CASHING IN: Banker Garret Byrne will make his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) debut at Airlie Fight Night III on May 24.
CASHING IN: Banker Garret Byrne will make his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) debut at Airlie Fight Night III on May 24.

Byrne banking on training ahead of Fight Night debut

AIRLIE FIGHT NIGHT

FROM cashing cheques to grappling necks, banker Garrett Byrne will next weekend move from the teller to the ring for Airlie Fight Night III.

The 33-year-old banker will make his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) debut on Saturday, May 24 - finally joining the Whitsunday Martial Arts Club's rank of fighters after two solid years of training.

"I'm pretty nervous," he said.

"I've been getting plenty of advice on how to prepare and I've watched the last couple of Fight Nights. I've been training with the club for years and I thought I'd finally give it a go."

Byrne has been with the club for two years, but watching those around him excel has motivated him to finally throw his hat in the ring.

By his own admission, Byrne isn't exactly a spring chicken when it comes to MMA - but he insists it won't be a factor. "I think I'll be okay. I've been training with blokes here aged between 20 and 25," he said.

Initially a rugby league player, Byrne said a willingness to "mix it up" saw him land at the Whitsunday Martial Arts Club.

"I thought I'd change it up from footy or soccer just to keep up general fitness," he said.

"Here at the gym you still get that team atmosphere but the difference is you're by yourself come game day."

Although he'd prefer to celebrate a victory, the result isn't of crucial importance to Byrne however Whitsunday Martial Arts Club coach/owner Anton Zafir backed him to succeed on debut.

"I think he will go extremely well," Zafir said.

"He works hard and has put plenty of time and effort in. He's ready to fight and has worked his butt off to get to where he is now."


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