South Shields MMA fighter Shaj Haque targets America

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A South Shields fighter who became the first ever Made4TheCage double champion is hoping to one day conquer America.

Shaj ‘Superman’ Haque, who trains and coaches at Fighting Fit Gym, added the flyweight title to the bantamweight crown he won last May with a first round TKO stoppage over Danny Missin at Rainton Meadows last month.

The stoppage was the first ever time Haque had won inside the distance, and was reward for the hard work he has put into training with Fighting Fit head coach Feruz Hussain.

Haque said: “It’s a huge achievement for me to have two belts now. I have always been working towards a goal and hoping to get something that makes me stand out from the rest and I think two belts shows that.

“Not being able to see opponents off inside the distance was a weakness of mine, so I was making sure I was working hard in training to make sure I made a change to that.

“I would not be anywhere near where I am now without what the club has done for me.

“Feruz has been training me since the age of 14 and let me start my journey. He let me train for free when I could not afford to when I was first starting, so without that I would not have been able to make it as a fighter.

“It has always been a dream of mine since I first turned professional to go out and fight in America and I am really hoping I get that opportunity soon.”

Haque, who also became the first ever Bangladeshi to win an MMA title, has become one of the club’s most decorated fighters since it first opened in 2005.

“With Shaj we have achieved everything we could have achieved in such a short space of time,” Hussain said.

“I’ve been Shaj’s coach for 11 years now and it has been a long journey from when he started as a teenager until now but I am so proud of what he has achieved.

“He’s inspired not only the rest of the team, but the whole club to try and become the best they can be.”

“We have always been a not-­for-­profit club, so we welcome anyone who wants to give MMA a go. Tony Dixon, from Olympia Fightwear, has been a huge help to us and we are grateful for what he has done for us.”