A mum-of-three is set to become the first Muslim woman to take part in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships.

On November 26, Melanie Shah, who hails from Birmingham will be step in to the squared circle to become only the second UK female, to fight bare knuckle professionally in the UK, and the first to fight in the worldwide BKFC organisation.

Melanie who became Muslim in 2003 said: “I have always boxed underground and club fights since the age of around 19 - 20.

"Since a young age I have always wanted to do bare knuckle on a big scale and now I can show what I’m capable of. Also being Muslim I have inspired so many other Muslim women to get into combat sports both watching and participating at a local centre.

"There’s a perception that Muslim women and women in general should not do combat sports however I want to change that, now since I’m fighting for BKFC UK more Muslim women are looking out for the sport as they had never heard of it and never thought women could do the sport!

"A lot of women assumed it was a male only sport. Some of my friends will be downloading the app to watch live. I will shock a lot of people on fight night for sure.

"Above all I want to shout my husband Habib Shah who has always supported me and my decisions to do combat sports such as BKFC.”

Melanie’s opponent will be Mathilda Wilson. On 26 February 2022 Mathilda of Sweden, took on Taylor Reeves of England, who had stepped in as a late replacement, in the first legally sanctioned female bare knuckle bout to take place in the UK. Mathilda was victorious winning by TKO in the first round and in the process became the first ever Scandinavian women to compete professionally in bare knuckle. Mathilda’s husband Liam Wilson making them the first married couple to compete on a BKFC show in the UK.

BKFC UK Newcastle takes place on the 26 November and features fighters from the UK, USA & Thailand. In the headline bout Mick Terrill of Newcastle takes on Steve ‘Panda’.

In the co-main event Darren Hendry of Essex takes on Anthony Holmes of Castleford for the inaugural BKFC UK Cruiserweight title. In the much anticipated feature bout Danny Christie of Carlisle will meet Darren Godfrey Jr of Shrewsbury.

Tickets and livestream are available from www.bkfc.com