Ben Stokes 5-3-1 is a Welsh amateur Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Welterweight division, representing Hamma MMA Academy. He has competed for Shinobi MMA Fighting Championships, Amateur Cage Battles, Eiko, Cage Warriors, World Combat Fighting Championship, Budo Fighting Championship and Full Contact Contender.
I’d like to kick things off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me today Ben and also to congratulate you on your recent fight announcement for the Full Contact Contender 30 card.
I hope training has been going well in the build-up to your highly anticipated return to the FCC cage?
“Training has been going well thank you, I have a great team around me, I’m getting what needs to be done, done!”
It’s been 2 and half years since fight fans got to witness you in action, the last time out being your explosive victory over Omar Javed back at BUDO Fighting Championship 43.
Your return was unexpectedly put on hold back in June at BUDO Fighting Championship 49 when you were set to take on undefeated Kyle Wilson. For the readers, could elaborate on what transpired and unfortunately put your return on hold?
“Besides fighting, I own two businesses which takes care of myself and my family. Unfortunately, working for myself means at times there’s not always someone else to help get the jobs done. This meant when preparing for BUDO 49 my training took a back seat, and I couldn’t give the 110% to it that I wanted to. I never stopped training but I couldn’t give it everything I wanted to and I couldn’t go into that cage knowing that.”
That’s understandable, ist what goes on outside of the cage that fight fans don’t really get to see.
With such a vast gap between bouts, the desire seems to have been reignited within you once more. What has prompted your desire to complete once again?
“It’s always been my plan to compete again and I’ve never doubted that. Covid got in the way over the last two years and I had to concentrate on making sure my businesses thrived.”
The warrior instinct never leaves, be great to witness you out there once again.
Inactivity doesn’t mean a warrior doesn’t necessarily mean complete distance from the brutal yet exhilarating world of Mixed Martial Arts.
For the readers and your fan base who have missed your explosive antics within the cage, could you elaborate on what you’ve been up to since your W in 2020?
“Since 2020 I’ve been focusing on improving my skills in the different disciplines, in the past year in particular I’ve put a lot of focus into strength and conditioning. I’ve met some great people who have taught me a lot. Outside of the world of MMA, I’ve been growing my businesses, working hard, raising my daughter and trying to relax every now and again.”
The wait is finally over, your return to action sees you take on title hopeful, Jamie Hayes. A win on September 10th will see you pick up where you left off.
What do you make of Jamie in the build-up to your scheduled meeting in the proverbial Lion’s den?
“I’ve got no bad words for the lad, we’re all in the same position making our way in the sport. I look forward to meeting him out there.”
Also, a W on the night would put you on a 3 bout win streak. If successful, would you potentially be looking to reach for a title opportunity with Adam Teh’s organisation?
“If the opportunity comes around to fight for a title within the FCC the answer would always be a yes.”
Without giving too much away what steps have you been taking to make sure your return is a victorious one?
“I’ve put a lot into my training for this fight, I’ve got a great team around me who have really pushed me. I’m excited to put my skills on show, it’s been far too long.”
Always fireworks at FCC, I can’t wait either, it’s gonna be one hell of a night.
An explosive night of pure unadulterated organised violence is set in stone in Bolton on FCC’s 30th card to date. Other than your inclusion on the night are there any matchups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing?
“I’m looking forward to the night as a whole, there are lots of great fights on the cards but in particular my teammates Mike Walters, Richie Lunt and Kyle Jones will be a great watch.”
I wish you all the best for your return Ben and I look forward to witnessing you out there.
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?
“Shout-out to everyone who’s helped along the way, my teammates, fans and my girlfriend who makes fight camps easier.”