MIKE Hales will be rubbing shoulders with some of MMA’s biggest stars after deciding to swap Canvey Island for Dublin.

The 22-year-old – who has won all 10 of his fights so far – will be moving to Ireland at the end of the month in a bid to secure more success.

And the switch will see him training alongside UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor under the guidance of his coach John Kavanagh.

“John is a legend, having fighters like Conor McGregor, so I can’t wait to get out there and work with him and all the other top guys there,” said Hales.

“Just before Christmas I went out to Ireland with my uncle and trained at the SBG gym, where they are based, when I was there.

"I spent the week there with them all and at the end of it John asked me if I wanted to come and be part of the team, which was great to hear.

“I jumped at the chance of being able to train with them and this will really help me progress my career.”

Hales will train full-time at his new base and feels dedicating more time to his fighting will enable him to reach the top of the sport sooner than he originally expected.

“I feel good about moving out there, the training will be great and it’s going to benefit me tons too,” said Hales.

“There’s no distractions for me either over there and the facilities are brilliant as well.

“The gym is huge and it has everything you need.

“I move at the end of January and I’ve just managed to sort a place out over there so everything is organised and I’m looking forward to it.”

But Hales - who trains at the SS8 gym on Canvey - also knows it will be tough to leave Essex.

“It’s going to be hard leaving home,” said Hales.

“Everything here is luxury and quite easy as I still live at home so I’m going to have to sacrifice that.

“However, I’m sure it won’t be too much of a problem and I’m mainly focusing on all the quality training I’ll be doing. Being around so many quality people will be huge for me but I need to say a massive thank you to everyone who has got me this far because without them none of this would have been possible.”

Hales was particularly keen to thank his sponsors Debut Saloons and Woods Paving and he hopes to return to the cage in the next couple of months.

“I will be fighting in March time,” said Hales.

“I can’t disclose where but it’s a big contract I’ve just signed for a big promotion, so the future looks bright.”