Published: 08/02/2018 22:50 - Updated: 08/02/2018 22:55

Inverness fighters ready to release rage in the cage

 

Ross Houston at SBG Inverness. Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 040240
Ross Houston at SBG Inverness. Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 040240
MIXED Martial Arts (MMA) has become one of the fastest growing sports in Inverness and now athletes from the city are set to make their mark in the cage on the national stage.

 

MMA club SBG Inverness now has over 100 members attending classes every week with members of all ages.

However the success of the club is being shown by the growing number of Inverness fighters who are now fighting competitively.

But as well as embarking on new sporting careers, it is also helping change athletes lives for the better.

Heavyweight fighter Jamie MacDonald (27) said before he took up the sport he was stuck in a job where he was working too many hours he did not enjoy.

Now he has been hailed as one of the city’s brightest prospects as he looks to make it to the top of the sport.

“There were hardships in my life and I thought I needed to change it. I was working 70 hours a week in my former job and had no time for anything else.

“I decided to get involved in the sport a year ago and it was recognised that I had a bit of potential.

“I have already won two competitive fights which I won in 19 seconds and 18 seconds respectively.

“It is nervous getting into the cage, but there is a calmness which comes over you. It feels strange but I am always ready to go.

“My dream is to compete in UFC. "It is a big dream but I like to dream big."

Connor Imison (22) said since taking up MMA it has changed his and a number of SBG Inverness members lives for the better.

“Some people like fighting and I like to fight.

But it also teaches you about discipline. I have changed my diet and haven’t had a beer in two months. It’s great for fitness, teaching self defence and keeps a lot of people out of trouble as well.

It has become a positive thing in my life and a lot of people here feel the same. It makes me happy and has helped keep my life on the track.

Personal trainer Kam Cheng (40) is the Forza MMA flyweight champion and said it has also changed his life.

“I used to go out clubbing and drinking but since I took up MMA I have cleaned my life up and don’t drink any more.

“MMA was something that i’d never planned to do, but I did quite well and carried it on and now I am a coach at SBG Inverness."

All three fighters will be competing in Paisley next month along with Warren Killingback (19) who will be making his amateur debut.

Head coach Ross Houston will be competing against Lewis Long at Cage Warriors in Wales next month with the winner likely to get a Cage Warriors European Welterweight championship shot.

He said with the sport thriving he is expecting the sport to continue to grow and he will help find more stars in the future.

“MMA has been the fastest growing sport for the last six years and there is no signs it is going to slow down and it includes wrestling, judo, boxing and Thai boxing.    

“We now have 20 members from the club who are fighting competitively and it only looks like it is going to grow.

“We have people who come just to get fit as well as compete and have a mixture of ages of men and women.

“We have an open door policy regardless of what their ambitions are and we welcome people to come along and find out more.”

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