MMA ace Stevie Ray USA bound for first fight in two and a half years

Mixed martial arts fighter Stevie Ray is set to return to the cage next week for the first time in two and a half years.

And he says he is in the best condition of his life.

The Kirkcaldy sportsman is on his way to the USA for a bout on Wednesday, April 20, having joined the Professional Fighter League (PFL).

It’s the first in a potential series of four and he’ll be taking on Alexander Martinez, of Paraguay, in Arlington, Texas.

Stevie Ray

Ray, 32, is also scheduled to fight in Georgia on June 17 but, for now, he’s looking forward to his first fight since coming out of retirement – during which he has tackled a knee problem and become a qualified yoga teacher.

He has kept himself busy during Covid lockdown restrictions – another reason for his long absence from cage action.

He took a step back from the sport, moving from the UFC promotion firm to the PFL, which has recently signed a television deal in the UK with Channel 4.

He also sought care for cartilage and arthritis difficulties with his knees, which was how he discovered yoga.

Ray has continued training and also competed in a couple of grappling contests, similar to MMA.

He said his knees are in better condition now than when he had his last fight, against Michael Johnson in the UFC, over two years ago.

He has been preparing specifically for Wednesday’s bout since the first week of January this year and said: “I am feeling positive and good about it. I never really stopped training and I feel like I am in the best shape of my life.”