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Bermuda fighters ready for belt push

Athletes from the Bermuda Amateur Muay Thai Association are putting together their final preparations for the Muay Thai Classic in Des Moines, Iowa.

Corey Boyce, Jeron Gunness, Jay Astwood, Keron Lee, Brad Dyck and Nikki Stoudt-Maries leave the island next week for the three-day tournament, where more than 500 competitors are expected to compete in 28 different classes from June 17.

Gunness is the only member of the six-strong squad to have previously fought at the tournament, placing third in Division B of the welterweight division at last year's event.

Preparing the fighters is Ajarn Buck Grant, one of the top coaches in the United States, who has returned to Bermuda for a six-month coaching stint at the BAMA headquarters at Beyond Fitness on Par-la-Ville Road.

Chuck Morgan, the BAMA president, said the team looked in “excellent shape” thanks to the dedication of Grant, who has coached some of the top names in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“Under the tutelage of Ajarn Buck Grant we feel we're more prepared for this year's tournament,” Morgan said.

“We're travelling with a positive attitude and a desire to showcase what Bermuda Muay Thai has to offer.

“This is the first group to travel as a national team and all of the athletes and coaches are very proud to be representing our small but great island.”

Morgan feels confident that Bermuda's athletes can achieve title glory.

“The team has been working very hard, training five to six times a week in and out of the gym,” Morgan said.

“We're definitely looking to challenge in each of the weight classes we have entered and we believe we have six very good opportunities to bring home championship belts.

“In some cases our athletes may need to win four fights in order to progress and bring home the belt.”

BAMA is the only organisation dedicated solely to teaching the sport that is often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes.

For more information about BAMA, contact chuck@beyond fitbda.com or visit www.face book.com/bermudamuaythai

Primed and ready: Gunness, Dyck, Stoudt-Maries, Astwood and Lee are raring to go. Accompanying the fighters to Des Moines will be coaches Morgan, front left, and Grant (Photograph by Peter Aldrich)

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Published June 10, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 10, 2016 at 7:46 am)

Bermuda fighters ready for belt push

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