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Cage-fighter Tom Morris prepares to fight for 'Tenbury pride'
TOM Morris insists ‘Tenbury pride’ will be at stake in his next cage-fight.
The 23-year-old from Burford is putting his unbeaten record on the line against a rival who works in the town.
Morris’ next mixed martial arts’ semi-professional bout is at Worcester’s City Gym on April 6.
“I was in the Spar shop in Tenbury the other day and I understand that my next opponent, whom I am told is Eric Armond, works locally,” he said.
“This fight now means a lot more to me because it’s like a battle for local turf and fighting for Tenbury pride.
“I live near Burford and I probably run past the place where my next opponent works.
“This lad wanted the fight. The last couple of guys who I’ve beaten are his sparing partners, apparently.”
Morris won all his amateur fights and has triumphed in both his semiprofessional bouts.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport involving striking and grappling techniques.
It features arts such as boxing, karate and Taekwondo as well as submission-based disciplines like jiu-jitsu.
“I am hoping to get in an as many fights as I can,” said Morris, who trains with Border Roughnecks in Tenbury.
“I have gone semi-professional and the more fights I can do, the better.
“I have got another fight on June 1 but I don’t know my opponent yet. I need to start looking for more fights.
“The aim is to try to get a dozen or more fights so I have enough experience and confidence to go up a level.
“I have started off gradually and I would like to step it up.
“I had to cut just under a stone for my last fight which was a hard thing to do.
“I never stop training but, for six weeks before a fight, I really step it up.”
Morris works on his family’s farm near Burford and is also a doorman at Leominster’s Euphoria nightclub and at The Long Bar in Hereford.
He is a member of Ludlow Judo Club and has started Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“My dad watched my last fight but he’s more old fashioned and likes Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman,” said Morris.
“He’s not so interested in grappling and wrestling.
“He always says that if you have a dream then you should follow them. My mum comes to watch me and she gets behind me at the shows, screaming and shouting.
“I always tell her not to worry about me but to worry about my opponent. It’s not barbaric - it’s a skill and disciplined. More people are becoming aware of it.”