Friday, March 2, 2007

A knockout show

By Kimberley Hamilton

THOUSANDS of martial arts fans will head to Braehead on Sunday to watch the cream of the nation's Thai boxers in action.

Scotland's highest profile Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) showdown, featuring an eight-man thai boxing tournament and three MMA superfights, is being held at Braehead Arena, with 3000 fans expected to attend.

James Doolan, double British Featherweight and Scottish Light Welterweight Muay Thai champion, said all the best fighters would be under one roof for the first time.

The 28-year-old, who trains with Glasgow's Dinky Ninja Fight Team, said: "There's such a wealth of talent here and having an MMA and thai boxing event with the same crowd capacity as a professional boxing event reflects the growing popularity of the sport."

advertisementIn one of the most anticipated bouts of the night, James, who lives in Lanark and is also a former British Kickboxing Champion, faces Jamie McKenzie, from Maryhill Freestyle Fighting.

James defeated Jamie within three minutes in their last meeting three years ago.

Two of James' team mates, John Nicholson and Paul McVeigh, are also preparing for professional MMA bouts at Sunday's clash, which they hope will reinforce the Dinky Ninjas' name at the top level of MMA in Scotland.

Paul, 24, from Hillhead, said: "We're the best in the country by results. The style of training at the club is different from others.

"We have different instructors in Brazilian jiu jitsu, boxing, grappling and stand up so we can learn from the best."

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