PROFESSIONAL MMA fighter Brad Watchorn has joined Oxford City Stars.

The 32-year-old is the Oxpens club’s first signing of the summer and arrives after a spell away from ice hockey.

Watchorn has contested ten pro MMA fights and is known as a tough competitor across the two sports – something he is keen to continue at Stars.

He said: “I’ve been away from the game for the last few years now. However, it’s been on my mind to get back on the ice and I was buzzing when Oxford got in touch and it didn’t take long for me to decide to sign.

“I’ve played for Simon (Anderson) before and against Shane (Moore, head of hockey operations) and can’t wait to bring some size and toughness to Oxford and hopefully the odd goal. Bring on September.”

Head coach Simon Anderson believes Watchorn’s skillset will give Stars an extra dimension next season.

He said: “Grit and toughness was something I felt we needed to address for this season.

“The game has changed a lot and the old fashioned enforcer role has gone out the sport.

“However, some teams in our league have guys who are gritty, tough and can play the game too.

“I feel that Brad is in that mould and will certainly make other teams’ players play honest and think twice about taking liberties when he is around.

“Brad is a great guy, who is versatile and can play both forward and defence.

“I will be looking to Brad to bring his experience, be a leader in our room and use his undoubted ability to chip in with some decent numbers too.”

Watchorn began his career at hometown club Bracknell Juniors, before moving to Canada to play for Richmond Hill Rams and the Espanola Kings in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League.

He went on to represent Basingstoke Bison in the Elite League, the highest division in England, and had spells in the second tier with Bracknell Bees.

Watchorn has played for numerous other clubs including Invicta, Slough and Cardiff Fire.