Bournemouth teenager’s appeal for funding to become one of world’s best fighters

TIME TO BATTLE: Harlem Dillon, from Bournemouth, is seeking funding to attend the Fight Camp in San Diego

TIME TO BATTLE: Harlem Dillon, from Bournemouth, is seeking funding to attend the Fight Camp in San Diego

First published in News by

A BOURNEMOUTH teenager is seeking funding to fulfil his ambition to become one of the best fighters in the world.

Harlem Dillon, 18, has been training in different styles of fighting since the age of five, including kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu Grappling and Mixed Martial Arts fighting.

He now has the opportunity to attend the world-renowned Fight Camp in San Diego, America, run by world champion fighter Dean Lister, but needs funding to support his quest.

The ex-Portchester Sports College pupil now works for Poole-based Scramble MMA, which specialises in martial arts clothing and accessories, and trains six days a week at Ippon Gym and Thaiworks in Bournemouth.

He has also been competing in inter-club and grappling tournaments and, in his debut MMA fight in October, beat his opponent in just 49 seconds.

Harlem said: “When I turned 18 I had this huge impulse of hunger to fight and train all the time.

“In my opinion it isn’t a very rough or violent sport it’s all competition at the end of the day, that’s why I think I enjoy it so much – the idea of going into a cage and the outcome of the fight is just in my hands, no one else’s is amazing for me.”

Harlem is now asking for public support to raise the money towards travelling and accommodation costs for the Fight Camp, which will help him achieve his ultimate goal, to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and become a world champion.

Anyone who can help should visit harlemdillon.com.

Comments (19)

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4:06pm Tue 18 Feb 14

High Treason says...

He can't be serious, hoping others will pay for his dream trip to help his future short lived career. Others have uni fees to obtain their qualifications and work part time. Save up or borrow the money like others do.
He can't be serious, hoping others will pay for his dream trip to help his future short lived career. Others have uni fees to obtain their qualifications and work part time. Save up or borrow the money like others do. High Treason
  • Score: 23

4:13pm Tue 18 Feb 14

BoscVegas says...

I'll contribute all the money for 20% of future earnings.
I'll contribute all the money for 20% of future earnings. BoscVegas
  • Score: 7

4:41pm Tue 18 Feb 14

wintonwonder says...

If he was really that good then he would already be a professional / semi-professional at that age, with sponsorship. I guess he is just getting some free advertising because he hasn't been noticed any other way. Can't blame a lad for trying
If he was really that good then he would already be a professional / semi-professional at that age, with sponsorship. I guess he is just getting some free advertising because he hasn't been noticed any other way. Can't blame a lad for trying wintonwonder
  • Score: 7

5:20pm Tue 18 Feb 14

pete woodley says...

Are there any "meldrew " championships,i have been told by many that i am a expert moaner,and if they hold an event in Dubai or Las Vegas i would like to compete.Being an old age pensioner with an expensive wife to keep,my funds are low,and i would like assistance.
Are there any "meldrew " championships,i have been told by many that i am a expert moaner,and if they hold an event in Dubai or Las Vegas i would like to compete.Being an old age pensioner with an expensive wife to keep,my funds are low,and i would like assistance. pete woodley
  • Score: 2

7:06pm Tue 18 Feb 14

kalebmoledirt says...

BoscVegas wrote:
I'll contribute all the money for 20% of future earnings.
Go on Then give him a contract, we are all behind you
[quote][p][bold]BoscVegas[/bold] wrote: I'll contribute all the money for 20% of future earnings.[/p][/quote]Go on Then give him a contract, we are all behind you kalebmoledirt
  • Score: 5

7:13pm Tue 18 Feb 14

pete woodley says...

kalebmoledirt wrote:
BoscVegas wrote:
I'll contribute all the money for 20% of future earnings.
Go on Then give him a contract, we are all behind you
Must be a wealthy councillor.
[quote][p][bold]kalebmoledirt[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BoscVegas[/bold] wrote: I'll contribute all the money for 20% of future earnings.[/p][/quote]Go on Then give him a contract, we are all behind you[/p][/quote]Must be a wealthy councillor. pete woodley
  • Score: -2

7:53pm Tue 18 Feb 14

kalebmoledirt says...

How much ?
How much ? kalebmoledirt
  • Score: -2

9:03pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Thestickmeister says...

Unbelievable! It's tantamount to begging for no good cause. And if the martial arts shop he works for and gym he trains at won't sponsor him, why would he think anyone else will? Borrow it from friends and family or get a loan - just like every student has to.
Unbelievable! It's tantamount to begging for no good cause. And if the martial arts shop he works for and gym he trains at won't sponsor him, why would he think anyone else will? Borrow it from friends and family or get a loan - just like every student has to. Thestickmeister
  • Score: 19

9:51pm Tue 18 Feb 14

nickynoodah says...

First fighter I've seen with no thumbs you know
First fighter I've seen with no thumbs you know nickynoodah
  • Score: -4

10:02pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Baywolf says...

If the guy likes fighting so much he should go downtown every Friday Saturday night and get his free training there..lots of opportunities. But I wish him well on his dream everyone should have one..try the Olympic Sport foundation ..they been telling everyone to apply for grants..well they did after the event. Or the Duke of Edingburough Awards ..or even try the Lottery a Grant . Either way good luck ..be good to see you in action to
If the guy likes fighting so much he should go downtown every Friday Saturday night and get his free training there..lots of opportunities. But I wish him well on his dream everyone should have one..try the Olympic Sport foundation ..they been telling everyone to apply for grants..well they did after the event. Or the Duke of Edingburough Awards ..or even try the Lottery a Grant . Either way good luck ..be good to see you in action to Baywolf
  • Score: -3

10:34pm Tue 18 Feb 14

hooplaa says...

Got to be desperate times when you take the plunge and ring the echo hotline for help!! Good luck i expect your website will cost more than you will get from here!
Got to be desperate times when you take the plunge and ring the echo hotline for help!! Good luck i expect your website will cost more than you will get from here! hooplaa
  • Score: 1

11:28pm Tue 18 Feb 14

JP2014 says...

Why are people on here so negative
When a young lad has spent from the age of 5 training and wants to have a future doing something that he loves and works hard at. As well as going to work . If he was a bum sat on his **** , took drugs or was a thief then that would be fine for you all. It's no good getting on here slating him because he has already achieved more in his life than most of you jealous scum have
Why are people on here so negative When a young lad has spent from the age of 5 training and wants to have a future doing something that he loves and works hard at. As well as going to work . If he was a bum sat on his **** , took drugs or was a thief then that would be fine for you all. It's no good getting on here slating him because he has already achieved more in his life than most of you jealous scum have JP2014
  • Score: -3

5:47am Wed 19 Feb 14

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

JP2014 wrote:
Why are people on here so negative
When a young lad has spent from the age of 5 training and wants to have a future doing something that he loves and works hard at. As well as going to work . If he was a bum sat on his **** , took drugs or was a thief then that would be fine for you all. It's no good getting on here slating him because he has already achieved more in his life than most of you jealous scum have
Yeah, right.
[quote][p][bold]JP2014[/bold] wrote: Why are people on here so negative When a young lad has spent from the age of 5 training and wants to have a future doing something that he loves and works hard at. As well as going to work . If he was a bum sat on his **** , took drugs or was a thief then that would be fine for you all. It's no good getting on here slating him because he has already achieved more in his life than most of you jealous scum have[/p][/quote]Yeah, right. Letcommonsenseprevail
  • Score: -3

7:36am Wed 19 Feb 14

Thestickmeister says...

JP2014 wrote:
Why are people on here so negative
When a young lad has spent from the age of 5 training and wants to have a future doing something that he loves and works hard at. As well as going to work . If he was a bum sat on his **** , took drugs or was a thief then that would be fine for you all. It's no good getting on here slating him because he has already achieved more in his life than most of you jealous scum have
That's one perspective and I understand how you could make that assumption. However, I came from nothing and over 20 years built a company to the point at which I could retire by 40 years old. And I used PR along the way to promote my business. So I applaud his attempt at raising profile. However, I was hard on him as the angle is so poor - he's not a child in an unfortunate position who can tug on our heart strings to really feel for him... He hasn't had tragedy strike him which makes us wish to take stock of our lives and do something good for someone else.

And he's not offering a commercial return or relationship to a sponsor... The story doesn't state he's after a partner to benefit from promotional exposure. Or seeking funding with a return to the provider.

He's an adult who's begging to others for money to pay for flights and hotel to enter a fight!

Plenty of people have dreams - I certainly still do and I had a bucket-load at his age. The difference is that I didn't ask the public to help me achieve them by giving me money. I worked like a dog, I sought grants, I borrowed (from investors and the bank) and I achieved my dreams.

I suggest this boy does the same. And this advice isn't coming from 'jealous scum' it's coming from someone who knows that one has to create one's own successes and not rely on handouts from others. I'd suggest that a year's working and saving, alongside continual training will enable him to compete next year. What happened to patience being a virtue?
[quote][p][bold]JP2014[/bold] wrote: Why are people on here so negative When a young lad has spent from the age of 5 training and wants to have a future doing something that he loves and works hard at. As well as going to work . If he was a bum sat on his **** , took drugs or was a thief then that would be fine for you all. It's no good getting on here slating him because he has already achieved more in his life than most of you jealous scum have[/p][/quote]That's one perspective and I understand how you could make that assumption. However, I came from nothing and over 20 years built a company to the point at which I could retire by 40 years old. And I used PR along the way to promote my business. So I applaud his attempt at raising profile. However, I was hard on him as the angle is so poor - he's not a child in an unfortunate position who can tug on our heart strings to really feel for him... He hasn't had tragedy strike him which makes us wish to take stock of our lives and do something good for someone else. And he's not offering a commercial return or relationship to a sponsor... The story doesn't state he's after a partner to benefit from promotional exposure. Or seeking funding with a return to the provider. He's an adult who's begging to others for money to pay for flights and hotel to enter a fight! Plenty of people have dreams - I certainly still do and I had a bucket-load at his age. The difference is that I didn't ask the public to help me achieve them by giving me money. I worked like a dog, I sought grants, I borrowed (from investors and the bank) and I achieved my dreams. I suggest this boy does the same. And this advice isn't coming from 'jealous scum' it's coming from someone who knows that one has to create one's own successes and not rely on handouts from others. I'd suggest that a year's working and saving, alongside continual training will enable him to compete next year. What happened to patience being a virtue? Thestickmeister
  • Score: 16

8:30am Wed 19 Feb 14

GreenBanana says...

Well done Thestickmeister for what you have managed to achieve what you have during your life, unfortunately the majority of people do not have the skills or abilities to build a big business and retire early, and I am not entirely sure that fully sits with this story.
As for the other comments from the negative trolls on here, it is obviously a sign of the cutbacks in the care system, that the nurse has not been around with their happy pills.
Here is a teenage lad who wants to follow a career path to become a great fighter.
wintonwonder obviously has no idea what MMA is - it is Mixed Martial Arts - you have to master a number of different fighting types to be an MMA fighter, this takes time and cannot be achieved over night. I would suggest he is actually starting early as most MMA fighters that start are in their twenties.
He is working full time and training when not working, I suspect his gym and workplace are supporting him as much as they can, and directing him in the best direction.
As you all surely know, finance is currently hard to find, and sponsorship at this stage is probably not viable.
The echo has so many negative stories about young people, or about how they died through various misuses.
Here is a young local lad who is wanting to better himself, follow his dreams, which require dedication and determination.
And like the majority of our sports men and women (some of which you were happy to applaud at the olympics), he needs a little help.
Sports grants are like gold dust - so why not ask us, as his community, for a little support?
Well done Thestickmeister for what you have managed to achieve what you have during your life, unfortunately the majority of people do not have the skills or abilities to build a big business and retire early, and I am not entirely sure that fully sits with this story. As for the other comments from the negative trolls on here, it is obviously a sign of the cutbacks in the care system, that the nurse has not been around with their happy pills. Here is a teenage lad who wants to follow a career path to become a great fighter. wintonwonder obviously has no idea what MMA is - it is Mixed Martial Arts - you have to master a number of different fighting types to be an MMA fighter, this takes time and cannot be achieved over night. I would suggest he is actually starting early as most MMA fighters that start are in their twenties. He is working full time and training when not working, I suspect his gym and workplace are supporting him as much as they can, and directing him in the best direction. As you all surely know, finance is currently hard to find, and sponsorship at this stage is probably not viable. The echo has so many negative stories about young people, or about how they died through various misuses. Here is a young local lad who is wanting to better himself, follow his dreams, which require dedication and determination. And like the majority of our sports men and women (some of which you were happy to applaud at the olympics), he needs a little help. Sports grants are like gold dust - so why not ask us, as his community, for a little support? GreenBanana
  • Score: -9

9:01am Wed 19 Feb 14

cheeriedriteup says...

You should never take off of strangers ! My suggestion for support would be his own family !
You should never take off of strangers ! My suggestion for support would be his own family ! cheeriedriteup
  • Score: 5

9:01am Wed 19 Feb 14

BoscVegas says...

kalebmoledirt wrote:
BoscVegas wrote:
I'll contribute all the money for 20% of future earnings.
Go on Then give him a contract, we are all behind you
Althought it is the investment opportunity of a life time, I doubt he will give away 20% of his future life earnings for £1,500. He is better off getting a loan.
[quote][p][bold]kalebmoledirt[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BoscVegas[/bold] wrote: I'll contribute all the money for 20% of future earnings.[/p][/quote]Go on Then give him a contract, we are all behind you[/p][/quote]Althought it is the investment opportunity of a life time, I doubt he will give away 20% of his future life earnings for £1,500. He is better off getting a loan. BoscVegas
  • Score: 0

11:55am Wed 19 Feb 14

kangaroo_joey says...

JP2014 says...

Why are people on here so negative
When a young lad has spent from the age of 5 training and wants to have a future doing something that he loves and works hard at. As well as going to work . If he was a bum sat on his **** , took drugs or was a thief then that would be fine for you all. It's no good getting on here slating him because he has already achieved more in his life than most of you jealous scum have

dont make me laugh, jealous? I trained since I was a similar age to make it is a professional footballer and had to pay to go to America to try and earn a scholarship, did I ask the general public for money with no return, no I asked friends and family and doing things to earn sponsorship not just begging in the local rag for free money, I think this is most peoples problem with this article not that they are jealous.
JP2014 says... Why are people on here so negative When a young lad has spent from the age of 5 training and wants to have a future doing something that he loves and works hard at. As well as going to work . If he was a bum sat on his **** , took drugs or was a thief then that would be fine for you all. It's no good getting on here slating him because he has already achieved more in his life than most of you jealous scum have dont make me laugh, jealous? I trained since I was a similar age to make it is a professional footballer and had to pay to go to America to try and earn a scholarship, did I ask the general public for money with no return, no I asked friends and family and doing things to earn sponsorship not just begging in the local rag for free money, I think this is most peoples problem with this article not that they are jealous. kangaroo_joey
  • Score: 1

10:07am Thu 20 Feb 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

An 18 year old with a job. Huraah..
An 18 year old with a job. Huraah.. Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: 0

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