MMAUK recently caught up with Adam Amarasinghe who won the UK’s only gold at the recent IMMAF European Championships.
AA: There were a lot of aspects that differed in this tournament from my normal competition, not only the physical layout of having to fight consecutively but just being out in a new country. I was waking up every morning around 5:30am to check my weight and get down to the weigh ins for 6:00 am so I had as much time as possible to refuel and relax. I was never ‘cutting weight’ but I had to maintain my weight over the week which was definitely another aspect to think about.
I entered the europeans with an open mind and adapted as and when I needed to.
MMAUK: Was it a higher level than what you had been facing?
AA: It was definitely a step up in competition, you could see that many of the guys I was competing against were well rounded and had a wealth of experience. This competition gave me the perfect platform to showcase my skills and show the level I’ve reached by taking that gold.
MMAUK: You were the only winner from the UK, how special was that?
AA: It was special for me just to be able to represent team UK in the first place. As the tournament went on and I was the only fighter from the team left it made me work even harder to make sure I brought the gold home. Before and even during the tournament it still hadn’t sunk in properly but I definitely had an overwhelming sense of pride when I was being presented with the medal.
MMAUK: Do you feel more could be done to promote these tournaments to amateur fighters?
AA: Definitely, we had a strong team going over to the Europeans this year but I know a number of amateur fighters in the U.K that have the potential to do really well in these competitions. Having spoken to them since, many of them didn’t know about these tournaments so more could definitely be done to promote it in the U.K. Hopefully following my recent success I’ll get them to head over to the next tryouts.
MMAUK: Does the UK lag behind Sweden and Bulgaria, who won 4 and 5 gold at tournament. What do you think is the difference between these countries competitors and the UK?
AA: From watching all of the fights both teams seem to have a good bunch of well rounded athletes. But I’m not completely sure if I’m honest, it could be to do with their training and facilities that are available to them or like I said previously they may have a lot more exposure within their national teams. I was told that the Swedish team has some kind of government scheme where their amateur athletes are sponsored to train, this is a great idea and would lead to a massive improvement in the standard of amateur MMA.
MMAUK: You have 9 amateur fights to date all undefeated, do you have more goals for amateur level or are you looking to move to the pro ranks?
AA: As it stands I’m still unsure about what my next move is. My brother is away with work at the moment so I’ll have that discussion with him when he gets back.
MMAUK: Have you been in any discussions with promoters?
AA: I’ve been in contact with a a few promoters but it’s difficult to make any decisions without knowing what direction I’m taking first. I’m in no rush at the moment.
MMAUK: Who do you admire most in MMA?
AA: I’d say I admire Demetrius Johnson the most. In mine and I’m sure many others opinion he is the number 1 pound for pound mixed martial artist. His game is so well rounded and is something I aspire to be like. If you were to show an absolute beginner what MMA was he would be the one to use as an example.
MMAUK: You train at NFM under your brother Dean Amasinger who has appeared on TUF and several promotions including Cage Warriors. How helpful has it been having someone with his experience to guide you in your career?
AA: I truly couldn’t ask for any more, the type of training that I receive on a day to day basis is second to none, ‘helpful’ is an understatement. Im blessed to have it all covered from every aspect of my fight game to mental preparation and weight cutting. Apart from the help from my other striking coach Kenny Moyston and S&C coach Jack Mcilvenney, its just me and my brother and we have a great system in place. Im excited to see where we take the next leg of our journey.
MMAUK: I recently interviewed your team mate Hardeep Rai, is there anyone else we should be looking out for from your gym?
AA: Yeah Hardeep has been a great addition to our team and I think that we’re mutually lucky that our paths have crossed, he’s making some serious movement at the moment with his pro debut on Brave. Recently the majority of the amateurs at NFM have gone pro but a stand out for me would be Gregor Jurcic, he’s had a few set backs with injuries but he’s worked his way back to health and is looking like a killer. Another team mate that’s been away at uni is Harry Shaw, when he makes his return I’ve got no doubt he’s going to make some noise in the amateur scene. He’s really well rounded but his striking is high level!
MMAUK: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.