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MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: Training aids Shane's amazing comeback
CHIPPENHAM fighter Shane Mansfield is hoping more local people will consider the benefits of mixed martial arts training after his miracle recovery from a broken neck five years ago.
The 32-year-old was paralysed from the waist down after colliding with an opposition player during a Chippenham & District Sunday League match in September 2007 but is now preparing to the top the bill at the Swindon Fightclub Caged event next month.
Mansfield, who trains under former UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) lightweight Leigh Remedios at the VT Jiu Jitsu gym on Cricketts Lane, will be taking on Swindon fighter Alex Brunnen in a professional welterweight bout at the MECA centre on October 5.
“It was one of those freak accidents that can happen when you play football,’’ said Mansfield, who works as a relationship manager for a corporate bank and will step into the octagon for his fifth pro fight after his horror injury.
“I was the goalkeeper and someone ran into me and my neck just crumbled. “I was told that I might never walk again but I ran within a month and was back fighting again six months later.
“I paid to go the physio for the England rugby team at the time and he said that my neck was as strong as some of the guys there.
“Mixed martial arts training really helped me recover and I think that it’s about time that the mystique dropped around it.
“Leigh does classes for all different kinds of people and it’s not as if you go along to have your face smashed in.
“I’m not quite sure that people realise that they have such a good gym, run by someone who’s fought in the UFC, on their doorstep.”
“I know Alex (Brunnen) quite well and it’s definitely going to be tough next month because I’m going to be the away fighter and all of the crowd will be there to cheer for him.
“But I’m planning to try and block that out on the night and come away with the win.”
VT Jiu Jitsu’s Remedios, who was one of the first Britons to fight in North America, is still amazed by Mansfield’s fairytale recovery.
“I tell people that there’s a lad from my gym who broke his neck but then I have to remind them it was playing football,” said Remedios.
“Shane’s come on really well and it should be fireworks next month because they’re pretty evenly- matched.”
Remedios is in action himself in November as he fights at bantamweight at the Pain Pit show in Newport.
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