A plea has been made to Government to lend its support to the Barbados International Combat Sports Festival. Jason Fraser, president of the Caribbean Combat Sports Association, called yesterday on the Ministers of Sport and Tourism to assist in the staging of the two-day martial arts competition which kicks off on March 30. Speaking at a news conference at the Blue Horizon hotel, Fraser, a Trinidadian, said the event was a perfect opportunity where sports tourism could be developed through martial arts. “What I am here for today mainly is to call on the Barbados Government and its beloved Prime Minister to come out and support this event,” he added. “For this event to be a success of the magnitude that we want it to be, we will need the support of the Barbados Government [inclusive of] the Minister of Sports and the Minister of Tourism.” Fraser said that with members of the international press expected to be present, and with the event being aired on ESPN, it was definitely a worthwhile venture. He said that once the Government and corporate Barbados came on board and assisted with their expenses, the event which is slated to be held at the Barbados Community College’s gym would be free to the public. Ten countries, including Canada, Suriname, Martinique and Guyana will be taking part in the competition, which will feature some of the region’s best Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), grapplers and kickboxers. Barbados’ hopes will be carried by MMA champions Corey Weithers and Renaldo Stuart. Weithers, who holds the light heavyweight titles in both the Caribbean Fight League (CFL) and the Caribbean Kickboxing Grappling Sanshou Federation (CKGSF), had a serious warning for his contenders. “I won’t be looking for my fight to go to the referee’s decision. I will be looking to end it early and come away with a clean victory,” he told reporters. Stuart, the CFL middleweight champion said that his training had been coming along as planned and he would be ready on fight night. “My ground fighting is good, so I just have to work on my stand up game now. I’ve been doing a lot of cardio training as well so I will be fully prepared when the time comes.” The Trinidadian pair of Andre “The Beast” Fraser, who is a world bronze medallist and Dwayne Hinds, the West Indies Fighting champion, are also due to compete along with several other national champions.