Timaru mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Scott MacGregor wants to make sure the New Zealand Supremacy Featherweight title's first home is Timaru.
The Timaru Freestyle Martial Arts (TFMA) fighter will face Malaysian-born Aucklander Ev Ting for the newly created title in Dunedin tomorrow night.
The 27-year-old wants to be one of a select few fighters from the South Island to win a national title in the fast-growing sport.
To do it, he will have to beat a 23-year-old who has more experience in MMA and recently had a stint fighting in Hong Kong.
MacGregor said he would look to use his 20 years of wrestling experience to gain an advantage.
He expected to have the support of the Dunedin crowd because of his South Island roots and would have two van loads of supporters from Timaru cheering him on.
MacGregor said fighting a submission-focussed fighter, like himself, would be a new challenge from the fighters he had been facing who liked to end fights with strikes.
"There's submission wrestling, and then there's 20 years wrestling experience with submissions on top.
"If he wants to take it to the ground and make me tap, well, I welcome that because that's where my strengths lie."
MacGregor said while a win could see him earn an opportunity to fight overseas in 2013, he was more determined to do it for TFMA which he has helped build up from nothing.
"Being an underdog from a small gym will help me get the crowd on my side.
"I'm a really competitive guy and I've always wanted to be the best at what I do.
"It could launch my career in Hong Kong and Macau.
"To know that we could bring a New Zealand title to a wee club after going against a big club with all their black belts, personal trainers and their experience (would be great).
"Knowing that we've got what we've got and we're able to compete with the best, says a lot about all the guys who have made the club what it is today."
Fellow Timaru fighter Wayne Knight will fight in an 80kg catch-weight bout on the undercard.
- © Fairfax NZ News