IF you happen to be walking down Greengate Street on a weekday evening and wonder what that music emanating from the top floor of Furness Heath Studio is, then you might be surprised to learn it is Mongolian heavy metal.

The reason for that is because it is Barrow Mixed Martial Arts head coach Bob Cassidy's favourite music to train to and has become the soundtrack for when he is putting the club's fighters through their paces as well.

Training has been ramped up in recent weeks in preparation for this Saturday's sold-out show at Manhattan's in the town, following on from the packed out event at the same venue last November.

Eight Barrow fighters will be among those taking on both domestic and overseas opponents on a card which features a mix of MMA, caged boxing and kick-boxing contests, with Cassidy – who has been putting on shows since 2009 – delighted to see the club's continued growth.

“We've got quite a few on, so it should be good,” said Cassidy. “We've got some fighters coming over from County Cork in Ireland, we've got quite a few boxers coming from a team in Blackpool and ones coming from all over.

“As Barrow MMA, we're now making inroads and people are starting to recognise us, and see these guys have got potential.

“Especially the likes of Ash McCracken and Ryan Thomas, they're really good MMA lads – not just good kick-boxers or good grapplers, good all-rounders.”

Those in action range from 13-year-old Troi Gidney, taking part in his second X-K1 bout, to Leigh O'Donnell aiming to claim the cagey boxing title.

McCracken is duking it out for a belt again this time, stepping up from 61kg to 66kg after being beaten by Nathan Hayward in their contest for the British title last November.

A win would see him join Thomas, who took just 11 seconds to beat David Adams last year, as a current champion at a club whose title-winning legacy stretches back to Matty Wall winning the North Area title in the early days.

“Ash's fight was so close with a world-class opponents,” said Cassidy. “He's got another world-class opponent flying in from Ireland in Alan Connolly, so let's hope he can do it this time and bring the title back.

“Both of them will have belts then and can defend them at the end of the year or early next year.

“We've been making waves for a little while, but it's getting that mainstream now people are recognised guys and wanting to have them on the shows, which is great for us.”

Cassidy is already planning for Barrow MMA's next show later this year, which is set to be held at Hoops Basketball Centre and could well feature even more fighters from across Europe and further afield.

Such is the club's stature already, however, that British MMA icon Ian 'The Machine' Freeman – the first fighter from these shores to compete in UFC – is bringing some of his charges down from Sunderland for this Saturday's show.

“There are some really class, quality shows in the North West of England and the whole of the area is known throughout the country for providing some really tough guys and really tough fighters,” said Cassidy.

“We're just doing what everyone else in the North West is doing and providing our mettle a bit.”