2015 European Open gold medallist Ben Forsyth to turn pro in February


European Open Light Heavyweight Gold medallist Ben Forsyth has announced he will be turning professional in February. Forsyth’s first professional outing will see him face Luke ‘The Animal’ Taylor at ICE Fighting Championship in Liverpool on February 20. Forsyth represented the Irish Amateur Pankration Association (IAPA) at the 2015 IMMAF European Open Championships in Walsall, England to win the -93.0 kg medal, after beating Hungary’s Balaze Kiss in the final. The Irish starlet stated that his success during the Europeans last November played a big part in his decision to turn pro,  alongside consultation with IAPA President and head coach John Kavanagh. “Winning Gold at the European Open Championships played a huge role in my decision to turn professional,” said Forsyth. “After my performances in those fights, myself and IAPA coach John Kavanagh agreed that now is the time.” The SBG Ireland fighter stated he would have loved to competed at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships in Las Vegas this summer, but admitted that at his point in development, he feels he has the right amount of experience to move up in rank. “If I was a bit earlier on in my amateur career, I would love to have competed at the World Championships. These competitions are the perfect testing ground for amateurs to really get a sense of themselves, and how they react to pressure and to adversity. As I was a bit further on and have competed in many other combat sports since my early childhood, I made the decision that I made.” On whether the choice of opponents at professional level was a factor in his decision-making, Forsyth commented: “It’s a common theme with some of the most successful fighters but I really pay no attention to my opponents. I worry about what I can control. My thoughts, my work ethic, my development. Thinking about anything that’s out of your control is counterproductive.” The Irish ‘Spydermonkey’ becomes the second fighter from the 2015 Europeans, after the UK’s Jack Shore, to announce they are turning professional, again showing the level of depth and talent in IMMAF international tournaments. “It’s a combination of a few things really. Having a good amount of experience in combat sports, being more mature as a Mixed Martial Artist and feeling that I’m coming into my prime now. All of these factors and a few more led me to think now is the time.” Make sure to keep following IMMAF every week for #WhereNowWednesday to find out more about the best of IMMA alumni. You can follow the IAPA on Twitter @IAPAMMA

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