Timana Tahu has put his footballing future in the hands of a man who wears link chains, threatens TV reporters and howls at the moon.
And, no, we’re not talking about Wayne Bennett.
Tahu is flying to the United States for a fortnight of intense training with hardcore UFC light-heavyweight star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
The dual international – signed on to play with Newcastle Knights in 2012 – will train exclusively at Rampage’s Colorado training base, the MusclePharm Training Facility.
One of the most advanced gymnasiums in America, the modern facility also boasts a sports laboratory, Octagon, astro-turf footy field and underwater running machine. A team of private nutritionists, physios, chefs, weightlifting and sprint coaches are also on site.
The trip has been organised by Tahu’s friend and Sydney MMA star James Te Huna.
Timana Tahu played seven games for Penrith in 2011 before being ruled out for the rest of the season with a pectoral tear.
Rampage and Te Huna forged a close bond after the controversial American visited back in February.
The pair have been planning for a while to train together in the lead-up to their respective bouts at UFC 135 on September 24.
Jackson is challenging Jon Jones for the light-heavyweight world title while Te Huna will fight on the undercard.
And now Tahu has been invited into camp, flying out with Team Te Huna and New Zealand MMA heavyweight Mark Hunt.
by Buford Balony