celebrity Wrestling gameshow, that was quickly relegated to Sunday mornings and subsequently cancelled.


Ian Freeman originally signed on to fight Forrest Griffin at UFC 55 - Fury but was involved in a riding accident, which saw him fall from his horse. As he had not competed in nearly 9 months, this confirmed his retirement from competitive MMA. He later cited the return of chronic fatigue as a factor in his layoff and subsequent retirement. After a year-long layoff, he got back into training and regained his love of MMA. He approached Cage Rage and soon enough, he was offered his big comeback match to fight the Cage Rage World Light Heavyweight champion Melvin Manhoef at Cage Rage 17. Originally slated as a "superbout" at a catchweight of 96 kg (211 lbs), Manhoef asked for the fight to take place at the light heavyweight limit of 93 kg (205 lbs), which placed his World Light Heavyweight title on the line. After a career of being a small heavyweight, this would be Freeman's first match at light heavyweight.

Return to mixed martial arts

Unfortunately, The Machine's return to MMA ended in a quick, first-round KO loss, being knocked out by Melvin Manhoef in just 17 seconds. However, still being one of the best known mixed martial artists in Britain, he was granted a shot at British Light Heavyweight champion, Mark Epstein at Cage Rage 18 on September 30, 2006. Freeman overpowered Epstein with his ground-and-pound tactics, winning a unanimous decision and his second Cage Rage title.

On May 10, 2008, Ian fought Paul Cahoon for the British Cage Rage Light Heavyweight title. He won after three rounds with a unanimous decision.

Non-fighting career

Ian is a spokesperson for the MMA magazine "Fighters Only".

His autobiography, "Cage Fighter: The True Story of Ian 'The Machine' Freeman", was published in 2004 by Blake Publishing.

On November 1, 2006, it was announced that Ian was due to coach a British-based team that would have participated in the International Fight League from 2008, had the promotion not ceased promoting events due to financial difficulties.

He also keeps northern inuit dogs.

In 2005, Ian was the referee on ITV's ill-fated Celebrity Wrestling gameshow. Freeman has also starred in the 2008 British action-comedy film Sucker Punch.

Ian was the ring announcer for M-1 Global: Breakthrough, which took place August 28, 2009 at Memorial Hall, in Kansas City, Kansas.

Ian has recently agreed to be ring announcer for Clan Wars - Ireland's first Pro ISKA governed MMA competition.

Mixed martial arts record


  1. "IAN FREEMAN - The Machine’s Fired Up for Cage Rage 17", Retrieved November 4, 2006
  2. "Cage Rage 9 Report", Retrieved November 4, 2006
  3. "ITV to drop Celebrity Wrestling", BBC News Retrieved October 23, 2006
  4. "The Pit Report: UFC Creeps Into the Mainstream", Retrieved November 4, 2006

External links

19 wins (7 KO/TKO's, 8 Submissions, 4 Decisions), 7 Losses, 1 Draw .
Round, time
10 May 2008
Paul Cahoon
Decision (Unanimous)
Cage Rage 26
3, 5:00
Won the Cage Rage British Light Heavyweight Title
30 September 2006
Mark Epstein
Decision (Unanimous)
Cage Rage 18
3, 5:00
Won the Cage Rage British Light Heavyweight Title
1 July 2006
Melvin Manhoef
Cage Rage 17 - Ultimate Challenge
1, 0:17
For the Cage Rage World Light Heavyweight Title
12 December 2004
Will Elworthy
House of Pain - Fight Night
27 September 2004
Ryan Robinson
Cage Rage 9 - No Mercy
1, 3:21
Wins Cage Rage Heavyweight Title but vacates title shortly afterwards, signalling his intention to drop to light heavyweight.
2 November 2003
Keith Dace
CWFC - Cage Warriors 5
1, 0:47
6 June 2003
Vernon White
Split Draw
UFC 43 - Meltdown
3, 5:00
Scorecards: 30-27, 28-29, 29-29
22 February 2003
Gerhard Ettl
Submission (Armbar)
Free Fight Association Austria - Fight Night Championships 4
2, 1:40
22 November 2002
Andrei Arlovski
TKO (Strikes)
UFC 40 - Vendetta
1, 1:25
13 July 2002
Frank Mir
TKO (Punches)
UFC 38 - Brawl at the Hall
1, 4:35
17 July 2001
Carlos Barreto
Decision (Unanimous)
Hook N Shoot - Kings 1
3, 5:00
14 July 2001
Stanislav Nuschik
Submission (Front Choke)
Free Fight Association Austria - Fight Night Championship 3
1, 1:57
27 April 2001
Stanislav Nuschik
MFC - Russia vs the World 1
1, 0:20
18 March 2001
Valentijn Overeem
Submission (Knees)
2 Hot 2 Handle: Simply The Best
1, 1:42
4 February 2001
Osami Shibuya
Submission (Rib Injury)
Pancrase - Proof 1
1, 3:51
12 December 2000
Bob Schrijber
It's Showtime - Christmas Edition
22 September 2000
Tedd Williams
UFC 27 - Ultimate Bad Boyz
3, 5:00
23 July 2000
Bob Stines
KO (Punch)
Pancrase - 2000 Neo-Blood Tournament, Round 1
1, 2:38
9 June 2000
Nate Schroeder
Submission (Strikes)
UFC 26 - Ultimate Field of Dreams
10 March 2000
Scott Adams
Submission (Heel Hook)
UFC 24 - First Defense
1, 3:09
5 December 1999
Travis Fulton
TKO (didn't answer the bell)
Millennium Brawl 1 - The Beginning
3, 0:00
3 October 1999
Dave Shortby
Total Fight KRG 5
1, 2:02
28 August 1999
Mark Lamborn
Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
British Vale Tudo
1, 0:55
28 August 1999
Keith Dace
Submission (Guillotine Choke)
British Vale Tudo
1, 0:46
27 June 1999
Kemal Lock
Submission (Ankle Lock)
British Grand Prix '99
1, 3:55
27 June 1999
Scotty Smith
British Grand Prix '99
1, 0:09
27 June 1999
Tony Bailey
Submission (Guillotine Choke)
British Grand Prix '99
1, 1:32

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