Gareth johnson predicts a quality card of action at Shock N Awe: Contenders III.
Sixteen amatuer MMA and kickboxing bouts take place at the Pyramids Centre on Saturday, with 11 fighters from Gym 01 on the card.
The show, promoted by the Southsea gym, sees the south coast’s best up-and-coming talent go head-to-head.
Johnson started the amateur events to give the lesser-experienced fighters a platform to perform on lower-key cards – rather than competing on the main Shock N Awe shows at the Mountbatten Centre.
The promoter, and Gym 01’s head coach, said: ‘We started Contenders because there was a need for nurturing fighters. Some of these guys on this show fought on Shock N Awe 27 but a lot of people won’t fight on the big shows because they find it intimidating.
‘This is more low-key and it’s good for confidence building and there was a need for that.
‘There was a big jump between sparring and then onto the big Shock N Awe shows. A lot of promoters start up and don’t nurture the grassroots of the sport.
‘Eventually, you will run out of professionals if you only concetrate on pro shows.
‘It’s important not to scare them away. Every single fighter on the card is coached by someone close to Brian (Adams) and I. We have a good undertsanding and trust when matching fights.’
The 16-fight card is packed full of fledgling talent.
In the main event, Dale Hoare faces Ryan Robertson in an MMA fight at 75kg.
The Gym 01 charge took a split-decision win on debut on Shock N Awe 27 in April.
Meanwhile, team-mate Charlie Riccard (1-0-1) meets Brendan Young in a 60kg bout in the co-main event.
Johnson expects both to be involved in crackling bouts.
He added: ‘Dale joined with his brother a few years ago and was the less athletic of the two. He was a bit slow picking things up but has progressed over the past six months.
‘He brings confidence from his last win. He wasn’t supposed to win – he would have been the bookies’ underdog.
‘Charlie has came through the University of Portsmouth MMA team and he just lives in the gym. He’s never in a boring fight and has a tough opponent.
‘We have got to make sure these guys have tough fights because of the time they’ve invested.’
To purchase tickets, visit shocknawe.co.uk/sna-store