Colby Thicknesse has trained in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) for eight years and has his sights set on following in the footsteps of current UFC featherweight champion and training partner Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski.

Thicknesse, as with many athletes around the world, has suffered a setback in his path to the top due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has definitely impacted all aspects of my training and fighting,” Thicknesse said.

“With gyms being shut I’m forced to do home workouts to maintain my current fitness level. I had plans of going to Rome and Kazakhstan to represent Australia for the Euros and World Championships.”

Before the pandemic kicked in, Thicknesse celebrated his biggest achievement, taking out the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Championships. He claimed gold after three gruelling fights against three international opponents.

‘Winning that tournament was very beneficial to show what I’m doing is working and I’m on the correct path to get where I want to get,” Thicknesse said.

He said his success is due to his long-term coach Joe Lopez, who helped train Thicknesse out of the freestyle fighting gym in Windang, NSW.

“He [Joe Lopez] has supported me ever since I first walked into his gym and has been with me every step of my journey so far,” he said.

Thicknesse said he appreciated UFC being permitted to continue through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I personally think it’s great that they are still providing opportunities for fighters to fight,” he said.

“Most people don’t know that fighters only get paid when they fight so a lot of us are without a current source of income. As long as they are following all the safety protocols and minimising the risk, I don’t have an issue with events still being able to run.”