PREPARING: Michael McDaniel before one of his fights in mixed martial arts.
PREPARING: Michael McDaniel before one of his fights in mixed martial arts. Contributed

Martial artist keen to go pro

WARWICK sports star Michael McDaniel admits it is crazy wanting to knock people out, but it is the sport in which he hopes to turn professional next year.

A player who starred in the Queensland Basketball League and for Warwick in the regional and development leagues has three wins and one loss in mixed martial arts.

This weekend, he travels to Emerald to challenge professional fighter Simon Osborne.

At age 43, McDaniel said he had been called a "has-been".

"The more resistance I get just makes me try harder to accomplish what I want," he said.

"At times, family and friends were worried about me fighting, but I think I have changed their minds.

"It's crazy man, knocking people out to win fights.

"If I win this fight, I am in line for an Australian XFC amateur light heavyweight title bout at Mansfield in Brisbane on November 9. "

Based in Warwick as a boarding supervisor at The Scots PGC College, McDaniel trains in Toowoomba at the PCYC and Vision Quest MMA. as well as learning Thai boxing at Boomathai in Toowoomba.

He travels to Toowoomba twice a week and trains on other days in a small gym he has set up at Scots PGC.

Whatever the result at Emerald this weekend, McDaniel has the next phase of his career mapped out.

He will travel home to Hawaii in December for a week with his family and some training with former UFC (ultimate fighting champion) lightweight and welterweight world champion B.J. Penn.

Then he is off to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where he has been invited to demonstrate his form of mixed martial arts and learn a Brazilian form, jrujitsu.

If his career success continues and McDaniel turns professional, he will be able to command $30,000 to $40,000 a fight.

One day, he hopes to have a professional fight at the Warwick RSL Club.



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