Nicolas Atkin

Nicolas Atkin

Production Editor, Sport

Nico is a production editor on the South China Morning Post’s sport desk, where he covers mixed martial arts (MMA) in Asia, as well as local sport in Hong Kong. He was previously a sports writer and editor for ESPN.

Latest from Nicolas Atkin

UFC: Valentina Shevchenko scoffs at Taila Santos advantage claim – ‘Octagon shows they’re wrong’

Taila Santos believes she’ll have upper hand on the ground when she challenges for flyweight title at UFC 275, but Valentina Shevchenko has heard it all before.

Taila Santos believes she’ll have upper hand on the ground when she challenges for flyweight title at UFC 275, but Valentina Shevchenko has heard it all before.

13 May 2022 - 5:42PM
UFC: Joanna Jedrzejczyk warns Carla Esparza ‘history likes to make a circle … soon I will be champ’

Joanna Jedrzejczyk ‘surprised’ by Carla Esparza’s title win at UFC 274, but vows to take the strawweight belt from the American for a second time.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk ‘surprised’ by Carla Esparza’s title win at UFC 274, but vows to take the strawweight belt from the American for a second time.

13 May 2022 - 12:05AM
UFC 275: Zhang Weili promises ‘exciting fight’ after ‘very uneventful’ Namajunas-Esparza dud

China’s former UFC strawweight champ Zhang Weili promises fireworks in Singapore rematch with Joanna Jedrzejczyk following ‘very uneventful’ title fight.

China’s former UFC strawweight champ Zhang Weili promises fireworks in Singapore rematch with Joanna Jedrzejczyk following ‘very uneventful’ title fight.

13 May 2022 - 12:05AM
UFC: Valentina Shevchenko on fighting Julianna Pena instead of Amanda Nunes – ‘I don’t care, I can face both at same time’

UFC flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko ‘doesn’t care’ who wins bantamweight title rematch, and is open to Juliana Pena fight instead of Amanda Nunes trilogy.

UFC flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko ‘doesn’t care’ who wins bantamweight title rematch, and is open to Juliana Pena fight instead of Amanda Nunes trilogy.

13 May 2022 - 12:07AM
UFC 275: Zhang Weili ‘turned down’ chance for 5-round rematch, claims Joanna Jedrzejczyk

But Chinese former UFC strawweight champ Zhang Weili insists ‘there’s no big difference’ with Singapore clash set for 3 rounds.

But Chinese former UFC strawweight champ Zhang Weili insists ‘there’s no big difference’ with Singapore clash set for 3 rounds.

13 May 2022 - 12:06AM
UFC 274: Dana White considers placing security to guard weigh-in scales after Charles Oliveira ‘nightmare’

Dana White weighs in on controversy after Charles Oliveira was stripped of lightweight title ahead of UFC 274 victory over Justin Gaethje.

Dana White weighs in on controversy after Charles Oliveira was stripped of lightweight title ahead of UFC 274 victory over Justin Gaethje.

8 May 2022 - 11:15PM
UFC 274: Tony Ferguson out of hospital after ‘most vicious KO’ Dana White has ‘ever seen’

CAT scan comes up negative for Tony Ferguson, as UFC president Dana White insists former interim champ ‘needs to take some time off’.

CAT scan comes up negative for Tony Ferguson, as UFC president Dana White insists former interim champ ‘needs to take some time off’.

8 May 2022 - 10:37PM
UFC 274: bride-to-be Carla Esparza to walk down aisle with strawweight title belt as her ‘something new’

Carla Esparza to get married next weekend with UFC strawweight belt around her dress, and says she’s ‘super relieved’ to escape with unblemished face from win over Rose Namajunas.

Carla Esparza to get married next weekend with UFC strawweight belt around her dress, and says she’s ‘super relieved’ to escape with unblemished face from win over Rose Namajunas.

8 May 2022 - 6:30PM
UFC 274: Charles Oliveira weigh-in controversy erupts, but Justin Gaethje blasts ‘excuses’ with champ stripped of title

Charles Oliveira ‘incredulous’ after claims weight-check scale was incorrectly calibrated, with champ stripped of lightweight title ahead of UFC 274 main event.

Charles Oliveira ‘incredulous’ after claims weight-check scale was incorrectly calibrated, with champ stripped of lightweight title ahead of UFC 274 main event.

8 May 2022 - 1:08PM
UFC: Alex Volkanovski’s quick turnaround should be no surprise – ‘his work ethic is insane’ says his strength and conditioning coach

Alex Volkanovski’s strength and conditioning coach Andrew Wood details how the ‘freak’ UFC featherweight champion’s dedication in training is second to none.

Alex Volkanovski’s strength and conditioning coach Andrew Wood details how the ‘freak’ UFC featherweight champion’s dedication in training is second to none.

6 May 2022 - 8:48PM
‘Training in paradise’: how Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA is changing the fight game in Phuket

New beachside gym gets seal of approval from combat sports royalty including UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski, Superbon and Zhang Weili.

New beachside gym gets seal of approval from combat sports royalty including UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski, Superbon and Zhang Weili.

30 Apr 2022 - 4:03PM
Bangtao MMA prospect Jada Ketley reflects on ‘awesome’ training with Alex Volkanovski, and her UFC dream

The 27-year-old Australian strawweight returns to action next week in Hua Hin, buoyed by ‘amazing’ seminar from UFC champ Alex Volkanovski at Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA.

The 27-year-old Australian strawweight returns to action next week in Hua Hin, buoyed by ‘amazing’ seminar from UFC champ Alex Volkanovski at Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA.

30 Apr 2022 - 2:56PM
UFC: Alex Volkanovski says AJ McKee’s title loss ‘makes me chuckle’ after Bellator star’s taunts

UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski says ‘it makes you laugh when things don’t go to plan when they run their mouth’ after AJ McKee’s taunts.

UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski says ‘it makes you laugh when things don’t go to plan when they run their mouth’ after AJ McKee’s taunts.

28 Apr 2022 - 8:49PM
Kai Sotto declares for 2022 NBA Draft after Filipino star wins Fans’ MVP award in Australia’s NBL

The 2.16-metre centre, who is aiming to become the Philippines’ first home-grown player in the NBA, thanks Adelaide 36ers for ‘unforgettable year’ in Australia.

The 2.16-metre centre, who is aiming to become the Philippines’ first home-grown player in the NBA, thanks Adelaide 36ers for ‘unforgettable year’ in Australia.

28 Apr 2022 - 2:45PM
ONE Championship: Anissa Meksen tells ‘afraid’ Janet Todd to defend kickboxing title or vacate – ‘she wants to escape’

Anissa Meksen ‘can’t wait any more’ as she looks to add missing ONE Championship belt to collection – and says she took mercy on Marie Ruumet after making her cry in the cage.

Anissa Meksen ‘can’t wait any more’ as she looks to add missing ONE Championship belt to collection – and says she took mercy on Marie Ruumet after making her cry in the cage.

28 Apr 2022 - 12:12PM
ONE Championship signs 5-year US broadcast deal with Amazon’s Prime Video

Amazon executive Marie Donoghue points to Asian martial arts organisation sharing ‘mutual commitment to elevate female athletes’ as a driving force behind deal.

Amazon executive Marie Donoghue points to Asian martial arts organisation sharing ‘mutual commitment to elevate female athletes’ as a driving force behind deal.

28 Apr 2022 - 2:27AM
No 1 pound-for-pound kickboxer Superbon wants to give MMA a shot – and UFC champ Alex Volkanovski is keen to train him

‘With the right coaches they could turn him into a real beast in MMA,’ says UFC champ Alex Volkanovski, as No 1 pound-for-pound kickboxing king seeks more gold.

‘With the right coaches they could turn him into a real beast in MMA,’ says UFC champ Alex Volkanovski, as No 1 pound-for-pound kickboxing king seeks more gold.

28 Apr 2022 - 4:30PM
ONE Championship 156: Smilla Sundell and Jackie Buntan agree ‘we’ll meet again’ after brutal Muay Thai title battle

The 17-year-old Smilla Sundell and a badly bruised Jackie Buntan show ‘it’s all respect’ with hotel picture after their ONE Championship Muay Thai title fight.

The 17-year-old Smilla Sundell and a badly bruised Jackie Buntan show ‘it’s all respect’ with hotel picture after their ONE Championship Muay Thai title fight.

23 Apr 2022 - 6:33PM
ONE Championship 156: Smilla Sundell becomes youngest title-holder in history, dominating Jackie Buntan to win strawweight Muay Thai belt

Smilla Sundell, 17, becomes youngest title-holder in ONE Championship history, leaving Jackie Buntan badly bruised en route to picking up US$50,000 bonus.

Smilla Sundell, 17, becomes youngest title-holder in ONE Championship history, leaving Jackie Buntan badly bruised en route to picking up US$50,000 bonus.

23 Apr 2022 - 1:03AM
ONE Championship 156: Liam Harrison gets US$100,000 bonus, bantamweight title shot after ‘crazy, freaky’ win over Muangthai PK. Saenchai

Liam Harrison picks himself up off the canvas twice to drop Muangthai three times in wild first round, setting up fight with ONE Championship bantamweight Muay Thai king Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.

Liam Harrison picks himself up off the canvas twice to drop Muangthai three times in wild first round, setting up fight with ONE Championship bantamweight Muay Thai king Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.

23 Apr 2022 - 1:35AM
ONE Championship 156: Bokang Masunyane misses weight for title eliminator; Jarred Brooks agrees catchweight

Bokang Masunyane comes in three pounds heavy on morning of ONE Championship strawweight MMA title eliminator in Singapore, with Jarred Brooks to receive 20 per cent of his purse.

Bokang Masunyane comes in three pounds heavy on morning of ONE Championship strawweight MMA title eliminator in Singapore, with Jarred Brooks to receive 20 per cent of his purse.

22 Apr 2022 - 1:52PM
ONE Championship releases 5 fighters including Yuri Simoes, Pieter Buist

Former ranked MMA lightweight Pieter Buist and decorated grappler Yuri Simoes among the athletes cut by Asian martial arts promotion.

Former ranked MMA lightweight Pieter Buist and decorated grappler Yuri Simoes among the athletes cut by Asian martial arts promotion.

23 Apr 2022 - 2:05AM
ONE Championship: Shannon Wiratchai waiting for the call as he plots comeback – ‘I’m ready, let’s do it’

Thai featherweight ‘waiting for the call’ from Asian martial arts promotion ONE after a year and a half out of action, as he plans to ‘climb back to the top’.

Thai featherweight ‘waiting for the call’ from Asian martial arts promotion ONE after a year and a half out of action, as he plans to ‘climb back to the top’.

18 Apr 2022 - 6:30PM
Eileen Gu sends support to ‘strong and beautiful people of Shanghai’ amid Covid-19 crisis

Double Olympic champion says ‘my heart is with’ the residents of Chinese city amid Covid-19 crisis, as they battle wave of infections and lockdowns.

Double Olympic champion says ‘my heart is with’ the residents of Chinese city amid Covid-19 crisis, as they battle wave of infections and lockdowns.

18 Apr 2022 - 5:20PM
China’s Zhao Xintong will win World Snooker Championship ‘within five years’ insists Jamie Clarke after 10-2 thrashing at Crucible

China’s Zhao Xintong beats Jamie Clarke for first ever win at the Crucible, with Ronnie O’Sullivan backing him to become ‘greatest of all time’.

China’s Zhao Xintong beats Jamie Clarke for first ever win at the Crucible, with Ronnie O’Sullivan backing him to become ‘greatest of all time’.

17 Apr 2022 - 7:11PM
ONE Championship: Anissa Meksen warns Janet Todd ‘I’m waiting’ as kick-boxing icon returns to action

‘Janet Todd said she’s not afraid of me, so let’s go. Let’s do it,’ Anissa Meksen tells atomweight champ, ahead of return to ONE Championship action against Marie Ruumet.

‘Janet Todd said she’s not afraid of me, so let’s go. Let’s do it,’ Anissa Meksen tells atomweight champ, ahead of return to ONE Championship action against Marie Ruumet.

16 Apr 2022 - 6:45PM
Elkeson says ‘I still have to help Chinese football’ after signing for Brazilian side Gremio

Naturalised former Guangzhou star sets sights on 2023 Asian Cup despite leaving for Brazil, saying ‘I want to help the team win the championship’.

Naturalised former Guangzhou star sets sights on 2023 Asian Cup despite leaving for Brazil, saying ‘I want to help the team win the championship’.

14 Apr 2022 - 5:45PM
UFC: Petr Yan will have bantamweight title back before long, says coach George Hickman

Former UFC champ will brush off disappointing loss to Aljamain Sterling, insists George Hickman – ‘he improves every single day … I’m sure he’s back in the gym already’.

Former UFC champ will brush off disappointing loss to Aljamain Sterling, insists George Hickman – ‘he improves every single day … I’m sure he’s back in the gym already’.

14 Apr 2022 - 1:14PM
UFC: Alex Volkanovski ‘the complete fighter’ and is finally getting due credit, says coach George Hickman

George Hickman, one of Alex Volkanovski’s long-time coaching team, thinks the UFC featherweight champ ‘can do it all’ – and that Henry Cejudo wouldn’t beat him ‘any time soon’.

George Hickman, one of Alex Volkanovski’s long-time coaching team, thinks the UFC featherweight champ ‘can do it all’ – and that Henry Cejudo wouldn’t beat him ‘any time soon’.

13 Apr 2022 - 9:30PM
UFC 273: Alex Volkanovski says ‘Korean Zombie’ shouldn’t take brutal beating to heart – ‘I plan on doing that to all my guys’

UFC featherweight champ Alex Volkanovski feels ‘The Korean Zombie’ Jung Chan-sung shouldn’t take brutal beating to heart – ‘no matter who’s in front of me, they’re gonna look the same’.

UFC featherweight champ Alex Volkanovski feels ‘The Korean Zombie’ Jung Chan-sung shouldn’t take brutal beating to heart – ‘no matter who’s in front of me, they’re gonna look the same’.

12 Apr 2022 - 5:00PM