Kick boxer the bees' knees after world title win

THERE are maybe eight million versions of martial-arts world titles and Brendan McLean is now the proud possessor of one of them.

The 20-year-old McLean beat New Zealand's Ambrose Mataio for the under-68kg K1 title.

"I do it all," McLean said of all the fighting styles he's tried since taking up the sport at 14 under the tutelage of family friend Glen Barargy.

Now he concentrates on the K1 form of kick-boxing and trains most days a week at the gym in St Marys.

"It suits my style," he said of K1, a kick-boxing variant which incorporates using the knees.

"I'm more of a boxer, and it's like boxing with kicks and knees thrown in," he said.

"It's not as big here as overseas and this was a big chance," he said of the win over Mataio, which went the full distance of seven two-minute rounds.

"It was a big breakthrough."

Big here it mightn't be, but it was a big occasion for the large crowd of aficionados at Emu Sports Club.

Has this brutal form of combat taken a toll?

"I've been pretty lucky," he said.

"Just sore bones."

McLean is a glutton for the punishment, however.

The painter and decorator goes straight from work to training most weeks, and that counts as a hard day's yakka in any language.

He's having a bit of a spell for now, hoping the new year might bring another big fight, leading to the chance to go overseas.

McLean trains at the Bees' Knees gym, which is appropriate enough.

Right now, he can claim to be the bees' knees at the fighting caper he's chosen.

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