Fighter eyes top gym

SHELLHARBOUR'S mixed martial arts champion Alex Volkanovski wouldn't normally be a man who would seem to need his mates backing him up.

However, despite a reputation for being one of the toughest men in MMA, he has called on all his friends and acquaintances to rally and help him realise a long-time dream.

Volkanovski has been selected to try out for a 12-month scholarship at the prestigious Tiger Muay Thai Gym in Phuket, Thailand.

He is hoping to raise enough money at a fund-raiser on April 5 to help make his dream a reality.

"I have been selected to trial for a scholarship at the Tiger Gym, one of the most prestigious gyms in the world," Volkanovski said.

"Many world champion UFC fighters train there.

"Initially I have an invitation to go there for 10 days where I will train and spar," he said. "They try to break you down both physically and mentally. From there I will hopefully progress to a scholarship."

"I will be able to come back and forth to Australia, but before I can commit fully I need the financial backing to do it."

With that in mind, the former Warilla-Lake South Gorillas rugby league star arranged a fund-raiser at The Frat in Fairy Meadow on Saturday, April 5, at 6pm.

"Tickets are $80 per head and there are tables of 10, while there are corporate sponsor tables for $1500," he said.

"But the bottom line is that the more money I raise the more often I can afford to train there."

Volkanovski's record is impressive, boasting nine wins from his 10 fights.

He is planning another one on May 17 against an opponent and venue to be advised.

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