KIRKCALDY’S British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) champion, Steven Ray, says he’s more than happy to head into the lion’s den to defend his title this weekend.
Ray will take on Newcastle’s Curt Warburton in his opponents home town as he looks to retain the belt he secured over Dale Hardiman last year.
The support is sure to be weighed heavily against the Kirkcaldy fighter, but he told the Press that it’s not something that worries him.
“I don’t care, I’ve went to other people’s home towns and won with people not supporting me,” said the fighter. “I kind of like it in a way, having people shouting at me.
“It puts a little bit more pressure on him as well because he’s the favourite and will also have a lot of his own fans there.”
In preparation for the fight Ray has been camped up in Canada where he has been training with some of the country’s top MMA fighters including experts in disciplines such as Jiu Jitsu.
He’s hoping that the high level of training will set him up perfectly for his fight against a high quality opponent.
“Curt Warburton has fought in the UFC so is obviously going to be tough,” he said.
“When the fight was arranged I watched some videos of him.
“He’s a good all round fighter but I’m feeling confident about it.
“When I won the title I could have taken a bit of a break and maybe did some promotion on the back of it but I just wanted to get training again.”
Should Ray manage to get past Saturday’s opponent then it opens up the possibility of a world title fight.
Beating the experienced Warburton may also prick up the ears of those in charge of the high profile UFC tournament.
“He’s on a four fight winning streak since they released him so I’d imagine they’ll be keeping an eye on him,” he said.
“If he beats me then they might take him back. But I’ve got two fights left with BAMMA and if I win them then that’s me on a four fight run as well so that could make the UFC a possibility.”
Ray told the Press he expects between 20 and 30 local fans to follow him to Newcastle - but added he expects them to make the noise of 100.