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ICMS Student by day, MMA cage fighter by night

ICMS Student by day, MMA cage fighter by night

March 14, 2023

Balancing studying with MMA training is the life of ICMS Bachelor of Business (Sports Management) student Rory “The Taipan” Turner who aims to achieve Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) pro status within the next three years.

Rory has been training under highly regarded MMA coach Renato Subotic for the past four years and has already participated in two amateur MMA fights.

His most recent amateur MMA fight was at the Southport Sharks Hotel in Gold Coast in September last year.

“This was my second amateur MMA fight – my first fight was in March 2022 while I was in my first trimester at ICMS. There was not much on the line in this fight, it was just another chance to shine under the bright lights in front of a drunk audience craving violence,” Rory said.

In Striking Distance

Rory’s fight name is “The Taipan,” which he used as a nickname for the alliteration with his last name, Turner. He has been fascinated with snakes since he was a child, and the lightning quick reflexes and lethal precision of the reptile overlaps well with MMA, known for speed and intensity.

Rory’s passion for martial arts started when his mother enrolled him in karate classes in 2011 when he was eight years old.

“I instantly developed a passion for martial arts which led me to start practicing Judo in 2017 and then MMA in 2019,” he said.

“My goal with MMA so far is to start fighting professionally within the next three years. My current objectives, however, is to have more amateur fights in order to get comfortable competing because only experience can prepare you for the stakes, nerves and risk of cage fighting.”

Striking the Balance

In between training and fighting, Rory is in his second year of an ICMS Bachelor of Business (Sports Management) degree. The degree is a great choice for students wishing to combine business knowledge with a passion for sports such as MMA.

How does he manage to balance his MMA aspirations and training with getting a professional degree?

“I study during the day and train during the night,” Rory said, adding that he also starts assignments ahead of deadlines.

Fighting Fit = Fit for Studies

ICMS Sports and Property Program Manager Dr Jae Won Kang holds an elite level 8th Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.

“The three training principles of profound thinking, accurate judgment, and bold practice required for successful Martial Arts Practitioners can bring about outstanding educational results in social skills, moral cultivation, and psychological sustainability,” Dr Kang said.

“The discipline and focus that Rory shows in his sport will benefit him in his future career, particularly in the area of remaining calm and focused even in high-pressure situations.”

ICMS Dean (Undergraduate) Dr Trevor Clark congratulated Rory on his victory in the ring, and reckons the discipline, dedication and commitment required during MMA training can be a springboard to success in academia.

“MMA is a sport that requires a high level of discipline and focus from athletes, like Rory. Fighters must undergo rigorous training regimens, both in terms of physical conditioning and technique refinement,” Dr Clark said.

“All of these elements require a great deal of dedication, perseverance, and self-control. Fighters must push through physical and mental fatigue and learn to manage their emotions and stress levels. They also need to develop a strong work ethic, as success in MMA is largely dependent on the amount of effort and time that one is willing to put in.”

These same qualities can be valuable in other areas of life as well – including in academic studies and in a business career.

For example, being prepared and diligent are essential traits for success in any profession. Feeling the fear but doing it anyway is also a valuable quality, as is pursuing goals while taking calculated risks.

“We look forward to watching Rory grow in the sport, and here at ICMS.”

To watch Rory “The Taipan” Turner’s winning fight in the Eternal MMA Bantamweight division at the Southport Sharks Hotel in Gold Coast, click here.

For more information on the ICMS Bachelor of Business (Sports Management), click here.

Picture credit: Eternal MMA


Bachelor of Business (Sports Management), News