Pound for pound, Raad's up there
BYRON BAY'S Raad Brewer can be found pounding out bread dough by day and by night he's pounding opponents as part of the mixed martial arts Underground Cage Fighting Series.
Tonight he'll look to extend his unbeaten professional record with a bout against Hugh Cameron at Bangalow's A and I Hall.
Brewer's job as a baker allows him to work in the wee small hours then get the rest of the time off to train up to four hours a day.
For the uninitiated, mixed martial arts is a full contact combat sport, a mixture of martial arts, boxing, kick-boxing and grappling. The rules allow competitors to strike or grapple with each other on the ground and standing up.
It may be billed as 'underground' but, according to Brewer, it's fast becoming very popular in martial arts dojos around the country.
“All sorts of different people are getting interested in it and it is starting to grow,” he said. “It's taking over from boxing, as people are getting bored with boxing.
“Anyone interested in martial arts understands and appreciates it.”
Brewer has had five professional fights and has not been beaten, having won three by 'submission' and two by technical knockout.
Competitors usually win by putting their opponent into a hold where they need to submit and 'tap out', or if a fighter is knocked-out by a punch or can no longer protect themselves from punches and the referee calls it off.
There are judges, if the fight goes the distance, but none of Brewer's fights has gone the distance.
“There are a lot of fights that do go to a decision, but I haven't had any. None of mine have made it out of the second round,” he said.
The 'ultimate' side of things stems from the Ultimate Fighting Championships which were first held in the US in 1993, where fighters from different weight categories were pitted against each other.
According to Underground Mixed Martial Arts promoter Shane Balmer, the sport is considered the 'triathlon' of martial arts.
“You need fast hands like a boxer, the strike kicks of a kick boxer, the skills of a wrestler or a Brazilian jujitsu expert,” he said.
As for the 'cage', it's actually a hexagon-shaped structure, a bit like a trampoline protector, which prevents competitors from being flung into the audience.
There are a number of other bouts on the undercard tonight.
Doors open at 6pm, the show starts at 7pm and the main bout should be about 10pm.