South Eastern Regional College (SERC) student, Joe Beck (17) from Newtownards, recently competed in a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition, Clan Wars 35, which was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast earlier in June.

With over two years’ experience in boxing, Joe was encouraged to try his hand at MMA, a combat sport in where contestants are permitted to compete using a combination of techniques such as boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, judo, and karate.

Joe currently trains at Next Generation Institute of Mixed Martial Arts in Ballymena with MMA World Warriors Fighting Champion Andy “Taz” Young as his mentor.

Junior fights are a rarity at Clan Wars, but an exception was made for Joe and his competitor as they impressed the organisers with their skills and natural talent for the sport.

Joe was the first fight of the night at this seasons Clan Wars and fought valiantly against fellow competitor Oisin Fox, narrowly missed out when he beaten via technical knockout 2 minutes and 2 seconds into the second round.

Joe is currently studying Level 3 Diploma in Sport at SERC’s Bangor campus. He chose to come to study at SERC after his GCSEs in order to specialise in sport.

Speaking about competing in MMA fights and his decision to come to the College, Joe said, “I really enjoyed competing and I look forward to continuing to improve my skills in MMA. I made the decision to enrol at SERC because studying A-Levels at school meant that I would have had to complete two more topics that I wasn’t interested in. SERC is catering towards my aspirations of pursuing a career in sport and at the end of this course I will have the equivalent of 3 A-levels.”

He added, “I love this course, it fits in well around my training schedule and contributes to everything I do when preparing for fights. I have learnt more about nutrition, health and how to train mentally and physically for competitions thanks to my course.”

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