HUDDERSFIELD team Farrell MMA are heading out to Tarcento in Italy to compete in a top level international fight tournament.
The Italy Nations Cup brings together fighters from Austria, England, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Spain and Turkey to compete in both MMA (mixed martial arts) and kickboxing bouts.
Team England, sponsored by Huddersfield-based Fightkit.com, is made up of seven fighters from two clubs in Yorkshire.
Farrell MMA, who are based in Milnsbridge, will be represented by ex-Giants player Andy Farrell, head coach and former European Jujitsu Champion, and Karl Amos, who will be competing in professional MMA fights.
They will be joined by Fight Club’s head coach ex-World Champion kickboxer Keith Priestley, who has five fighters in the team who will be competing in kickboxing.
Farrell, who has been involved in martial arts for over 25 years and has seen the popularity increase massively over the last few years, said: “The club is going from strength to strength, every week we have new members coming to the classes.
“Our class timetable is expanding now to include more specific disciplines such as wrestling and boxing.
“Obviously the extra media coverage being enjoyed by MMA has helped the sport gain new fans and that is reflected in the interest we have at the club.”
The chance to fight in Italy and represent his country was one Andy couldn’t resist and he added: “I got a call from Keith who asked me if I would be interested in fighting in Italy and without hesitation I told him to put my name down.
“This could be a massive opportunity for me, depending on how the fight goes there is a possibility of fighting in Japan next which is something I would love to do.
“I still have ambitions in this sport and given the right opportunities I feel I could make it all the way to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.”
And Farrell feels he is ready for battle: “The training has gone well, I’ve been doing this long enough to know where I need to be each week in terms of my weight, strength and stamina.
“I feel good. I just want to get out there now and show everyone what I can do. All the guys at Farrell MMA have stepped up when needed and made sure I have guys to train and spar with. I might be the one in the cage but it takes a full team to get you ready.”
The England team are hopeful they will be able to fly out on Friday ready to compete on Saturday in front of a packed arena.