McGrath loses 30kg ahead of his MMA debut
MMA: Levon McGrath will step into the cage for his first professional fight tomorrow, but the support worker has already won irrespective of the actual result.
The 25-year-old will face fellow debutant Blake Wilson on the undercard of Eternal 39, which will be held at Southport Sharks Club.
McGrath, trained by retiring professional Greg Atzori at Samarai Drive MMA, is a mix of emotions as he prepares to enter his first bout, but the journey to the cage is a life-changing victory in itself.
Since training with Atzori less than 18 months ago, McGrath has lost 31kg.
"I'm nervous, excited, every-thing else in between," McGrath said. "I've been training now for about 15 months, dropping 31kg for this event.
"It's been a long build-up until eight weeks ago when Greg said 'it's happening'. I was slower, sluggish, I really felt the weight carrying it each day, but it's been life-changing.
"One day it just clicked.
"I was looking at myself and I wasn't happy with it so I went down old avenues."
McGrath returned to what he knew - mixed martial arts - and what started as a training session with one of the region's fittest men has led to a debut bout under lights.
He hasn't even tried to investigate Wilson's history.
McGrath will enter the bout focused on his own form and tactics, powered by an intense training regime which includes a tough workout at 5.30 most mornings, evening sessions and a strict diet. He wouldn't have it any other way.
"I love the training side of it," McGrath said. "We've been training seriously for this fight for the past eight weeks.
"Each day we've been grinding at it, doing something.
"I don't really want to know too much (about Wilson). I haven't been fazed.
"I just want to go in, follow my gameplan and trust what I've learned and to make sure it's instinctive."
McGrath said he is well-rounded and plans to use his cardio to grind out a positive result in his first fight.