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Garreth McLellan, born on January 9, 1982, is a South African professional mixed martial artist known for competing in the Middleweight division of the EFC and being one of the first South African fighters to make it to the UFC.

McLellan was born and raised in South Africa, where he began training in karate at the age of nine. Alongside karate, he also played rugby union, demonstrating a diverse athletic ability from a young age. By 19, McLellan was playing flanker for the Crusaders Rugby Club in Durban and was offered a contract to compete for the Natal Sharks. This opportunity introduced him to Jason Vorster, the team’s fitness coach and an MMA trainer, who influenced McLellan’s transition into mixed martial arts. McLellan excelled in karate, becoming a national champion, and also won a national title in grappling.

He compiled an impressive amateur MMA record of 10–0 before turning professional in 2009. Competing exclusively for regional promotions in South Africa, McLellan quickly made a name for himself and became a two-time EFC AFRICA champion. His early professional career saw him amass a record of 12–2, catching the attention of the UFC, who signed him in December 2014.

McLellan made his UFC debut against Bartosz Fabiński on April 11, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 64. Despite a strong effort, he lost the fight by unanimous decision. Undeterred, he faced Bubba Bush on October 24, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 76 and secured a victory via TKO in the closing seconds of the third round, marking his first win in the promotion.

On May 8, 2016, McLellan fought Magnus Cedenblad at UFC Fight Night 87 but was defeated by TKO in the second round. He then faced Alessio Di Chirico on August 27, 2016, at UFC on Fox 21, losing the fight by split decision after a closely contested bout. McLellan’s next opponent was Paulo Costa, a promotional newcomer, on March 11, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 106. Costa proved to be a formidable opponent, winning the fight by TKO in the first round.

Despite his mixed success in the UFC, McLellan remains a significant figure in South African MMA, celebrated for his pioneering role in bringing South African talent to the global stage. His journey from a national karate and grappling champion to a professional MMA fighter in the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization is a testament to his dedication and skill.