BRADFORD’S newly crowned English champion Owais Khan is wasting no time as he plots his route to the summit of the Muay Thai world.

Khan became English 73kg champion little over a fortnight ago when he defeated Merseyside’s Joe Swinnerton in a bruising five round encounter, but he will be back in action this Saturday (tonight) and is eager to impress again.

He has been matched with another up-and-coming talent in Newbury’s Erik Luis on the huge Muay Thai Grand Prix show at Sheffield’s Magna Centre, and he conceded that it was an opportunity that was too good to miss.

“MTGP is probably the biggest promotion in the UK right now so it’s a platform that you’d have to be crazy to turn down. The fight with Joe was tough but I didn’t pick up any injuries and it was always in my mind to back up again on this card.”

Although his new belt will not be on the line, there is still an element of risk in taking on the challenge presented by Luis with a 21-day turnaround, but Khan is characteristically unfazed.

“I’m not underestimating Erik,” said Khan. “He’s a hungry fighter by all accounts but this is all about building momentum. All the great fighters I admire were busy fighters and - if I’m going to achieve the goals that I’ve set for myself - I’m going to have to stay busy too. This is just another step on the road to where I want to be.”

Khan is joined on the card by his Abusin's Muay Thai team-mate Adam Hussain who is also backing up from the Fighting Machines card in Runcorn three weeks ago.

The 20-year-old prospect was involved in one of the fights of the night as he outpointed local favourite James Ojounru, and he is aiming to catch the eye again this weekend when he takes on another local fighter in Naj Ali.

“The last fight was a real confidence builder,” admitted Khan, a former student at Bradford Academy who is balancing his Muay Thai career with studying Business and Law.

"My last camp went really well, and I felt that my fitness when I fought James (Ojounru) allowed me to step up a few gears in the later rounds.

“As soon as (my coach) Alex (Abusin) offered me the chance to fight on this card, I jumped at it. It’s another opportunity for me to keep learning but it’s also a chance for me to catch the eye in front of some of the biggest names on the UK scene.”