Alan Philpott sets off today (Wednesday) on the next exciting leg of his flourishing mixed martial arts career.
The Ballymena man poised to create history in the sport in this country by becoming the first fighter to compete in Japan.
Philpott, known as ‘The Apprentice’ will headline the Vale Tudo Japan event against undefeated opponent Daichi Takenaka in Osaka this Sunday night.
For Philpott, the current British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) bantamweight champion, it is an opportunity to raise his profile further on the international stage.
Confirming the fight on his Facebook page, Philpott said: “I will be main event in one of the biggest shows in Japan versus the number seven ranked unbeaten hometown favourite next Sunday.
“I got the call a week and a half ago and I couldn’t turn it down. These opportunities don’t come around often so got to grab them while I can.
“I am delighted and over the moon to be the first person from Northern Ireland to compete in Japan in MMA far as I’m aware and possibly even the first from the whole island.
“With the short time to prepare I feel great. I was half ready and weight was lower than usual.
“I can’t wait to go out there show what I am made of.
“I thrive off these big shows and I promise I will put Northern Ireland on the map,” added Alan.