Illawarra MMA fighters to compete in IMMAFA Arnold Classic International in Melbourne

FOCUSED: Jacob Cooper, Adam Ozkan, Orcun As and Shane Coleman will compete in the IMMAFA Arnold Classic International. Picture: Sylvia Liber
FOCUSED: Jacob Cooper, Adam Ozkan, Orcun As and Shane Coleman will compete in the IMMAFA Arnold Classic International. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Like the Terminator himself, the Freestyle Fighting Gym fighters are ready to terminate their opponents at the IMMAFA Arnold Classic International.

Orcun As, Shane Coleman, Jacob Cooper and Adam Ozkan will head to Melbourne next week to represent the Windang-based gym at Australia’s largest annual MMA event.

And the awesome foursome are keen to do well and secure individual and team success.

Each competition division has eight fighters, with the winner of each category securing a Team Australia representative spot as well as points for their team.

Warrawong mixed martial arts fighter Orcun As was confident the Freestyle Fighting Gym crew would do well at the prestigious tournament running from March 17-19.

The two-time Wollongong Wars bantamweight champion has put in the hard yards preparing for his debut Arnold Classic and can’t wait to get down to Melbourne and fight.

“I haven’t fought since last July because I wanted to get in as much training as possible for this prestigious tournament,’’ As said.

“All the guys have actually been pushing each other in training to ensure we are ready to go come the Arnold Classic.

“Head coach Joe Lopez has also been a great help, as has [UFC fighter] Alex Volkanovski. Their experience has been invaluable.’’

This view is shared by Kiama young-gun Jacob Cooper, who has only one featherweight fight to his name.

The 19-year-old former Golden Gloves NSW and Australian boxing champion said Lopez and Volkanovski had been a big help in making his transition to MMA fighting much smoother.

‘’Cage fighting is obviously quite different to boxing but the transition hasn’t been too bad,’’ Cooper said.

‘’I have learned to control my distance which has helped adjust my style to suit take-downs and avoid being taken down. It has been a process but I’m learning all the time.’’

Port Kembla lightweight fighter Shane Coleman is much more experienced but the tournament represents his first fight opportunity in almost two years.

“It’s been a long time but I’m confident of doing well. I’m going there to win,’’ he said.

Adam Ozkan also has high hopes of doing well.

‘’I turn 25 the day the tournament starts so I’m hoping to celebrate with a few wins,’’ Ozkan said.

‘’All the guys from our gym have worked hard and are keen to do well. I honestly believe Freestyle Fighting Gym is the best place to train for any MMA fighter.’’

An initiative of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the inaugural Arnold Classic Australia Multi-Sport Festival will feature live sports, health and fitness workshops and activities.

Freestyle Fighting Gym will hold a poker night to raise funds for the Melbourne trip on Saturday, March 11 at Albion Park Bowling Club. Registration is at 6pm for a 6.30pm start. It is a $50 buy-in with $30 for the fight team.

This story Awesome foursome are ready to terminate first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.