A CHANCE meeting at a martial arts club has helped start a fighter’s professional career.
Darren Straughan from Southwick, Sunderland, had no idea of his fighting potential when he took to the mats of the Fight Factory in South Shields.
But as soon as the vehicle recovery businessman started grappling with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu students, coach Scott Ramsay knew he had potential.
Two years on, the 25-year-old is now a professional mixed martial arts fighter, after training under the guidance of Scott, coach Alex Enlund and Stu Bailey from Marine House in Fulwell.
He has made a great start to his professional career, winning his first fight on July 22 in just 68 seconds.
The former Hylton Red House School pupil said: “Becoming a professional fighter has been a long time coming, but it is something I wanted.
“It all started when I came to the club and I was grappling on the mats.
“The coach must have seen something in me as I was asked to join them and I’ve been here ever since.
“I was really nervous for my first fight, but even more nervous about stepping into the cage.
“I’m now looking forward to see what the future holds.”
Scott said: “Darren has progressed quite quickly and he always wants to train.
“He’s very grounded, listens and takes our advice on board. We are really proud of what he has achieved to date.”
Alex said: “If he stays as committed as he has been, we both predict great things for Darren in the future.”
Darren added: “My sponsors have been a great help. They are Fight Factory, Attac, Richmond Taxis in South Shields and Borneo Bistro in Sunderland.”