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North-East Mixed Martial Arts promotion Made4TheCage is set to launch a new £250,000 gym this September as the combat show upgrades its Sunderland foundations.

Made4TheCage is hoping to help raise awareness of the sport in the region and help cement a long-term future for fighters with the creation of a new, dedicated 3300 square foot base.

The company was founded by local entrepreneurs Steven George France and Dale Percival, who together have now successfully operated a significant number of MMA events in the last decade under the Made4TheCage banner.

In 2014, the business partners, who both hail from Sunderland, opened their current gym, located on Villiers Street, in an attempt to further develop talent from the region.

Speaking on the new gym, which will be located on Murton Street, Steven George France said: “This is a big step for us as a brand but hopefully it’s a bigger step for the North-East’s MMA community and the wider community in general.

“We’ve established ourselves as the biggest MMA operator in the region and one of the most popular shows in the country but hopefully this major investment in our grass roots foundation can provide a platform for more people to get a greater chance in life.

“No matter the race, no matter the religion, no matter the gender, no matter the body type, no matter the skill level. We want the gym to be a beacon for the community and that means all are welcome.

“MMA gave me an opportunity in life and for the new gym, we hope it will give others that same chance.”

Mixed Martial Arts is the world’s fastest growing sport and the North-East is well respected breeding ground for a number of top fighters; with the likes of James Mulheron, Colin Fletcher, Lanchana Green and Milad Ahady now making a name for themselves at an elite level.

Made4TheCage co-founder Dale Percival said: “I’m really looking forward to opening the new academy in the heart of Sunderland city centre.

“The old place was our home and is sad to leave but the new gym will allow us to develop and grow even more as a brand. We want to create a place that offers something for everyone and a place that people want to be part of the M4TC family.”

Established in 2014, the Made4TheCage fight academy is already seeing some good prospects come through its ranks with the undefeated Ashlee Harding and Norm Russell both winning the first three fights of their amateur careers.

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