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Morgan Charriere of France reacts after defeating Manolo Zecchini of Italy in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at The Accor Arena on September 02, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
UFC Fight Pass

2023 Fight Pass Fighters To Watch Recap Part 1

Check Out How The 2023 UFC FIGHT PASS Fighters To Watch Performed Under The Spotlight Last Year!

To kick off 2023, we gave you a handful of the most exciting prospects in MMA to keep an eye out for. Some left, some dominated, some slumped and one even earned UFC FIGHT PASS Male Fighter of the Year honors, but one thing was certain - none of them disappointed.

Check out the 2023 UFC FIGHT PASS Fighters to Watch recap!

Joshua Van

2023 record: 2-0

Overall record: 9-1

Made UFC debut in June

With plenty of UFC potential already under his belt it wasn’t a matter of if Fury FC’s Joshua Van would end up in the UFC, it was a matter of when. The likely path seemed to be from Fury FC gold to Dana White’s Contender Series. With this in mind, a lot of fighters would’ve sat out from the second the belt touched their hands until DWCS, but that just isn’t Van’s style. Even if he was a surefire DWCS call-up, Van’s activity in the sport still would’ve seen him in the Fury FC cage 2-3 times. But, sure enough, before we ever got to see him defend his title, the UFC came calling.

Joshua Van of Myanmar punches Zhalgas Zhumagulov of Kazakstan in their flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena on June 24, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Joshua Van of Myanmar punches Zhalgas Zhumagulov of Kazakstan in their flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena on June 24, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Van would jump straight into the UFC on short notice before ever giving the fans an opportunity to see him perform with his new “Fighter to Watch” label. First stepping in on short notice and upsetting the highly touted Zhlagas Zhumagulov before putting Kevin Borjas away in his PPV debut at UFC 295, a lot of FIGHT PASS Fighters to Watch had a lot of success, but possibly none more than Van.

Jose Perez

2023 record: 1-0

Overall record: 8-1

It was a slower year for one of the most exciting fighters in the game. Perez was set to return after almost a full year layoff before the fight was postponed two more months, giving us only one Jose Perez war in 2023. The main event brawl went the distance and ended with Perez retaining his featherweight belt before letting loose on the UFC executive team with as much ferocity as he let loose on title challenger Chris Vasil. We’re unsure what’s next for Perez at the moment, but we’re pretty confident saying, you won’t want to miss it, no matter what.

Richie Lewis

2023 record: 2-0

Overall record: 5-0

Despite only making two walks to the cage in 2023, it seemed as though Richie Lewis was everywhere. From a fireworks-filled appearance at Fury Professional Grappling to close out 2022, to LFA and Titan FC cages, FIGHT PASS subscribers couldn’t seem to get away from Richie Lewis. Despite not being on the UFC roster, Lewis was exposed to the entire fight world when he was a Team McGregor assistant coach during the 31st installment of The Ultimate Fighter.



A stronger knack for finishes could benefit Lewis greatly, but the kid knows how to build a fight and market himself with the best of ‘em, and expects to have a strong 2024.

Morgan Charriere

2023 record: 3-0

Overall record: 19-9-1

Made UFC debut in September

It finally happened! The Last Pirate hopped on to the biggest ship in the game and is on his way to taking it over. Morgan Charriere closed out his Cage Warriors career with two final stoppages before getting a call to the UFC to open the UFC Paris main card. Charriere picked up right where he left off when he landed a body kick that nabbed him a UFC win over Manolo Zecchini, as well as a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus. All of France is wondering what’s next for one of the biggest stars in UFC FIGHT PASS, but, as we saw in September, there are no lights too bright for the former Cage Warriors champion.

Morgan Charriere Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Spivac
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Morgan Charriere Post-Fight Interview | UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Spivac
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Nick Piccininni

2023 record: 1-0

Overall record: 5-0



Nick Piccininni fights with solar eclipse level impact. He’s not the most active fighter on Fury FC’s roster but when he makes the walk, he’s not the fighter to miss.



In Piccininni’s lone 2023 bout, he matched words with opponent Vic Gonzalez to the point of being nominated for a FIGHT PASS Award as a result. Gonzalez fearlessly and repeatedly referred to Piccininni as a “spoon fed wrestler” being pushed to the front of the line without earning it. With anger in his eyes that careful answers in interviews couldn’t hide, Piccininni brutalized Gonzalez and gave the wrestling world yet another reason to celebrate and put the entire division on notice.

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Anthony Cassar

2023 record: 1-0

Overall record: 2-0



Another wrestler turned fighter went 1-0 on the year when Anthony Cassar brought Bo Nickal and co. to the Fury FC cage and gave the Houston crowd a peek into what it looks like when wrestling meets striking. Opponent John Gianatasio gave the NCAA National Champion a run nobody in all of Pennsylvania was expecting but, in the end, Cassar was just too much. Cassar is looking to return to the cage in March and, if we’re all lucky, give us a bit more activity in 2024.



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