By Caoilte de Barra
Ioan Harris has had quite the hectic two weeks. He’s currently set to represent Wales in the welterweight final of the 2022 European Championships. However, last week looked a little different when he was completing his masters degree in computational engineering.
The mathematics graduate had to get everything out of the way last week in order to compete without the burden of his dissertation, which was due today.
“My dissertation for my masters was meant to be handed in today. And I had to write my whole dissertation before coming out here and you know, like any uni student knows that like you kind of leave it late. I’m a personal leader to the last saying cause I need that stress to build up to actually do it. So, I had to get that done last week and I was really focused on that.So coming out here was actually a relief and when I submitted that.”
Ioan doesn’t plan on pursuing a career working nine to five and sees it all as a back-up in case MMA doesn’t work out.
“I kind of done a degree and I’m like, no, I don’t even want anything to do with it. But it’s always there, it’s always there to back me up, see if something happened and I couldn’t fight then like I always got that to back me up.”
Training out Two Four Martial Arts, Ioan has proven to be one of the top welterweight athletes around at this competition. He has won four bouts in as many days, submitting two of his opponents and will face the highly touted Patrick Habirora in tomorrow’s finale.
For Ioan, he has a winning spirit. He’s not solely driven by medals, it’s about testing himself at the highest level. Especially after all the sacrifices he’s made to get here.
“It means a lot. I kind of learned like, it’s just like any belt that you have, it’s just a piece of metal and the medal, it’s just a piece of metal. But like, I wanna go out there and I wanna win. Gold would be awesome, that’s what I’m going out there for. But I wanna beat this guy and win.”
“I gave up a lot of stuff to do this. So like, you know, I don’t spend time with my girlfriend as much. I don’t spend time with my family or out drinking with my friends. I have to concentrate on training, so it’s pretty intense.”
Watch the 2022 IMMAF European Championships live and exclusively from Bella Italia Efa Village in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy) from 27 September and 1 October 2022 at immaf.tv.