James McSweeney

James Adam McSweeney[1] (born 24 October 1980) is a British kickboxer and mixed martial artist. A professional MMA competitor since 2005, McSweeney is well known for being a cast member of Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights and competing in the UFC, but he has also competed in major European promotions such as KSW, Cage Rage and BAMMA.

James McSweeney
James McSweeney.JPG
BornJames Adam McSweeney[1]
(1980-10-24) 24 October 1980 (age 41)
London, England, United Kingdom
Other namesThe Sledgehammer
Height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight248 lb (112 kg; 17 st 10 lb)
Light Heavyweight
Reach77.0 in (196 cm)
Fighting out ofPlano, Texas, United States
TeamFighting Factory Carbin
TrainerLucien Carbin
RankBlack belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu[2]
Years active2005–2008, 2018–present (kickboxing)
2008–2021 (MMA)
Kickboxing record
By knockout31
By knockout4
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout9
By submission6
By knockout11
By submission4
By decision3
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: 20 December 2018


Born in London to an Irish father and a Northern Irish mother, McSweeney started kickboxing in England when he was six years old. At 18, he finished school and moved to Amsterdam to train full-time in Dutch kickboxing. He joined Lucien Carbin's gym, and still trains with the team today. Team mates and sparring partners have included Alistair Overeem, Valentijn Overeem, and Tyrone Spong. As a result of living a large portion of his life in the Netherlands, McSweeney speaks Dutch as his second language. An accomplished kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter, McSweeney has won numerous British, Dutch, European and World titles.[3]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

In 2006, McSweeney transitioned to mixed martial arts and moved in with The Ultimate Fighter coach Rashad Evans. The two quickly struck up a bond after McSweeney helped prepare Evans for his bout against Forrest Griffin in December 2008. While training for his fight against Travis Browne, McSweeney switched his camp from Jackson's Submission Fighting in Albuquerque, New Mexico to the Grudge Training Centre in Denver, Colorado to train full-time along with fellow UFC competitors Shane Carwin, Brendan Schaub and Nate Marquardt. McSweeney recently moved out of the Grudge Training Centre to return to the tutelage of European Muay Thai legend Lucien Carbin and to open up his own gym Sledgehammer MMA in Kent, England.

The Ultimate FighterEdit

McSweeney was on The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights fighting alongside Team Rashad. McSweeney was the first overall pick and fought on the second episode of the show against Wes Shivers defeating him via majority decision. McSweeney moved on to the next round of the tournament, fighting teammate, Matt Mitrione. McSweeney won via guillotine choke in the first round. In the semi-finals, McSweeney lost against former IFL Heavyweight Champion Roy Nelson via TKO after getting caught in the crucifix position.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

McSweeney was given another chance by the UFC despite losing on The Ultimate Fighter. He fought Darrill Schoonover on The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale card in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 5 December, winning by TKO in the third round.

McSweeney made his second appearance for the UFC on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz Finale preliminary card, fighting against undefeated newcomer Travis Browne. The fight ended in a TKO victory for Browne due to punches at 4:32 of the first round. McSweeney claims he was hit with illegal elbows and briefly tried to appeal the loss.[4] McSweeney later decided against the appeal to focus on his next fight instead.[5]

McSweeney was to drop to the Light Heavyweight division at UFC 120 to fight Tom Blackledge.[6] However, McSweeney would instead face Fábio Maldonado after Blackledge was forced to pull out of the bout.[7] McSweeney lost the bout in the third round via TKO due to punches.

As of 20 January 2011, conversations over McSweeney's Twitter account were strongly indicative that he is no longer a part of the UFC.[8]

Independent PromotionsEdit

McSweeney lost a unanimous decision to former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez at BAMMA 5: Daley vs Shirai on 26 February 2011. He then had a further loss to submissions ace Francisco France in April 2011 at a Crowbar MMA event.[9] Fighting on 22 July 2011, Mcsweeney defeated Lee Mein by TKO (Punches) in the 1st round.[10] On 20 August 2011, McSweeney defeated Sam Brown by Submission (armbar) in the 1st round.

McSweeney faced former MFC Light Heavyweight Champion Emanuel Newton at Superior Cage Combat 3.[11] He lost by submission in the first round.

McSweeney faced fellow UFC veteran Paul Buentello in a Light Heavyweight bout on 23 August 2013 at Legacy Fighting Championship 22.[12] He lost the fight via TKO in the second round.

ONE Fighting ChampionshipEdit

In 2014, McSweeney signed with the Asian promotion ONE Championship. He faced Chris Lokteff in his debut at ONE Fighting Championship: Rise of Heroes in May and won via KO due to a flying knee in round 1.

In his second fight for the promotion, McSweeney faced Cristiano Kaminishi at ONE FC: Reign of Champions in August. He again won the fight via KO in the first round.

For his third fight with the promotion, McSweeney faced Roger Gracie at ONE FC 23: Warrior's Way in December.[13] He lost the fight via TKO in the third round.


McSweeney was expected to face Polish prospect Michal Andryszak at KSW 45 on 6 October 2018.[14] However, Andryszak was pulled from the event due to injury and was replaced by Thiago Silva.[15] McSweeney lost the fight by unanimous decision.

McSweeney faced Hatef Moeil at Mix Fight Championship 26 on June 22, 2019, losing the bout via first-round technical knockout.[16] In September 2021, McSweeney announced that he had retired from mixed martial arts competition in order to continue his kickboxing career.[2]

Kickboxing careerEdit

Having already fought in numerous kickboxing bouts during his career, McSweeney signed with Glory in September 2021.[2] He was scheduled to face Antonio Plazibat at Glory: Collision 3 on 23 October 2021.[17] However, Plazibat was replaced by Gökhan Saki after Plazibat replaced Jamal Ben Saddik against Benjamin Adegbuyi.[18] McSweeney lost by second-round knockout via leg kicks.[19][20][21]

Personal lifeEdit

McSweeney is a former security guard.[22] On 15 August 2012, he stopped an attempted robbery at a convenience store in Las Vegas by subduing a man armed with a knife.[23]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit


  • Mix Fighting Championship
    • 2019 Mix Fight Gala Heavyweight Tournament Runner-Up

Mixed martial artsEdit

  • Championship Fighting Alliance
    • 2013 CFA Light Heavyweight Champion

Kickboxing record (Incomplete)Edit

Professional Kickboxing Record
46 Wins (31 (T)KO's), 8 Losses, 0 Draw, No Contest
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time
2021-10-23 Loss   Gökhan Saki Glory: Collision 3 Arnhem, Netherlands KO (Leg Kicks) 2 2:13
2019-12-07 Loss   Ismael Londt Mix Fight 27, Heavyweight Tournament Final Frankfurt, Germany TKO (Doctor Stoppage) 2
2019-12-07 Win   Murat Aygün Mix Fight 27, Heavyweight Tournament Semi Final Frankfurt, Germany TKO (Doctor Stoppage) 2
2018-12-01 Win   Danyo Ilunga Mix Fight Gala 25 Germany KO (Spinning Backfist) 3
2018-01-27 Win   Firouz Fakhri Mix Fight Gala 24 Izmir, Turkey KO (Knee) 2 2:29
2008-04-22 Loss   Brian Douwes K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands KO (Left Hook) 1 1:10
2008-03-29 Win   Marin Došen WFC 4 Ljubljana, Slovenia TKO (Flying Knee) 2
2007-04-21 Win   Michael McDonald Cage Rage 21: Judgement Day London, England Decision (Majority) 3 3:00
2006-02-17 Loss   Roman Kupcak K-1 European League 2006 in Bratislava Bratislava, Slovakia KO (Strikes) 2
2005-12-10 Loss   Koos Wessels Fights at the Border IV Lommel, Belgium Decision 3 3:00
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
32 matches 15 wins 17 losses
By knockout 9 10
By submission 6 4
By decision 0 3
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 15–18 Hatef Moeil TKO (punches) Mix Fight Championship 26 22 June 2019 1 4:13 Hessen, Germany For the MFC Heavyweight Championship.
Loss 15–17 Thiago Silva Decision (unanimous) KSW 45: The Return to Wembley 6 October 2018 3 5:00 London, England
Loss 15–16 Fernando Rodrigues Jr. Decision (unanimous) Superior Challenge 17 19 May 2018 3 5:00 Stockholm, Sweden For the SC Heavyweight Championship.
Loss 15–15 Tai Tuivasa TKO (corner stoppage) Australian Fighting Championship 17 15 October 2016 1 5:00 Melbourne, Australia For the AFC Heavyweight Championship.
Loss 15–14 Karol Bedorf TKO (elbows) KSW 34: New Order 5 March 2016 1 3:33 Warsaw, Poland For the KSW Heavyweight Championship.
Win 15–13 Marcin Różalski Submission (rear-naked choke) KSW 32: Road to Wembley 31 October 2015 1 2:13 London, England KSW Heavyweight Title Eliminator.
Loss 14–13 Denis Goltsov TKO (head kick and punches) Tech-Krep FC - Prime Selection 4: Grandmasters 24 July 2015 2 0:46 Krasnodar, Russia
Loss 14–12 Roger Gracie TKO (front kick to the body and punches) ONE FC 23: Warrior's Way 5 December 2014 3 3:15 Pasay, Philippines
Win 14–11 Cristiano Kaminishi KO (punch and soccer kick) ONE FC: Reign of Champions 29 August 2014 1 1:17 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Win 13–11 Chris Lokteff KO (flying knee) ONE Fighting Championship: Rise of Heroes 2 May 2014 1 3:04 Pasay, Philippines
Win 12–11 Stefan Traunmuller Submission (armbar) FFC09: McSweeney vs. Traunmuller 15 November 2013 1 0:35 Ljubljana, Slovenia Return to Heavyweight.
Loss 11–11 Paul Buentello TKO (body punch) Legacy FC 22 23 August 2013 2 2:44 Lubbock, Texas, United States
Win 11–10 Dion Staring TKO (head kick and punches) CFA 10: McSweeney vs. Staring 2 March 2013 1 0:38 Coral Gables, Florida, United States Won the CFA Light Heavyweight Championship.
Loss 10–10 Matti Mäkelä TKO (punches) Superior Challenge 8 6 October 2012 2 0:00 Malmö, Sweden
Win 10–9 Jeff King Submission (rear-naked choke) Shamrock Events Kings of Kombat 7 23 June 2012 1 2:30 Melbourne, Australia
Win 9–9 Kym Robinson TKO (punches and elbows) Shamrock Events Night of Mayhem 4 14 April 2012 1 3:03 Dandenong, Victoria, Australia Return to Light Heavyweight.
Win 8–9 Felis Leniu Submission (rear-naked choke) Shamrock Events Kings of Kombat 6 17 March 2012 1 0:00 Keysborough, Victoria, Australia Heavyweight bout.
Win 7–9 Doug Viney Submission (rear-naked choke) Shamrock Events Kings of Kombat 5 10 December 2011 1 2:30 Keysborough, Victoria, Australia
Loss 6–9 Emanuel Newton Submission (rear-naked choke) Superior Cage Combat 3 4 November 2011 1 1:45 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 6–8 Sam Brown Submission (armbar) Shamrock Events Kings of Kombat 4 20 August 2011 1 2:25 Melbourne, Australia
Win 5–8 Lee Mein TKO (punches) Bully's Fight Night 2 22 July 2011 1 2:01 Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Loss 4–8 Francisco France Submission (kimura) Crowbar MMA Spring Brawl 2011 29 April 2011 1 1:35 Fargo, North Dakota, United States
Loss 4–7 Ricco Rodriguez Decision (unanimous) BAMMA 5: Daley vs. Shirai 26 February 2011 3 5:00 Manchester, England 215 pound catchweight bout.
Loss 4–6 Fábio Maldonado TKO (punches) UFC 120 16 October 2010 3 0:48 London, England Light Heavyweight debut.
Loss 4–5 Travis Browne TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz Finale 19 June 2010 1 4:32 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 4–4 Darrill Schoonover TKO (punches and knees) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale 5 December 2009 3 3:20 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 3–4 Ricardo Romero Submission (rear-naked choke) Ring of Combat 24 17 April 2009 1 2:27 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 3–3 Neil Grove KO (punches) UCMMA 1: Bad Breed 6 December 2008 2 1:38 London, England
Win 3–2 Roman Webber KO (knee) Cage Rage 28 20 September 2008 1 0:10 London, England
Win 2–2 Chris Cooper TKO (punches) FX3: Fight Night 9 13 September 2008 1 3:09 Reading, Berkshire, England
Loss 1–2 Mostapha al-Turk TKO (punches) Cage Rage 27 12 July 2008 1 2:06 London, England For the Cage Rage British Heavyweight Championship.
Loss 1–1 Robert Paczków Submission (smother choke) Cage Rage 24 1 December 2007 1 2:09 London, England
Win 1–0 Mark Buchanan TKO (punches) Cage Rage 22 14 July 2007 1 1:30 London, England

Mixed martial arts exhibition recordEdit

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 2–1 Roy Nelson TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights 1 4:13 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Semi-finals.
Win 2–0 Matt Mitrione Submission (guillotine choke) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights 1 3:38 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Quarter-finals.
Win 1–0 Wes Shivers Decision (majority) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights 2 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Preliminary bout.

Bare-Knuckle BoxingEdit

Professional record breakdown
1 match 0 wins 1 loss
By knockout 0 1
By decision 0 0
By disqualification 0 0
Draws 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0–1 Lavar Johnson KO (punch) Valor Bare Knuckle 1 September 21, 2019 1 0:27 New Town, North Dakota, USA

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Mixed martial arts show results Date: November 4, 2011
  2. ^ a b c Damon Martin (22 September 2021). "UFC veteran James McSweeney signs with GLORY to return to kickboxing but adds 'my MMA career has come to an end'". mmafighting.com.
  3. ^ James McSweeney valorbk.com
  4. ^ Hui, Ray (21 June 2010). "James McSweeney to Appeal TUF 11 Finale Loss to Travis Browne". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  5. ^ Marrocco, Steven (12 July 2010). "James McSweeney decides against NSAC appeal, will focus on UFC 120 fight". MMAjunkie.com. Archived from the original on 10 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  6. ^ "James McSweeney Dropping to Light Heavyweight vs. Newcomer Tom Blackledge at UFC 120". MMAFrenzy.com. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Fabio Maldonado in Against James McSweeney on UFC 120 Prelims". MMAFrenzy.com. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  8. ^ "James McSweeney (@mcsweeneymma) op Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  9. ^ Scrawled by MMAmadman (30 April 2011). "CROWBAR MMA: SPRING BRAWL 2 RESULTS: Kiko France Submits James McSweeney in Fargo, Honchak and Maxwell Win - 4/29/11 | MMAmadman - UFC News MMA Blog Fight Rumors Odds Rankings Results Videos Strikeforce Bellator". MMAmadman. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  10. ^ "Bully's Fight Night II Play-by-Play | Top MMA News at". Topmmanews.com. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  11. ^ "SCC returns to Las Vegas on Nov 4th with 11 pro MMA bouts". Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  12. ^ "James McSweeney Replaces Marcus Sursa, Faces Paul Buentello in Legacy FC 22 Main Event". sherdog.com. 21 July 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Roger Gracie returns to light heavyweight, meets James McSweeney at One FC 23". mmafighting.com. 3 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Towering heavyweight Michal Andryszak vs. James McSweeney added to next month's KSW 45 event in London". mmajunkie.com. 19 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Thiago Silva moves to heavyweight, faces James McSweeney at KSW 45". mmajunkie.com. 14 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Mix Fight Championship 26 Results". kickboxingz.com. 22 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Plazibat making quick return at GLORY Collision 3". kickboxingz.com. 23 September 2021.
  18. ^ Blaine Henry (8 October 2021). "Gokhan Saki Re-Signs With Glory Kickboxing, Joins Collision 3 Lineup". Sherdog.
  19. ^ "GLORY Collision 3 and GLORY 79 Results: Verhoeven Retains". Combat Press. 23 October 2021. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  20. ^ "Glory Collision 3 Results". MMA Sucka. 23 October 2021. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  21. ^ "COLLISION 3 AND GLORY 79 RESULTS". Glory Kickboxing. 24 October 2021. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  22. ^ Ex-UFC fighter James McSweeney thwarts armed robbery attempt Larry Brown, larrybrownsports.com (August 17, 2012)
  23. ^ Former UFC Fighter James McSweeney Stops Armed Robbery in Las Vegas Ariel Helwani, MMA Fighting (August 16, 2012)

External linksEdit