Ipswich student sets sights on UFC after binge-watching Rocky films
- Credit: GARY STAFF
An Ipswich student who won two martial arts European belts earlier this year said he aims to compete in the elite UFC in the future.
Morgan Hutcheon, 17, secured two European belts at the World Kickboxing Organisation (WKO) A-Class K1 Rules championships in Barnsley this August.
Now, he will compete for Great Britain in the 2022 World Championships — but "the elite level is my goal", he said.
Mr Hutcheon, who is a level three sports student at Suffolk New College, said: "I tried every single sport growing up as a kid including football, rugby, tennis, running – it was all just not quite right for me. I knew I was going to be big at something – I just didn’t know what it was.
"Then around the age of 11, my dad took me on a trip to Scotland and during the journey I binge watched the Rocky films.
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"I then started watching the old fights with people like Mohammed Ali and George Foreman and started teaching myself at home.
"I researched local gyms and after having a go at karate, I eventually found Gary Staff’s Kickboxing Academy in Ipswich.
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"I trained for three years in Muay Thai – but switched to K1 [a martial art similar to kickboxing] because there are more opportunities to fight competitively in the UK. I’d say both sports are a more brutal version of kickboxing.
"If you train hard – it will pay off. Training hard has got me through a lot of difficult times in my life. It keeps me going. And you’ve got to have the right mindset. They say train hard and fight easy – that’s the way I see it. That and getting the right tactics. It’s all a game of chess.”
And this hard work paid of at the European Championships in August, he said.
“I weighed in at 73kg and won every round in the 74 kg 17 to 18 category in my first fight at the tournament in Yorkshire," he said.
"Then someone dropped out of the 79 kg 16 to 17 category, and I talked to my team and decided to enter this fight. I ended up winning this title as well.
"I was over the moon."
Explaining his success, he said: "I’ve been training three times a day for the past three months. I’ve been eating right and getting my sleep in. So I’ve worked hard for it."
Long term he has not ruled out a career in UFC.
"The aim is to be the best of the best – the elite level is my goal," he added.