This weekend BRACE returns to New Zealand for another stellar card filled top to bottom with the best prospects from the land of the long white cloud and Australia alike.
Shane Young, who trains out of City Kickboxing in Auckland alongside the likes of Kai Kara-France and Israel Adensaya, made his professional debut just four years ago and is the current XFC featherweight champion having beaten the high-profile Julian “Julz The Jackal” Wallace in May last year via first round TKO. Young will be looking to put another tick in the win column come Saturday when he fights Siitu Leti.
Whilst Leti hasn’t been active of late, Young isn’t taking his opponent lightly. Any opponent, at any time, can be dangerous however the kiwi fighter is focused purely on what he can control in the lead up to his third fight for 2016 – himself and his preparation.
“He (Leti) hasn’t been active for almost 3 years. I hope in that time he has been toiling away, honing his craft. I don’t know much about him, which some fighters can think is a dangerous thing, but I like to focus on myself and my preparation. Come fight night he will be playing my game in the cage,” Young told BRACE.
Young is undoubtedly starting to make a name for himself in mixed martial arts. His four fight win streak is a testament to the eight years of hard work, training and dedication he has put in thus far. In life, and in sport, there is no such thing as an overnight sensation and Young has his eyes firmly set on the future and getting better every day. It’s the one percenters that make champions.
“My current win streak doesn’t reflect the hard work and dedication I have put into my martial arts over the last 8 years, the fights and years to come will be the true story of my pursuit to be the best that I can be. Without a doubt I’m one of the best and I am getting better everyday.
“I would like to emulate the careers of the best ever combat sports competitors. The best, meaning the outliers, those that pushed the boundaries of what was possible in martial arts. This extends beyond purely competition, but also to breaking barriers in ticket sales, eyes on our sport, and outlets that feature our competitions. I want to be a li’l McGregor and a li’l Aldo all wrapped in one.”
The UFC is the ultimate prize for any mixed martial artist and with role models like Mark Hunt and Dan Hooker to look up to, the reality of the opportunity is more present than ever for talented fighters out of New Zealand. Young hopes to follow in their footsteps and become the first Māori fighter from New Zealand to enter the Featherweight UFC division.
BRACE 43 takes place live from Christchurch, New Zealand on October 1st, 2016. Tickets are available through Cosmic Ticketing with fights being streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.