It was another successful night at the office for Brighter Futures beneficiary Bradley Rice, who was crowned winner of the ‘Top Ring Super Six Series’ kickboxing tournament last weekend.
The event was Bradley’s first kickboxing tournament in over one year, having predominantly fought on MMA shows in more recent times. Despite this, the Larne born fighter dispatched of two opponents in quick fashion to secure an overall victory, taking home the belt and prize money in the process.
Despite combat sports growth in popularity in recent times, amateur fighters still rely on external support in order to cover medical, training and travel costs, which Bradley admits is vital in allowing him to remain in the sport:
“The financial support I have received from Brighter Futures and my other sponsors has been massive for me. When I compete in MMA and kickboxing, it is completely self-funding and with the training, medical and travel costs combined it would be impossible without the support I receive.”
While competing at an amateur level to build experience, Bradley dreams of turning professional in MMA and trains almost daily all year round to ensure he is constantly improving.
“I train every day from Monday through to Saturday, sometimes twice per day, and I also work night shifts and PT at a local gym which allows me to do my training from 6pm each night. You have to stay ready almost all year round in case an opportunity to fight comes up, so the grant I received from Brighter Futures goes a long way to help me fund my diet, gym memberships and travel to training each day which allows me to stay fully prepared and in shape.
“The [training] schedule can make life very busy alongside my work, but I’m very committed to make sure I can work everything around my training to make sure I am always improving.”
Following his success in the Super Six Series, Bradley intends to return to the gym as soon as possible and aims to be back competing before too long.
“I’ll get straight back to the gym and will aim to get my next fight booked. It’s looking like the next show will be in June which will mean there’s a wee bit of a break, but I’ll still be straight back to work on improving. I want to go professional so it’s just a matter of getting as many fights under my belt and as much experience in training as possible.”
Brighter Futures Trustee John McKinstry expressed his delight at hearing of Bradley’s continued success:
“Bradley is someone who we have supported for some time now and I’m delighted to see him continue to improve within his sporting field. Amateur sport is a significant commitment and can often put a strain on your lifestyle, work and financial resources, so we are pleased to be able to support Bradley in his efforts to turn professional and turn his passion into a long-term career.”