MIXED martial arts fighter Andy Ogle is hoping his next bout opens up a new career path.
The 23-year-old from Tynemouth has been selected to feature on the 12-fight bill at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham later this month.
And he describes the opportunity as a chance of a lifetime.
He said: “It’s unreal to be part of it, it’s a great opportunity and one that I am very grateful of having.”
Andy will face a former house mate from his recent starring role in the American TV series Ultimate Fighter, Akira Corassini, in the September 29 bout.
For more than three months Andy has been spending at least 30 hours a week preparing for the contest.
The fight will be broadcast on ESPN while in the arena at ringside will be his family, who have supported his ambition to forge a successful career in combat sport,
He said: “They would not miss it for the world.
“They are a huge support for me and have been with me day in, day out.
“They have shared my tears and shared my glory, and fighting is just a massive part of my life which they accept and support.”
With the fight now just a few weeks away Andy has considered the future and knows what he wants out of the sport.
He said: “I hope to have a long and rewarding and fruitful career in mixed martial arts (MMA), and hope one day to be able to earn enough money to support myself and not have to have a mortgage.
“I’m focusing on this as a career and putting 110 per cent into it.
“I have been in combat sport since I was young and growing up in Newcastle.
“When I found out about MMA and that you could make it your life with the support and development in it, I knew I wanted that for me.”
In preparation for his fight against Corassini, Andy has researched his opponent thoroughly.
He added: “Your training has to be specific, looking at what their advantages are and working on methods of beating them.”
Training also includes working on his own skills and strengths to prepare for an all round performance that will earn him victory.
“It would be stupid not to work on everything.
“And it would be disrespectful to my opponent and to myself not to look into exactly what this fight has the potential to bring.”
And as Andy had a confident message for his fans: “Don’t blink, keep your eyes peeled on September 29, I’m going to create some fireworks.”
Tickets for the event at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham are available via www.ufc.com