Following the recent success stories of local UFC stars Darren Till and Molly McCann, Liverpool has grown to become one of the top scouting destinations for some of the UK’s greatest fighters.
However, MMA TV believe there is clearly some untapped potential from the locals!
They have launched a new competition to find the next big thing, no matter what prior fighting experience they have.
The competition titled “Find A Star” focuses on helping inexperienced individuals hone their craft and further develop their fighting and fitness skills.
MMA TV have also made it clear that anyone is able to take part over the age of eighteen no matter what gender, race or status they have.
Twenty contestants will be brought together in numerous gruelling scheduled sessions that include a ten week training programme followed by four energetic boot camps.
Two fighters will then be selected as winners and are to be rewarded huge TV and sponsorship deals as well as experienced management and multi fight contracts.
Head of MMA TV Sidni Dean spoke about the unique layout of the competition and how the concept of bringing together inexperienced individuals will help bring more awareness to one of the world’s fastest developing sports.
“It’s something that’s just for normal people.
“Those who are just sitting down, watching MMA and thinking that they could do that or how good it would be to get involved with that but have not had the opportunity to do it.
“This was an opportunity that came about working with the A-Star foundation, who target youth and people from sports.
“We’ve decided to partner up with these guys and put on a competition featuring normal, average people that want to get involved with Mixed Martial Arts.
“This competition is aimed at just your average person. A student, a worker in an office, in a factory, in a building site, rich, poor, middle class it doesn’t matter. Everyone is going to get together and practice MMA.”
To bring a wealth of expertise and further interest to the competition, highly sought after undefeated UAE Warriors Heavyweight Champion Chi Lewis-Parry has provided a huge figurehead status for the competition.
And Sidni hopes contestants can follow in his footsteps to MMA stardom.
“He started out as a basketball player and spent time with the LA Lakers, playing with a team of all of time greats like Kobe Bryant and Dennis Rodman.
“Chi Lewis-Parry remains undefeated with a record of 9-0 and is now the UAE Warriors Heavyweight Champion following his transition across from basketball.
“He was fresh and hadn’t done any training and only started when a friend of his started training him in wrestling.
“He won his first fight despite breaking his hand during the fight, due to him being a bit inexperienced, but he really enjoyed it and soon transitioned to a full-time Mixed Martial Artist.
“Over the last five to six years he’s gone from zero all the way up to being one of the most touted heavyweights in the world. There’s nobody that wouldn’t want to sign him.”
Sidni also spoke on the wider development of MMA in the UK and how vital cities such as Liverpool are such a huge hotspot to scout the next hot prospect following other famous British MMA stars becoming mainstay’s in their respected promotions.
“They have friends, family, friends of friend who have seen them [Darren Till, Molly McCann] do big things and they may want to get involved which will give them the perfect opportunity.
“So when they try out for the competition they don’t have to be worried about being thrown in the deep end, they don’t have to fight anybody, there’s no bouts. It’s mainly based on merit.
“You work hard, you try hard, you really want to do it. Then your in for a chance of winning the competition.
“MMA in the UK has really come a long way and when I first got into it a good few years ago now, the way I looked at it, football was a growing sport and while it has always been popular, the wages were seen as being £300 a week for a professional player in the top division.
“Fast forward twenty or thirty years their on huge money, in the newspapers, have TV deals that are absolutely humongous. It’s the most popular sport in the world.
“This is how I see Mixed Martial Arts’ development as back then it was just coming through, right now we’re slowly gathering pace towards that momentum.
“It may be another ten or fifteen years but I expect it to be as big as football.
“Everyone knows it around the world now and while the wages, broadcasts and exposure are still not quite there [compared to football] it’s still in its early days.
“It’s only 25-30 years old at the maximum so once it gets there, there will be no stopping it.
“There’s plenty of time for the youth to get involved and this is what we plan to do.”
(Photos authorised by Charlotte Pettit)