THE sparring is hard, his muscles are hurting, but Orange’s Ben Quarmby is loving his latest opportunity.
The 28-year-old is in Melbourne for two weeks as part of the training team for ultimate fighting championship (UFC) fighter Brian Ebersole.
Quarmby was thrilled at the chance to work with Ebersole.
“Brian is one of the most experienced fighters in MMA (mixed martial arts) at the moment,” Quarmby said.
The Orange martial artist was invited to help with Ebersole’s preparation after a promoter recommended him.
“He told Brian’s team I would be good to have because my style is similar to the guys he’s fighting,” Quarmby explained.
“[Ebersole] He fights in five weeks in Vegas. I’m here for two weeks.”
Quarmby said they train for two hours each morning and night.
“I’ve been sparring and wrestling a lot with Brian,” he said.
“The team has also been helping me with some of my weaknesses, which, in my MMA fighting, is my wrestling.”
Despite the intense training environment, Quarmby has managed to avoid injury.
“No [injuries] but I’m really sore,” he laughed.
Ebersole, 33, is preparing for his UFC 178 fight on September 27, against John Howard.
Ebersole, an American fighter who is based in Thailand, has lost his last two UFC bouts.
He went down in a unanimous decision to Rick Story in UFC 167 in November last year.
He also lost to James Head in a split decision in UFC 149 in July, 2012.
Before that, the welterweight had won his previous four UFC bouts.
Quarmby said Ebersole was slightly taller than him, but they fight at the same weight.
The Orange fighter has appreciated being able to work with Ebersole.
“I was in the gym with him last night (Wednesday) and he took the time to work with me and help me,” Quarmby said.
“The guys in his team have invited me back and they’ve said they’ll help me to progress in my MMA career.”
Quarmby’s next bout will be in Brisbane on November 1.