LEARNING FROM THE BEST: Former Warwick local Michael McDaniel (top) is off to Hawaii to train with former professional fighter BJ Penn.
LEARNING FROM THE BEST: Former Warwick local Michael McDaniel (top) is off to Hawaii to train with former professional fighter BJ Penn. Brett Zimmer Photography

McDaniel excited at Penn prospect

FORMER Warwick local Michael McDaniel is off to Honolulu on Sunday for a training camp with former professional fighter BJ Penn.

McDaniel, who has aspirations of fighting in the UFC, will train with Penn from December 14 to 31, as he looks to pick up as many tips as possible in his quest to go professional.

"I'll be doing one or two seminars per week," McDaniel said.

"He's a welterweight and lightweight world champion and an absolute superstar in Hawaii so I can't wait to get the opportunity to train with him.

"I'm just going to go there and be a dry sponge - I'm just going to try to soak up everything."

McDaniel, who now lives in Ipswich but still has interests in the Rose City, said preparation would be a major focus of the trip.

"I want to learn some tips for the lead-up to the fight," he said.

"I've sort of learnt to do it, but I want to know how not to exude a lot of nervous energy.

"So preparation for the fight will be a big one.

"The other area I want to learn in is about following my strategy in-fight and keeping my strategy in front of me."

McDaniel, who once tried out with the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA, said he first met Penn at college.

"I then wrote to him when I took up fighting and he said he was quite inspired by me getting into the sport at my age (now 45)," McDaniel said.

"He said to keep him in the loop with my progress and I was going home to see family and the opportunity aligned itself with that trip."

McDaniel will fight in Brisbane on January 28 before the Cage Rage tournament in Mt Isa in February.



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