Ready to rumble for fight night
MMA: Fighters from around the region and Brisbane will flock to Warwick this weekend for Grow Strong Fight Night 2.
The mixed martial arts event will feature 12 cage fights, and one special “celerity” match.
Grow Strong gym owner Ben Pepper said the event should have another successful turnout.
“I’d imagine there would be a few hundred people,” Pepper said.
We’re aiming for 1000 but that’s ambitious – I’d say about 500 would be expected.
“We ran one in May that went really well, we didn’t have on incident in or outside.”
Inspirational Melbourne fighter Brian Morely will make his Warwick debut in the EVMack Championship Belt fight – which Pepper said will be a spectators’ delight.
“Brian is an inspirational figure in the jujitsu community and also in the community of the developmentally delayed,” he said.
“He’ll be grappling against Dan Castle – who’s nationally and internationally recognised in jujitsu and holds a black belt.”
Of the 24 fighters, Pepper said only two are from the region.
“Steven Blows will fight Kyle Fenton in the 75kg catchweight bout, and Jimmy O’Mara will fight Luke Brinkworth in the featherweight bout,” he said.
“I have high expectations always – it’s the reason they usually do well, but they do also do a lot in the ring that we can’t control in training.”
Pepper has seen significant interest in the gym, and said that Grow Strong would be the only one of its kind in a 100km radius.
“We’ve been running since February 2016, and we’ve built and managed to expand to Stanthorpe and Inglewood,” he said.
“More families coming to do jujitsu and we’re seeing parents want to train as well as the kids.”
Despite it being a contentious sport, Pepper said the event has brought a lot of interested to the gym.
“It’s a large workload on my end but it seems to be a really positive effect on my gym in terms of motivating my fighters to train hard and creating awareness for what we do,” he said.
“These types of sports aren’t bad for people to learn, and they actually have a lot of benefits for families.”