Port Macquarie's Matt Bruce has won his first Australian title in Brisbane.
It's a feat that's been six years in the making.
The Rogue MMA fighter claimed the ISKA Light Heavyweight Australian Muay Thai championship when he defeated Davey Mitchell on November 18.
Bruce said he was overcome with emotion after the fight.
"The emotions caught me, I teared up a bit afterwards," he said. "A lot of hours behind the scenes went into that moment.
"Between work, training and sacrificing time away from friends and family to put in the effort... that title made it all worth it."
Bruce thanked the community for their support and paid special tribute to his coach Alex Urbina and partner Kellie Bruce.
"Alex brought in a lot of strength and conditioning this last year which has changed my whole cardio, and Kellie has just been my rock throughout this whole journey.
"It's been a combination of a group of people... who have supported me and gotten the best out of me."
It wasn't all smooth sailing for Bruce in the lead up to the championships. With only a few days to go, his first opponent pulled out of the fight at the last minute.
While Mitchell was able to step into the ring instead, it was with the request that the fight would be changed from kickboxing to Muay Thai and the opponent would compete up a weight class.
"It was disappointing to have the first fighter pull out and then have it being changed from kickboxing to Muay Thai, but I didn't let it affect me," Bruce said. "I just wanted to win the title in any way I could.
"I was confident in the training and preparation that we had done, and I was confident that we could win this, even with the changes."
While his coach Urbina was disappointed with the last-minute changes in the lead up to the fight, he said the mindset to win the title hadn't changed.
"I wasn't happy with the changes, but I knew how much he had his heart set on an Australian title win so we went ahead," he said.
Urbina, who attended the game with his son and fellow coach Leandro Urbina, said they had to change the game plan after the first round of the fight.
"We had to alter our game plan a little bit in the second round because the guy came out really hard. I had a chat with my son about how we should deal with that.
"With a few strategy changes, we managed to get the upper hand."
Bruce said he was now focused on winning an Australian title in kickboxing.
"We're back to the drawing board on winning an Australian title in kickboxing... which was our original goal," he said. "Hopefully, we can try and look at getting a world title after that."
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