A Stevenage MMA fighter’s dream to create a home for orphaned and vulnerable children

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Fighting is in Luke Trainer’s blood, whether it’s in the ring or giving kids a second chance.

The mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, from Stevenage, found a love for the sport at the age of 19, but his dreams extend far beyond becoming a champion.

He was also put to the test, including losing his uncle and nearly losing his mother when he debuted.

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Originally he started playing rugby but after tearing his knee Luke wanted to find an alternative sport to get involved.

It was there that he discovered martial arts.

He said: “I’ve always been in martial arts, my dad got me involved in everything fighting, he boxed in the military and grew up knowing how to fight.

“I boxed, I did karate, then I took a jiu-jitsu class and fell in love with it.”

Luke said that when he knew he could make a career out of his martial arts, he jumped in and began training at age 19.

Now at 25, Luke competes in the Bellator light heavyweight division and last year he made an emotional debut for Milan after signing with Bellator after an impressive start to three wins in his professional MMA career.

“It was hard but it gave me more motivation”



Luke made a very impressive start to his professional MMA career

It was in Milan that Luke faced a very difficult time, losing his uncle days before his debut, which almost forced him to retire.

He said: “We lost my uncle about four days before the fight, we were in a hotel in Italy and I got a call saying my uncle had passed away.

“It was tough, he was my dad’s best friend and we were all heartbroken.”

Instead of quitting the competition, Luke and the family decided it was their mission to fight in memory of his uncle.

“We walked around and decided, if anything, that I should do it for my uncle,” added Luke.

“It was difficult but it gave me more motivation.”

Along with the death of his uncle, Luke also nearly lost his mother.

Her mother stopped breathing one day and the family had to call an ambulance, which took her away and put her on oxygen.

It was another difficult time for Luke around his first fight.

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He said: “She was in the hospital for a week, she had Covid and double pneumonia.

“One of her lungs stopped, it was hard but she came back.”

Throughout this very emotional time, Luke persevered and achieved a first round knockout victory over Alex O’Toole and he dedicated the victory to his late uncle and mother.

Luke is now preparing for a second appearance with Bellator where he will face Birmingham’s Yannick Bahati next Friday (October 1).

He said: “I’ve never been so excited for the fight, he’s a good opponent, he’s an amazing platform.”

“It’s going to be a very violent fight, it’s going to be a war, he’s a good fighter but I think I’ll be better.”

“The prospect you gain by adopting a foster family is second to none”



Luke has also dedicated much of his life to helping his parents welcome children.
Luke has also dedicated much of his life to helping his parents welcome children.

In addition to his passion in the ring, Luke also shares another dream, he wants to use the money he earns from his fights to one day open a home for orphaned and vulnerable children.

Since Luke was 12, his family has been in foster care and to date they have cared for almost 40 different children.

He and his sister have been helping their mother and father raise vulnerable children for several years.

Most recently, Luke and his family welcomed three children who will be raised until the age of 18, the youngest being eight.

Luke says there is no better feeling than preparing a child for a new chance in life.

He said: “I started fostering when I was 12 and I didn’t really know what to expect, but from the very first child that came to us we had was lucky to have such a beautiful boy and it kind of warmed us up to host family. .

“We were able to help him and change his life for the next eight months, and then he joined his adopted family.

“The welcome has changed my life and I think I can speak for all of my family when I say that it gave us gratitude.

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“My sister and I realized how lucky we are to be born into a loving family.

“The prospect you gain by adopting a foster family is second to none. “

When he’s not in the ring or looking after children, Luke leads a very disciplined and calm life, something he adores.

He plays chess, takes care of his dogs, spends time with his friends and family and often goes surfing after a fight to calm down and have fun.

“I’m going surfing with my best friend for a week and all we’re going to do is surf and eat donuts,” Luke said.

Luke’s next fight takes place on October 1 at Wembley Arena in London, it will be streamed live on BBC iPlayer from 5.30 p.m. and limited tickets are still on sale in line.

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