27 May, 2015. 10:34

CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact

Local man, Tom Gridson (26) has been a diehard fan of mixed-martial arts for close to six months now.

With the rise of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the many colourful personalities that make up the competition’s stable, Mr Gridson says he has entertained the idea of learning MMA for quite some time now, especially after watching up to five hours of Conor McGregor press conferences on Youtube in the lead up to UFC 197.

“Conor, man. He’s the new Ali. He’s the Greatest… I mean he got stitched up last fight, but he’ll be back” says Gridson, who now believes he is the ultimate authority on UFC when it comes to conversations at the pub with his mates.

“I’ve actually joined an MMA gym myself,”

Mr Gridson goes on to describe his new martial arts regime, and how it isn’t anything like he imagined it would be.

“Yeah, I kind of imagined a dodgy, dimly lit gym full of guys with tatts. But unfortunately they don’t have those kinds of places in Ascot,”

Mr Gridson points out that his ‘MMA Gym’ is actually a padded floor community hall.

“I got quite disillusioned when I had to refer to a 45-year-old rednut as ‘sensei’ – it was particularly weird because I never refer to him as sensei when I see him working in the deli at Woolies,”

“But yeah, apparently if you want to learn martial arts in North Brisbane, these are the go-to guys. At least that’s what they keep telling me,”

However, despite the fact that most of Gridson’s class time is spent discussing the importance of showing respect for the dojo, he is confident that the grassroots approach to MMA will benefit him in the long run.

“I’m working towards a fight, actually”

“But it is hard to focus on my own skills with all the kids around, I’m kind of developing at a faster rate,”

“And I don’t really know if their mums need to be here watching us.”



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