ONE OF the biggest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events in the country is returning to Deeside this month, with a local professional fighter set to entertain fans.

Since starting out in 2016, Almighty Fighting Championship (AFC) has gradually built up a reputation as one of the most respected combat shows around - with regular events across major cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle.

But one of AFC’s favourite venues is Deeside Leisure Centre, where it will return to on Saturday, March 30, for an expected sell out event.

And one of the stars to keep an eye on is a local resident.

Pro fighter Dave Jones, who runs Unit One MMA in Shotton, is set to take on Ashley Walters in a hotly anticipated pro bantamweight bout.

36-year-old Dave said: "I’m feeling great. I’ve had a few bad injuries leading up to this so it's been nice to actually be able to train so I'm looking forward to another great local Almighty show."


Dave added: “I see the fight being a close one. He's a tough lad - long, adept in all areas. I think I have certain advantages in some places and him in others.

"Full credit and thanks to him for rescheduling this bout. It was set for last year when I hurt my knee and he couldn't have been nicer about it. The new date was set and we finally get to do it.”

When asked what it’s like fighting to a home crowd, Dave admits fighting in Deeside has made him see things differently.

He said: "I used to prefer fighting in enemy territory and getting booed. But the times that I have fought locally have changed my mind about that. We're the closest gym to the venue and we always get decent support.”

Though buzzing for the bout, Dave admits balancing such a high octane sport with work can be tricky at times.

He said: “Coaching, running a gym and finding time to train is hard work! Plus I turn 37 two days before the fight - I know fighting doesn't last forever so occasions like these are even more important.”

The Leader: PIC: Dave Jones (red) in a previous fight.

MMA is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with organisations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), in the United States, and Cage Warriors in the UK, paving the way for up-and-coming organisations such as AFC to be a starting point for young fighters kicking-off their MMA journey.

AFC founder, Ray Thompson, said: “We are very excited to bring the show back to Deeside this month.

“We offer young fighters the opportunity to begin their journey to see if they can become the next Leon Edwards or Tom Aspinall.”

Discussing the venue, Ray added: “Deeside is ideal as a venue as MMA is so popular across this region with dozens of gyms able to get fighters here to compete.

“The crowd is always electric and help create an amazing atmosphere, and that’s why we keep coming back.This is an event fight fans will not want to miss.”

The event will take place on Saturday, March 30. Doors open at 3pm with the first fight being at 3.30pm.

Tickets prices start at £40 and can be purchased via the fighters themselves or online.