Fighting chaplain steps into MMA ring with God on side
Balancing the brutality of fighting with the theology of religion can be a tough ask, but Nobby State School chaplain Matthew George is proving that his spiritual calling to serve the church wont keep him out of the octagon.
The 'Alabama Assassin' juggles his duties to God with a ferocious mixed martial arts regime, a polarising contrast according to some.
"I've had people from the church tell me that God doesn't condone what I'm doing," George said.
"But I just see it as a sport that really helped me when I was in a dark place.
"God is much bigger then we can imagine and I know he is with me when I compete in this strange but beautiful sport."
Despite the criticisms, George's faith plays a critical role in his approach to what is traditionally considered a violent sport.
You would expect a fighter, someone who thrives in a brutal environment, to be hardened by their experiences.
But George oozes optimism in everything he does, even marching into the impending barbarism of the octagon with a beaming smile.
Black eyes and bruises aside, the American native finds that after years of competing the transition from a man of the cloth to aggressive brawler and back again has become surprisingly natural.
"When I finish work I just switch my mind off and go and train, its not that hard for me," George said.
The fine line that he strikes between the two epitomises him as a sporting enigma.
George is currently preparing for his next fight where he takes on Richie Ivory at the Southport RSL on May 14.