New gym mixes it up


Queenstown’s got a new home for mixed martial arts.

CrossFit Queenstown’s co-owner Steve Orr and Extreme Fighting Championship fighter Irshaad Sayed are opening their own gym, affiliated to Scotland’s Higher Level gym.

The new MMA gym, Higher Level Queenstown, will use half of CrossFit’s gym space in Gorge Road.

Orr, who hails from Scotland, says it’s going to bring a professional MMA aspect to the resort that’s not been here before.

“It’s a structure that’s got a proven track record.”

The Scottish affiliation came about through Orr being coached and befriended by James Doolan from the Scotland gym.

The pair will use the link as a sounding board for everything from curriculum to training advice.

It’s also a connection to larger international organisations.

The Scotland gym is home to top athletes like Stevie Ray, who is part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and won his lightweight division at UFC Belfast last weekend.

Higher Level Queenstown is not just for those who want to get in the cage.

Night-time sessions from 6pm to 7pm start next week. They’re mainly fitness-based but cover basic techniques.

Keen fighters are already doing morning sessions but will continue to train three times a week in the evenings.

Orr: “We’re a beginners to winners programme.”

The duo travel a lot for MMA.

Orr is off to Tahiti on Monday and Sayed is heading to Thailand in December.

They intend to bring the knowledge they learn about combat sports from overseas back to Queenstown.