A SUNDERLAND bouncer hopes to make a break towards the big time this weekend in the unforgiving arena of cage fighting.
By night, Andrew Fisher can be found keeping the peace outside the city’s popular Varsity bar.
But by day he dedicates his life to mixed martial arts.
On Saturday in Hull, Fisher, 25, of Eden Vale, takes on his biggest challenge yet as he aims to claim the Tenth Legion lightweight world title.
The man who stands in his way, Abdul Mohammed, is a formidable foe who many in MMA feel should be in the UFC ranks.
But Fisher is unperturbed. He said: “I’m fitter and stronger than I’ve ever been.
“This is going to be a very hard fight, but I’ve never trained as hard or had better quality preparation in my life.
“Everybody in this sport wants to break into UFC and if I can win this title, it’ll be a step in the right direction.”
Muhammed is originally from Afghanistan but is based on Teesside. His list of past contests includes a victory over Sunderland’s UFC trailblazer Ross Pearson back in 2008.
Pearson and Fisher are friends and training partners, both working under the guidance of Sean Casey at the Olympian boxing gym in Ryhope and Fight Pit in Shiney Row, as well as with Barry Gibson at strength and conditioning specialists Grapplefit, in Southwick.
“Ross has made the step up and inspires all of us,” said Fisher. “I’d love to match what he’s done, but it’s hard to get those breaks and you’ve got to earn them.
“If I can win this title, it’ll open a few doors – get me better fights at bigger events.
“Mohammed’s been one of the top guys ever since I came into this sport and he’s still up there.”