Yorkshire cage fighters on ACB 65 world title bill at Sheffield Arena on Saturday

South Yorkshire cage fighters Ricardo Franco, Sam 'The Hurricane' Halliday and  and Sam Boult on the ACB 65 world title bill at Sheffield Arena on Saturday, July 22.
South Yorkshire cage fighters Ricardo Franco, Sam 'The Hurricane' Halliday and and Sam Boult on the ACB 65 world title bill at Sheffield Arena on Saturday, July 22.
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Trash talking cage fighter Conor McGregor's forthcoming battle with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather has created a huge global interest in MMA and three Yorkshire fighters are hoping to make a knockout impact this weekend.

Sheffield's Sam Boult, Doncaster's Sam 'The Hurricane' Halliday and Ricardo Franco are in action on the ACB 65 Mixed Martial Arts world title bill at Sheffield Arena on Saturday, July 22.

Brazilian wrecking machine Thiago Alves will defend his Light-heavyweight title against Russian phenom Batraz Agnaev and the fight card also includes Leandro Silva abd Donald Sanchez.

TICKETS: Buy tickets for the ACB 65 tournament in Sheffield from just £20 at www.sheffieldarena.co.uk.

ACB is the world's fastest growing MMA promotion and the sport is making its debut at the venue.

Boult, who usual spends Saturday nights on the door as a bouncer at Sheffield's Corporation nightclub, will be swapping his smart suit for gloves and a gum-shield. He says its a dream come true to fight at the Arena.

He: "I still can’t believe ACB has come to Sheffield. I didn’t think we’d ever get an Arena show,"

"I was ready to chop off my leg to make the weight when they called me. Fighting at home is amazing, I hope I get a lot of support to come and watch me do Sheffield proud.

"I can’t wait for the noise! A show like this coming to us is great, it gets more people interested in MMA and that’s what I’m all about."

Halliday, with a softly spoken demeanour and gentle personality, might not come across as a cage warrior but the 125lb flyweight lived up to his nickname 'The Hurricane' in his last fight, making his opponent submit in under two minutes.. He will face Welsh fighter, Aaron Aby..

Brazilian wrecking machine Thiago Alves will defend his Light-heavyweight title against Russian phenom Batraz Agnaev

Brazilian wrecking machine Thiago Alves will defend his Light-heavyweight title against Russian phenom Batraz Agnaev

Franco, a student of retired local MMA legend Danny Mitchell, will be looking to make it two wins in two weeks following a first round victory last weekend. He faces tough Antonio Sheldon.

Manchester's Brendan Loughnane, who looks set to be the UK's next big MMA star, is on Saturday's bill against former UFC seasoned veteran 'Bam Bam' Pat Healy.

MMA is a full-contact combat sport that allows both striking and grappling, standing and on the canvas, using disciplines including boxing, kickboxing, karate, taekwondo, wrestling, judo, jiu-jitsu and more.

In its modern form, in the early 1900s, it started out with relatively few guidelines but additional rules were introduced to increase competitors' safety, to comply with sport regulations and to broaden mainstream acceptance of the sport.

It has seen an increased popularity with a pay-per-view business that rivals boxing and professional wrestling.

MMA superstar McGregor's boxing match with Mayweather - on August 26 - is already being dubbed 'The Billion Dollar Fight' with some predicting it will smash the record-breaking $600m (£460m) earnings from 2015's Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao fight.

TICKETS: Buy tickets for the ACB 65 tournament in Sheffield from just £20 at www.sheffieldarena.co.uk.