Balázs Kiss: Hungary will show quality at World Championships

IMMAF European Open silver medal winner Balázs Kiss believes that Team Hungary will put on a strong display of quality later this year at the IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA. Following the light-heavyweight’s silver medal achievement at the inaugural European Open last November, the Hungarian Mixed Martial Arts Federation (HMMAF) will oversee a 2016 National Championships in Budapest on April 16 (click HERE for more information) to determine who will progress to represent the nation this year on the IMMAF international platform. “I think and know from my own experience that it’s really tough to qualify through the HMMAF,” Balázs told IMMAF.org, “so if the Federation sends out athletes to the World Championships they sure will be representing a quality team. “The HMMAF is a very well organised National Federation and as an athlete I was satisfied every time with their efforts. I’m especially thankful to György Marián, the President of the National Federation, who helped me a lot to be in the competitions and later represent Hungary at the IMMAF European Open Championship. Also lots of thanks to my coach Bernát Koczka who is training me daily and stands behind me. Thanks to HMMAF, Hungary is now linked to the international platforms and it helps a lot to develop this sport and also keep it clean.” At the 2015 IMMAF European Open Balázs ascended through the rounds with an imposing physicality. He earned a unanimous decision victory over Sweden’s Robin Enontekio, followed by an arm-bar submission win against Irishman Dillon Murphy en route to the November 22nd Championship final against SBG Ireland product Ben Forsyth. Despite being the sole Hungarian athlete, and with little spoken English, Balázs expressed how he felt an encouraging sense of comradery among his fellow athletes. “For me it was a dream come true when I competed in the European Open Championship last year in Birmingham,” he explained. “I was the only athlete from Hungary so was very proud to represent our country alone between all those good fighters. It was also funny because I felt like everybody was supporting me from the other teams. It was a really good experience.” Having maintained a strong control through a large portion of the gold medal bout, the Hungarian was eventually defeated late in the second round as Forsyth rallied to force a TKO stoppage and take the gold back to Ireland. When asked what he had learnt from his time as an amateur competitor, the Hungarian contender answered; “This is a very complex question, but two things fore sure: it is not always the better and stronger athlete who wins and there is always space to improve your skills.” Balázs took the opportunity to turn professional shortly after the European Open. Comfortable from his experience as an international amateur he was attracted by the intrigue of professional possibilities. However, he admits the pro divisions presented a financial lure, since an exceptional amount of patience and dedication is required to succeed in Amateur MMA while the sport is not government funded in every nation. Balázs nevertheless set himself a target and invested everything it took to succeed on IMMAF’s amateur platform, and hopes that future contenders will likewise remember to invest in themselves. “What I was personally missing was the financial resources as it is almost a bigger challenge to raise finance for an international championship than it is to qualify as an amateur athlete. I hope the situation will improve in the future but the young guys out there should not stay home just because of this factor.” Balázs was victorious in his professional MMA debut as the great Hungarian prospect claimed victory with a first round rear-naked-choke submission under the banner of notable Croatian promotion Final Fight Championship. Despite the victory, Balázs remains aware that he is still young in his life as a mixed martial artist, and does not yet look at himself as a fully fledged professional. For him there is still much to learn having left the amateur scene at an early stage. “I don’t rank myself as a professional fighter yet. In our region nowdays there are more and more interesting possibilities in the pro division which of course motivated me to compete. I felt myself ready to put the smaller gloves on and get into deep water. It was actually quite hard because my pro match was just one week after the IMMAF European Open and I also had to cut weight as we agreed with the FFC to fight in the Middleweight category. But I succeeded and won with a submission so we can say that the ‘kick off’ was good.” Written by IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran For more information on the HMMAF visit www.mmapremiumliga.hu HMMAF event      

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