MUSCLES, action and a whole lot of straining is coming to Southampton as the city hosts the Ultimate Strongman World Championships for the very first time.

The iconic strong person competition will see competitors from across the globe descend on Southampton to do battle.

The current world champion Laurence Shahlaei visited St Mary’s Stadium, where the tournament will be held, ahead of the summer games to lay down the gauntlet to his rivals.

Southampton was chosen to host the competition following the success of the Summermania show at the Southampton Football Club stadium last year.

Shahlaei, also known as The Warrior, is the current UK’s Strongest Man as well as the Ultimate Strongman World Champion.

And he believes when he visits Southampton on June 3, it will be one of the toughest tests of his ten-year long competing career.

He said: “I’m the defending champion and ready to give it my all.

“At the moment I think the UK has the biggest and best fan base for Strongman in the world, it’s really on a high.

“I love the crowds at big one day events and this is the biggest there is. The competition is immense but I’m determined to hang on to the title.”

As well as the competition, people will also see a 400kg world record tyre flip record attempt from athlete Aaron Page and a world record 150kg dumbbell attempt from Polish heavyweight Mateusz Kieliszkowski.

The Ultimate Strongman World Championships was founded by five-time UK’s Strongest Man Glenn Ross and sports tv producer David McConachie.

It has a longstanding relationship with Channel 5 television.

Ross said: “This is the second World Championship and over the last 12 months we have had a rigorous qualification process that has resulted in one of the greatest line-ups ever assembled for strongman competition.

“Having Laurence here to defend his title is the icing on the cake and with at least two world record event attempts the south coast is in for something quite special.”

Tickets are priced from £16.58 and available online.