DANIEL ‘Pinta’ Quigley doesn’t miss a trick when it comes to attracting some of the biggest names in martial arts to his Strike Martial Arts Academy on the Bay Road.
The four times world professional kickboxing champion and proprietor of the hugely successful gym was delighted to welcome his idol, 11 times Muay Thai world champion, Nathan ‘Carnage’ Corbett through the doors of the club last weekend.
Corbett, who has over 20 years of fighting experiences at the highest level, made a whistle-stop tour of Derry on Friday to take in some of the city’s sights before delivering a seminar to unveil some of the secrets of Muay Thai.
The Australian becomes the fourth high profile fighter to make an appearance at the club, following in the footsteps of multiple kickboxing and MMA champion, Tyrone Spong, ex-UFC Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist, George Sotiropoulos and three times world kickboxing champion, Paddy Toland.
But, for Pinta, Corbett was the cream of the crop.
“I was nervous all day because I was meeting my idol,” he said. “I grew up watching his fights when I was just starting out in K1. I used to sit up and watch him and always loved his aggressive style. That’s how I always tried to fight.
“So to have him at the club and see him in the flesh was amazing. I took him a tour of Derry and he was interested in the history of the city.
“At the club he spoke about having the right mindset of a fighter when you’re in the ring.
“I’m always on the lookout for top fighters to bring to the club for seminars for the young people at the club to learn.
“To have people of his calibre was fantastic. I heard he was coming to Ireland and the UK so took a chance and invited him to Strike. He was straight back to me on Facebook and agreed to visit.
“Nathan Corbett only started doing Muay thai when he was 21 year-old and went on to win 11 world titles until he was 30.
“So it was great for the young people at the club to know that at 16, 18 or 19, they could still achieve something like that if they put in the right dedication and hard work.”
I was nervous all day because I was meeting my idol. I grew up watching his fights when I was just starting out in K1. I used to sit up and watch him and always loved his aggressive style. That’s how I always tried to fight.Daniel ‘Pinta’ Quigley