Festus Ahorlu 5-0-0 is a Ghanaian professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Bantamweight. He has competed for MTK MMA, Contenders, Fightstar Championship and is making his debut for Cage Warriors June 25th.
Also represented by Alpha Talent Management. Martin Ireland and Alpha Talent Management have dedicated their time to making sure Competitors in the brutal yet exhilarating world of Mixed Martial Arts such as Festus are represented with care. Check out all the phenomenal work they are doing in the Mixed Martial Arts community here.
I’d like to start this off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me today Festus and also to congratulate you on your recent fight announcement for the stacked CW140 card.
“Thank you and thank you for wanting to interview me.”
I hope training has been going well in the build-up to your highly anticipated return to the cage?
“Training’s been going really well, I’ve recently just gone into full-time training. I quit my full-time job about a month back, this was way before the Cage Warriors stuff was announced. Training’s been going extremely well, a lot of stuff is falling into place. I’m able to do a lot more when it comes to Mixed Martial Arts, learning a lot more. It’s a nice build-up for Cage Warriors, everything is falling into place if not better, I’m just making the most of it as I can right now and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
I was lucky enough to be in attendance on your last walk to the cage back at the tail end of 2021 at Fightstar Championship 20. Taking on GBTT’s Mike Ekundayo and capturing Bantamweight gold in Crystal Palace to cap off the year must have been an amazing feeling?
“Yeah it was an amazing feeling, but it was also an amazing feeling for everyone that was involved in that camp considering everything that we went through. Especially with training and the weight cut, we had a lot of ups and downs but many downs. The only reason being is we had a lot to prove, we knew that we had a lot to prove and we were fighting Mike Ekundayo. Someone who’s just fought for the world title, we knew beating Mike would open the doors for a lot of things, we knew we could beat him and we knew we had to prove how to beat him. And that’s what I think I think I did, maybe even better. The feeling was a good one for everyone involved in the camp, we did well and we wanted everything to work I think. every session that we worked on had to work within sparing and it did as you saw In the fight.”
Your journey to CW has been one of the most explosive the UK fight scene has had the privilege of witnessing. Since turning pro back in 2018, you have deconstructed each and every opponent that has crossed your path.
From your amateur outings to your professional, there has been no shortage of highlight reels. My personal favourite is your all-out brawl with Diego Barbosa back at Contenders 31.Is there any particular bout that will forever stand out for you?
“I’m surprised that you said the Diego one was your favourite because that one I felt like I held back a little bit too much. I felt like I could have done more as I had the opportunity to do more. In my standout fight, I think I’m gonna have to go with my two losses. I’m gonna have to go with my Lone’er Kavanagh one in our Kickboxing bout and the Kingsley Crawford fight, damager fight. The reason being is because those fights of course I wasn’t dominant in them, I had to do stuff, I had to do more, I had to show something to push. Both of them pushed me and I learned from both fights. That’s why they stand out because I learned a lot from both fights. And look where they are now, look at both of them, look where they are both at now. You said one but I’m giving you two anyways lol, you can have two lol.”
Festus and Lone’r are 1-1 against each other in the fight game, defeating Lone’r on his MMA debut to go on to face off again in a K1 Bout. Both are now signed with Cage Warriors, could a trilogy be something for the fans to look forward to? Only time will tell, but what an explosive one that would be.
It was only a matter of time before Cage Warriors would be the destination for your array of talents in my opinion. What does it mean to you to be part of the biggest stages in Europe?
“Lol, It’s funny that you say that actually because people have been approaching me saying that I’m the most exciting announcement to have. Like when some people get signed to Cage Warriors it’s like “cool, it’s to be expected, he’s on Cage Warriors, ok.” But when my stuff went out, it went all over the place, got a lot of messages and stuff people were excited you could tell. My followers went up quite a bit as well since the announcement lol.”
“I don’t think I can answer that question just yet lol. Only because for me, in order for me to feel part of something I have to achieve something within it. So for example I’m going to be on Cage Warriors, I have to get the job done on June 25th. I have a lot of goals I want to achieve on Cage Warriors, those things are going to make me the face of Cage Warriors. The stuff that I want to achieve at CW will make me the face but only for a short amount of time. And that’s ok, I only need a short amount of time to be the face of Cage Warriors then I’m gone. When that time comes, when that happens, I’m gonna look back and I’ll be able to answer that question. I can say yeah, it felt good to be part of something big in Europe. When that day comes, ask me again and I’ll have the answer.”
Including yourself, so many talented competitors have been added to the CW roster in recent months. Which has opened up so many potential match-ups for you in the Bantamweight division. Looking forward, are there any competitors in particular that you are looking forward to potentially taking on as you embark on your CW career?
“Yeah, there are a lot of potential match-ups in this division, it’s a stacked division. It is going to be one of the most exciting divisions to watch in Mixed Martial Arts, it all depends on how this fight goes. If and when I win this fight in a good manner, of course, Cage Warriors will throw their bigger names at me. I would have to fight whoever they put in front of me which is fine. But right now there are a lot of people who are doing a lot more and heading towards that title. For example, Kingsley Crawford, who I’ve just recently started training with has got a three-fight win streak on Cage Warriors. On top of that, he’s coming off a big win in the Bantamweight division as well. I know he trains with Dominique Wooding, but if the belt was vacant you’d think that Kingsley would be next in line for the belt considering his most recent wins. I’ve only just opened the door so all I can do atm is sit down and wait. To just do what’s put in front of me, just take the fights and see what happens next.”
As previously stated, the London based organisation announced on May 13th your inclusion for one of the most anticipated cards when CW bring their warriors to Belfast.
Your debut will see you take on undefeated prospect Caolan ‘The Don’ Loughran. Both holding a mirror reflected pro record and a similar amateur journey, this is definitely one of the stand-out bouts of the night.
What do you make of Caolan in the build-up to your debut in Belfast on June 25th?
“Yeah, our ranked pro records do mirror each other but the names on the records don’t. I have two big names on my record, in fact, I had two within the same year. I think he’s a good fighter, he’s coming to fight he’s from Ireland so he’s coming to fight. Well done to Ian Dean for putting this match up together, to be honest, I knew I’d clash with him a while back and now we’re clashing on June 25th it’s happening. As I said, I’ve already got names on my record. He’s not for me to be honest with you, I’m not trying to sound big-headed but he really isn’t a name for me I’m a name for him, I’m a legit name for him. The pressure is on him, I’m coming to your home town in front of your people, your friends, your family I’m coming to you. You wait there, I’ll come to you, the big name is coming to you and you have to win. He probably is taking me lightly, that’s ok because of course he’s probably got a lot of yes man’s around him. I’m not taking him lightly of course not, I know what I have to do, I know what I’m getting myself into and I know where I’m going I know this. If you think deeply about it, who’s the pressure really on here? I’m your biggest fight and test and you’re doing this in front of your friends and family. Just think about it, I’m your biggest test, whatever test it is: a driving test, an English test, a math test you have a test. Now you have to do the test in front of your family and friends, worry. just let that sink in, I don’t have to do anything I just need to turn up.”
With a night of pure unadulterated organised violence at the SSE Arena fast approaching, many phenomenal bouts will have fans at the edge of their seats. Other than your inclusion on the night are there any announced matchups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing?
“I don’t know ya know, because Cage Warriors has so much happened it’s so difficult. I think I saw Scott Malone vs Andy Young, the main event seems pretty decent as well. To be honest with you, it’s my fight I’m looking forward to the most lol. I sound so cocky right now lol but it’s the one I wanna see. With three different shows, it’s kinda hard to keep up lol.”
Last but not least do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?
“Just stay tuned on June the 25th, I’ll show you a lot, I’ve got a lot to show to be honest with you I really do. Shout-out to the gyms that I’ve recently joined to train at. Shout-out to AEON BJJ, I’ve come back to my old roots. Eamon and Sam Gibbs, Shout-out to Wild Fighters, and Kickboxing with Daniel Sam for getting my fitness levels up. To New Wave Academy I’m there with Tommy and of course Shout-out to my management team at Alpha Talent Management Martin Ireland and Danny Beaver and to my training partners that are helping me within this camp. to BKK, I will be going to their scene don’t worry Jack I’m coming lol.”