19 year-old Basketball Player Finds New Love for MMA

MICKEL Young spent four years playing for Solent Kestrels Basketball before dropping out of college only to find a new love of sport.

His best friend invited the youngster to an MMA/UFC training session after wanting to start himself: “my friend was chatting to me about wanting to start doing UFC…  I went along and sparred with him, liked it and got a membership.”

Although he enjoyed beginning a new sport, the fighter found it difficult balancing work, studying to become a student nurse, doing night shifts and training for his fight after having camp four days a week and training any days he had off.

Nearly a year later, Young has signed up for a charity fight to be held in Southampton in December – Great Ormand Street Hospital was the best charity he could choose: “I didn’t have any particular charity I liked from the list so I chose my own one… I believe that kids deserve a second chance and I wanted to fight for them.”

Despite being just a charity match – there is no harm with the youngster treating it like a real competition, especially when he’s very competitive within the ring.

“Sport is a big part of my life, but I don’t just like to do it as a hobby, I like to be competitive with it.”

With no plans to go back to basketball after his fight, it’s all eyes set on the future for the young fighter, already having a few tournaments coming up and hoping to participate in a taekwondo tournament.  

“I found it really hard to get into a diet regime – going from basketball where I ate what I want, to MMA where a diet is key it was a massive change for me.”

Mickel Young