BCMMA 18 preview: Joe Harding ‘can’t wait’ to kick Johan Segas in the face

Joe Harding is one of the most explosive young talents in UK MMA. Photos: ADAM BRIGHT

Joe Harding is one of the most explosive young talents in UK MMA. Photos: ADAM BRIGHT - Credit: �Adam Bright Photography, email

Despite a late change of opponent, exciting young MMA prospect Joe Harding plans on making a bit of history on Saturday night.

Joe Harding in training at BKK Fighters

Joe Harding in training at BKK Fighters - Credit: ©Adam Bright Photography, email

The all-action 26-year-old had been due to battle PK Zadeh for his BCMMA amateur featherweight belt, but Zadeh pulled out injured, so Harding will now lock horns with Johan Segas for the interim belt at BCMMA 18 at Charter Hall in Colchester.

If successful Harding (8-2) will be the first fighter in the promotion to have held both the amateur lightweight and featherweight belts – and he’s undaunted by the challenge ahead.

“I was meant to be fighting PK and I was looking forward to that,” said Harding, nicknamed Nitro. “But then he went and pulled out - strange that!

“So now I’m fighting a guy I don’t know a lot about, but it doesn’t matter – when you’re the best, it doesn’t bother you.

“Segas is short and strong and I can’t wait to kick him in the face. He’ll have to deal with 110% of me, which is tough for any man.”

Harding, who works as PE teacher at the New Rickstones and Maltings Academies in Witham, is known for his exciting, entertaining style - unpredictable on the feet, and powerful with his takedowns.

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“I like to throw a lot of creative stuff on my feet and hit the big takedowns as well,” said Harding, whose martial arts journey started with him learning the same Lau Gar kung-fu style as much-hyped Bellator phenom Michael ‘Venom’ Page.

“I’m very different, I don’t have a specific style.

“It’s cool to possibly be the first person to hold these two amateur titles – it’s a bit of history, and I’m all about creating that, inspiring others and building momentum – I’m definitely going to turn professional this year.

“I think featherweight is the more natural division for me, I’m incredibly long for the division and it’s not been a hard cut – I feel even faster and more explosive.

“My goal is to be the best in the world, I don’t want to be anything other than that.

“MMA is not something you just do or play – I dedicate my life to it, it’s not a game.”

- BCMMA 18 will be headlined by Kerry Hughes’ defence of her bantamweight title against Zarah Fairn Dos Santos. Visit www.bcmma.co.uk for information.

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