Professional mixed martial arts fighter doubles size of his Chadwell Heath gym

A Chadwell Heath gym owned by a professional mixed martial arts fighter has doubled in size and has brought in extra bodybuilding equipment and a women-only exercise suite.

Ilford resident Khalid Ismail, owner of the Lion’s Den Gym Fitness Centre in High Road, fights in Ultimate Challenge Mixed Martial Arts competitions.

His gym now boasts a strength and conditioning zone, a fight zone and additional rest and relaxation areas.

Mr Ismail said: “I had to travel three or four miles to train when I was young. Now you don’t have to go anywhere else.”

The gym re-opened at the end of last month, with free classes offered to guests.

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Mr Ismail held his own open session to show the training required of mixed martial arts fighters.

The combat sport allows fighters to use both grappling and striking techniques and Mr Ismail will make a comeback fight, following a year’s lay-off because of injury, on December 1.

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