x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Second location planned for academy

The popularity of mixed martial arts in Dubai has prompted the only academy offering training in the sport in the country to expand to a second location.

The popularity of mixed martial arts in Dubai has prompted the only academy offering training in the sport in the country to expand to a second location. The MMA Academy, launched in September, is the only club offering cross arts training, providing classes in boxing, Muay Thai wrestling and Brazilian jiu jitsu. Launched by the professional cage fighter Tam Khan, 26, the popularity of the club has grown quickly.

"People watch UFC on TV and want to give it a go. You get a lot of boxercise and general exercise classes here, but this is the closest thing you'll find to UFC," he said. Originally from Essex in the UK, Khan is a British middleweight cage fighting champion who regularly returns home for competitions. "I want to bring MMA big to the UAE," he said. "I want to groom local fighters, not just as professionals, but in self defence too."

With the academy now heading towards its first anniversary, Khan is planning to open his new 4,000-square-foot club at Dubai Marina with a fighting cage similar to those used in UFC tournaments. "The new gym will have more emphasis on MMA. Strengthening and condition will be a part focus of the new facilities," he said. "This gym will cater for every aspect of MMA. From stand up to clinch fighting.

"We already have champions coaching at our gym, but we'll be being in some of the best specialists from across the world. Muay Thai wrestling, Thai boxing, western boxing, Gracie jiu jitsu and freestyle wrestling will all be available. "We want this to be a world renowned training facility." sports@thenational.ae