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Watch NZH Local Focus: Waikato 'Jedi' eyes up UFC

By Hunter Calder

28-year-old Waikato man Luke Jumeau is known in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) scene as "The Jedi".

The father of two and has his heart set on getting signed with the Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) and making his way to the top of the fight world.

He says he got the bug when he was young and his hunger for making it big grew even more after his first major fight at the age of 18.

Ten years later with 16 fights and 13 wins behind him "The Jedi" is on a mission to the top.

Mr Jumeau says he's determined to "fight for the biggest organisation in the world which is the UFC, so I want a contract. I want to fight under their banner."

"For me, it's my passion. It's everything I've ever aspired to be."

The full time panel beater and his supporters believe his chances are good - having beaten 13 opponents in 16 fights since 2009.

"I've done all the work that's necessary, the records there, the guys who I've beaten are there it's just getting the country behind me."

He says he is currently trying to increase his following through social media and get his "small local talent" name known across New Zealand.

"I mean there's no set plan, there's no one riddle you have to solve, it's do hard work and get noticed, I'm trying to solve the riddle man and hopefully I'm doing it right."

There is no guarantee that Mr Jumeau will be picked by UFC to fight on June 11 - but he's fought all over the world and had several big wins, so he's keeping his fingers crossed.

"I mean there's seven weight classes if they decide they want to put a welter weight on I'm number one in line. They know of me, so it's just luck of the draw really."

"You also have to be exciting, you might not be the best fighter in the world but you go forward, you charge you look for the finish every time and people want to see that. You give your heart you give everything because at end of day it's a performance that has to be sold."

One of Luke's biggest supporters is his fiancee Moets Ormsby. She says she loves watching him and it's exciting knowing "we're getting closer and closer to achieving the dream."

As a father two the kids she describes her partner as loving and caring, "the chill guy".

If signed to the UFC it's a whole new level and a big challenge would be staying injury-free - so far Mr Jumeau gotten off lightly - just one broken thumb.

But Mr Jumeau says a lot of hard work, training and conditioning his body, has prepared him for a few knocks which is just part of the risk with a full contact sport.

"If you think about an injury you're going to get an injury... when you drive a car you're not worried about someone's going to come out and have a crash, you just drive, it's the same thing with training."

For referee Mark Craig, it's a big responsibility to keep everyone safe.

"The second someone gets hurt inured whatever, it's on me to stop it if I let it go on for too long, they get injured, it's on me."

Even Canadian research from 2015 shows that MMA is safer than boxing.

With 7.1 percent of boxers experiencing concussions compared to 4.2% of MMA competitors.

Mr Jumeau is pushing to take to the UFC stage in Auckland in June.

And if he makes it, he'll be the first MMA fighter from the Waikato to represent NZ on the UFC world stage.

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- NZ Herald

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