MMA ace Mitchell looking to Thai foe in knots

Danny Mitchell

Danny Mitchell

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A trip to Thailand hardly sounds like the best preparation for the biggest bout of a fighter’s life.

But a week in Phuket was far from a holiday for submission specialist Danny Mitchell.

The Thorne fighter makes the step onto the biggest stage in mixed martial arts (MMA) this weekend when he competes under the banner of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world’s leading organisation in the rapidly-growing sport.

And he does so following a tough week’s training in an elite Thai gym.

“The experience was incredible and it’s helped me prepare for this fight so well,” Mitchell told the Free Press.

“It’s been a tough training camp and having a week over there was the perfect way to kick it off.

“I was made to work incredibly hard but that’s exactly what I wanted.

“This fight is huge for me. There’s the opportunity to really make a name for myself and I don’t want to leave anything to chance.”

The 27-year-old will face Brazil-born Igor Araujo at the O2 in London on Saturday night.

Mitchell his hoping to use his explosive submission attacks to not only beat Araujo, but secure his place on future UFC fight nights.

He said: “The UFC is where you want to be and there is definitely pressure to perform.

“But there’s pressure in every fight.

“I’m building my experience up with each fight and I feel ready to make this step up.

“It’s going to be a really tough fight.

“He’s a grappler like me so it’s going to be a good clash.

“It’s not about just winning, it’s about entertaining as well.

“I want to produce that eye-catching submission that will get me plenty of attention.

“But winning by any means would be a big achievement.”

* UFC Fight Night London 2014: Gustafsson v Manuwa will be live on BT Sport and Channel 5 on Saturday night.