LIMA — Nationally and locally mixed martial arts fighting's polularity continues to grow, and Elida native Matt Dunahay is trying to tap into that excitement.
This past Monday, Dunahay’s new gym — Lima Combat Sports — opened on 2137 Elida Road in Lima. According to Dunahay, his gym offers instruction and training in MMA, boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Mauy Thai kickboxing and wrestling.
"I'd say it's kind of a wrestler-based gym right now, I've got a background in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu," Dunahay said. "We've got a professional Muay Thai fighter here, and we have a couple of boxers who train up here too. We tried to find the best guys that we could to mix it up in form."
What Dunahay hopes will set Lima Sports Combat apart from other local gyms is that it offers a wide variety of disciplines.
"There is not really any mixed martial arts gyms around here," Dunahay said. "Most of the other combat places around here are one discipline."
Dunahay, an Elida Middle School wrestling coach, got into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu soon after he graduated from Elida in 2003.
"I was around 20 or 21 when I got into it," Dunahay said. "I liked it a lot because it is very similar to wrestling. I also own a construction business too, but this is what I plan on doing full time."
Being involved in combat training for quite some time, Dunahay mentioned his facility can be used for several different reasons.
"Practice, training, kid’s classes, we're going to do traditional mixed martial arts with a little bit more of the MMA aspect to it," Dunahay said.
According to Dunahay, Lima Combat Sports will welcome all ages and levels, everything from advanced fighters to those with little experience.
"We have advanced classes like competition teams and we're more than welcome to those with no martial arts background," Dunahay said. "Beginning of February we're going to do children's classes, which are K-4 and another group 5-8 grade. The young ones will be more of a tumbling type of class just learning the basics."
Even though Lima Combat Sports just opened, Dunahay expects there to be a big interest with the people in this area.
"I think the variety of the different instructors we have, the pro Muay Thai fighter Brett Martin is coming up and doing a couple of classes a week, that will be a pretty big draw,” Dunahay said. “Not too many other people around here have that type of background. Nobody else mixes it up like we do."
Lima Combat Sports