BEN Whitehead has climbed in to the world top 10 rankings in the mixed martial art of Sport Sombo.

The Burnley fighter took part in the World Championships for Sport Sombo and Combat Sombo – which is widely regarded as the hardest of the ‘jacket’ sports.

Combat Sombo is a full contact striking sport and is a combination of Russian wrestling and Japanese martial arts and translates as self defence without weapon.

Whitehead fights out of Burnley CombatSombo which a member of the British Sombo Federation, the UK governing body for any Sombo styles.

He was a part of the GB squad that flew out to Belarus and competed in the heavyweight group.

Whitehead was up against some of the best fighters in the world – with the sport’s most famous competitor Fedor Emelianenko in the same category.

He trains under Allan Clarkin at Burnley CombatSombo based at St Peters Centre.

“Ben was up against Martin Marinkov from Bulgaria, the man who beat Fedor last year,” said Clarkin. “He gave a very good account of himself and both men had scored points.

“Ben went in to attack but was countered by the more experienced fighter who caught him in an arm bar.

“The Bulgarian went onto win bronze medal but Ben is now ranked ninth in the world in Combat Sambo.

“Not bad for a first timer.”

For more information on Burnley CombatSombo, contact Allan Clarkin on 07931 635447.