Juniors to have centre stage at BFF Fight Night
MARTIAL ARTS: They've been training for months while sticking to strict diet and training regimes and all that hard work will pay off on Saturday night for juniors at Beast Martial Arts And Fitness Academy.
The next generation will take to the cage at the club's headquarters at 16 Neil St in the history-making event.
"This is Australian history as no one has put on a junior fight night just for juniors," Beast coach Jason Hoad said.
"They've been lucky enough to get a couple of match-ups on bigger adult cards but nothing has been done just for the kids.
"It'll be just like what we do at the entertainment centre. There will be 300 seats, they'll have walk-out songs as they walk through smoke machines into the cage.
"It's everything you see on a proper UFC card."
Hoad said junior participation is on the rise at the club and for an unexpected reason.
"A lot of these came to us as victims of bullying but it's a stark contrast now as they are no longer victims of bullying because of the skillset they possess," he said.
"These kids have given up on other sports and now only pursue the sport of fighting.
"Word is getting out, if your kid is getting bullied the absolute best thing for them is to get in there and learn how to fight.
"They learn it in a very disciplined and respectful manner - they all know they aren't allowed to fight outside the club - when we train we train super serious and it's all left on the mat."
Beast Martial Arts And Fitness Academy have 17 local athletes on the card and have been training for more than four months for the Fight Night.
Competitors will travel from outside the region as well, including juniors from Rockhampton, Townsville, Cairns and Mackay.
Athletes from TeamBEAST have been training in mixed martial arts, K1 kickboxing, muay thai, jiu jitsu and catch wrestling.
Hoad said the juniors were very excited to have the opportunity to showcase their fighting skills and months of hard work to the Gladstone public.
"Training has been really hard. They've had their normal class training on Mondays and Wednesdays and then competition training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then a lot of them have been getting private lessons with the coaches," he said.
"There's one kid who trains 16 times a week which is more than the adults, but the average is about 12 classes a week.
"Our motto is hard work and dedication."
Saturday's action begins from 6pm with gates opening at 5pm.
General Admission (standing) tickets are $25 and can be bought on the gate with Grandstand seats also available.
Tickets can also be purchased online via beast-fighting-federation.ticketleap.com/junior-fight-night.
Hoad encouraged the public to come down and support the juniors. He also thanked sponsors MI Scaffold, MV Party Hire and Cardinal Packaging for making the night possible.
The event will be alcohol-free as it's a junior sporting event.