Goulburn Martial Arts Academy head instructor, Craig Harmer, has confirmed that he will have as many as eight students on the upcoming Storm Damage card.
Storm Damage 14, which is set to take place in Goulburn's Veolia Arena on April 9, 2022, will likely feature a huge number of local fighters, the bulk of whom will train out of GMAA.
Hayden Ellis, Dave Sturgiss, and Chevy Apanui - who are all trained by Harmer - fought at Storm Damage 13 in April of this year, and have been booked for the 2022 event.
Henry Osborne-Price-Jones, who also fought earlier this year, is hoping to return but has to overcome lingering injuries first.
In addition to the four returning fighters, Mark Anable, Jarrah Winters, Jake Butler, and Mitchell Sykes are expected to make their amateur MMA debuts on the night.
The success and popularity of the event held earlier this year in Tuggeranong, Harmer said, promoted further interest from his students and was a driving factor behind the new students who want to fight.
"The last event really spurred on these guys that want to get in and have a go, so hopefully we'll do the same next time," he said.
The upcoming fight card will also, Harmer hopes, provide Apanui and Osborne-Price-Jones the opportunity to avenge their somewhat unlucky losses from Storm Damage 13.
"We've got a lot of guys from Goulburn fighting, and last time we had an event in Goulburn, all the guys fought well but they couldn't get across the line," he said.
"I hope this time, the guys that fought last time will be a bit more experienced, a bit more confident going in. Hopefully they'll motivate other people to start MMA and get into the cage themselves."
With more than six months until fight night, the GMAA athletes will have ample time to train and achieve their target weights.
For the newer fighters who are yet to step into the cage, Harmer will split the next six months into two halves. The first of these will be spent building an MMA base, while the second will be spent developing a game plan and training specifically for the fight.
"I'm hoping to get two cycles of training in," Harmer said.
"The first 12 weeks will be technical refinement, and the next 12 weeks will be a taper at the end and making sure they're ready to go with the game plan.
"Hopefully they'll be ready to go by the time we get in the cage."
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