Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SPORT'S GRIPPING STUFF; Talented Pair Aiming for Hat-Trick

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SPORT'S GRIPPING STUFF; Talented Pair Aiming for Hat-Trick

Article excerpt


THORNABY'S Sean Colfer and James Brown are training hard as they seek to strengthen their unbeaten mixed martial arts (MMA) records - and their gym's growing reputation.

Colfer, 29, runs and head coaches MMA and Brazilian jiu jitsu at his club The Dungeon from a unit at Bon Lea Industrial Estate, where Brown is his right-hand man.

The welterweight duo are both 2-0 in their fledgling MMA careers and will try to make it a hat-trick of wins each on the Strike and Submit 12 show at Dunston's Federation Brewery in Gateshead on October 28.

The Teesside branch of The Dungeon is an offshoot of the gym of the same name in Sunderland, near Hylton Castle which boasts a dungeon - hence the subterranean title.

Purple belt Colfer has been training in Brazilian jiu jitsu for about four years, winning gold at the Cleveland Coastal and, on a training trip to Atlanta in the USA, the North Carolina Open.

Having also trained in Brazilian capital Rio four times, he now passes on his knowledge to around 20 students, including four blue belts and several white belts.

The former bodybuilder's ground skills have seen him win both of his professional rules MMA matches by first-round submission and he will aim for an early finish once more in Gateshead against Phil Hoban from Leeds.

Brown, who fights under the nickname 'The Boss', has won by 52-second submission and a Fight of the Night unanimous points decision and meets Davey Parker of Kirkmerrington MMA at Gateshead.

"Brazilian jiu jitsu is such an effective system," said Colfer, who has previously trained under two of the sport's South American stars Romero 'Jacare' Cavalcanti and Ricardo Vieira.

"When I first walked into the gym I was 15-stone and got flung around by 10-stone lads and thought: 'This is for me'.

"I started training with old school gym mats at a community centre and in the last two years whatever I've made from the class I've put back into the gym.

"It's rough and ready but it's all matted out now, I've got a boxing ring, proper mats and a massive section of cage."

Colfer said his move into MMA, which includes thai boxing as well as grappling, was a natural step. …

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