The two teenage Mixed Martial Arts champions from Cumbria with world glory in their sights

Two Cumbrian teenagers have qualified to represent England at the Youth Mixed Martial Arts World Championships.

Sophie Price and Oakley Hocking are students at West Lakes Academy in Egremont. They are the first fighters from their club Tapout Knockout, in Workington, to be selected for their country.

Sophie is 17 years old and lives in Seascale. She said: "I can't really put it in to words because it's such an amazing opportunity and it feels so rewarding and be able to show people what I'm made of and be able to show that people from Cumbria, we can do it too."

Oakley Hocking (left) and Sophie Price train together at Tapout Knockout MMA club in Workington Credit: ITV Border

Oakley is 14 years old and lives in Whitehaven. She said: "I started it when I was five, so I've been doing it for nine years this year. I've done other competitions, like nationals and worlds but I've never actually been abroad to do this.

"It's a really important thing that women and young girls need to be a part of these contact sports and show men that they're not the only ones that can do it, because women are just as capable really."

Mixed Martial Arts, known as MMA, is growing in popularity, particularly among women. That means it is becoming increasingly competitive. The girls' Dads are also coaches at their club and have helped them reach the highest level.

Sophie and Oakley go to school at West Lakes Academy in Egremont Credit: ITV Border

Sophie's father Alex emphasises the dedication required to reach the top of the sport.

He said: "Super proud of the girls. This is kind of the pinnacle.  They're drilling all the time but what you don't see is the other side of it so the weight training, the hill sprints, the nutrition to make sure they're eating the right food at the right time, the travel and then all the other recovery methods the girls have."

But there isn't any funding for MMA in England, so the girls' parents have helped raise more than £3000 to get the pair to Dubai for the competition in August.

Oakley's father started a fundraising page to help cover costs.

Sophie Price (left) and Oakley Hocking have achieved success at regional and national level

He said: "Things like the flights and accommodation, everything's got to be paid for by yourself and then obviously they're not allowed to travel without a guardian. So we've been trying to raise as much money as we can that way."

The girls spend a lot of time training together and say it means a lot to be heading to the competition together, although they will fight in different categories.

Sophie said: "To have her by my side because we train so hard together and it's nice to take a friend. We both know what it's like. We both know the feeling and how it feels to fight so to share those similarities it's amazing."

They are two of Cumbria's finest young fighters, ready to take on the world.