A FATHER who wanted to lose weight so he could keep up with his three daughters lost more than four stone in just eight weeks while training for a charity mixed martial arts bout.

Father of three Dave Baron weighed 18 stone 5lbs before he started training for the Ultra MMA charity bout, but impressively managed to drop down to just 14 stone.

The 35-year-old said he had been so unfit he was unable to run around with his daughters Scarlet, four, Lacey, six, and seven-year-old Lyra.

He attributes his transformation to the eight weeks of free training Ultra arranged at Blackburn Predators Gym.

Now he says he can run for much longer and even his wife loves the new look, stating that he was more like a giant Teletubby before.

Mr Baron, a rubber moulder for the Freudenberg Group, said he wanted to do get fit so he could keep up with his kids who were running circles around him and he couldn't keep up.

After his training he faced his competitor Danny McGraff at Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa for the Ultra MMA event.

He managed to raise £300 for Cancer Research UK on the evening and, even though he lost his bout,described the experience as 'absolutely brilliant'.

Those taking part are asked to sell tickets for the show and raise at least £50 for Cancer Research UK.

So far, Ultra Events - the company behind the event - has raised a staggering £19 million for Cancer Research UK.

Mr Baron, who lives on St Hubert's Street, Great Harwood, said: "I have three daughters and one day realised I was really struggling to keep up with them because I was overweight.

"So doing the Ultra MMA bout was about losing weight and doing something for a good cause.

"I wanted to raise money for Cancer Research UK because my aunt had breast cancer and I think they really do a lot of great work.

"It's an extremely important charity, and they help lots of people, so I think it's great to help in any way I can.

"Thankfully my aunt was given the all clear, but I wanted to do something for them anyway.

"I had never tried MMA so I wanted to give that a go because it looked like awesome fun.

"I also knew I could lose some weight and try to improve my health in the process. Life is too short and I want to be around as much as I can for my kids.

"The training was tough, but it was just great fun meeting new people and watching my health improve.

"I could feel myself getting slimmer every week and being able to run for longer, which is good when your constantly running after the kids.

"Even the wife loves the new look, on our wedding day I looked like some sort of giant Teletubby.

"The instructor would push you to the limits and then further, but you knew it was for your benefit.

"I would do two one hour sessions a week with the Ultra MMA guys and another one hour session with a private trainer.

"And I also completely changed my diet. I was eating takeaways nearly everyday before I started training - it wasn't good.

"I worked strange shifts, so when I would get home I couldn't be bothered to cook so I would just order a takeaway.

"Now we never have them. We started eating food that's good for a balanced diet. We don't even have sugar or salt in the house anymore.

"That really helped with shedding the pounds during training and put me in better shape for the event.

"The night was absolutely brilliant, the announcer was fantastic, everything about it was great.

"I thought about coming into the ring with I Won't Give Up by Tom Petty, but decided to go with Stronger by Kanye West, which worked for me!"

Having enjoyed the experience so much, Mr Baron said he was now signed up as a reserve for the next event because he wants to do it again, while his wife Anna, 30, is now considering trying it as well.

Jon Leonard, of Ultra Events, said: "What a fantastic effort by Dave and it is brilliant that taking part inspired him to get fitter, change his diet and lose weight as well as raising funds for such an important charity."

That event is being held at the Mercure on October 27.

Training for the following event, on June 16 2020, begins on April 20 next year.