MMA fighters Lexi and Leon Walton sponsored by ARORA Clothing
A 13-year-old mixed martial arts fighter from Blackwood who trains alongside her younger brother prepares to compete in international competition.
Lexi Walton, 13, and her brother, Leon, 10, have been involved in the world of mixed martial arts – more commonly known as MMA – since the age of four.
MMA fighters Lexi and Leon Walton. Photo: Jack Bird for ARORA clothing
And now, Lexi is preparing to compete in the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) championship later this year.
Father Mark Walton said, “As a father, I wanted to protect Lexi – I wanted her to be able to defend herself, so she started kickboxing.
She spent a few months kickboxing, before switching to Thai boxing to defend herself at Abertillery.
Mr Walton said: “Lexi saw other people compete and she wanted to. She went about it like a duck in water, winning her first Thai fight – her teacher said she had “raw talent”. ”
Later, younger brother Leon got involved and started jujitsu. He is now an MMA fighter, participating in Muay Thai boxing and Brazilian jujitsu.
Lexi – who knows Muay Thai boxing, jujitsu, wrestling, and boxing – has shone in MMA fights. She won her first game in 33 seconds according to Mr. Walton and her second game was a draw.
She was invited to fully train at a gym in America at the age of 16, and her dream is to someday compete in an MMA cage fight.
“It’s on his mind constantly,” Mr. Walton said.
“Some people think it’s wrong, they don’t mind going in the cage but they’re not locked up.
“Cage combat is the safest [fighting] sport there and the referee will stop it immediately if something is wrong.
“I love my children more than everyone else. If they are well trained and that is what they want to do, I will support them.
“They are both dedicated and they love what they do. I have never stayed true to anything, so I don’t know where their dedication comes from. I tell them I’m so proud, I wish I had had their enthusiasm and dedication. ”
The pair were recently sponsored by Newport-based ARORA Clothing, who are joining Unique Fitness in Blackwood and the Valley of Kings School of Mixed Martial Arts in supporting them.
ARORA Clothing Founder Tom McNulty said, “I didn’t hesitate to say yes to Lexi and Leon’s sponsorship.
“As a young local sports enthusiast, I felt inspired by their stories and wanted to be part of their journey. Mark and his partner Kate have spent a fortune on lessons and equipment, which shows how much they believe in themselves.
MMA fighter Lexi Walton. Photo: Jack Bird for ARORA clothing
“When I met Leon and Lexi, they were incredibly motivated and passionate about the sport. It really opened my eyes and I realized that I wanted my brand to be more than just clothes – I want it to mean something, to help others. , and giving back to the community.
“This is just the start, I am now sponsoring my local football team – Newport Saints – thanks to Leon and Lexi. Something like this can mean the world to others and I hope it inspires other people. ”
MMA fighter Leon Walton. Photo: Jack Bird for ARORA clothing
Lexi was scheduled to compete in the IMMAF Youth World Championships last year but – due to the coronavirus pandemic – this has been postponed. It will take place later this year in Sofia, Bulgaria.
You can follow Lexi’s progress on her Facebook page and follow Leon’s progress on her Facebook page.