I’d like to kick things off by thanking you for taking the time to speak with me again today Festus, and also to congratulate you on your upcoming inclusion to the CW 145 card.
“Thank you, I appreciate you interviewing me again.”
You’re very welcome man, it’s always a pleasure speaking with you.
As you prepare for your second walk to the CW cage, you have taken to training over in Sweden at the highly regarded All Stars Training centre.
How was the experience?
“It’s been a great experience, I’ve been there for a good six weeks, it’s been a good solid camp. It’s very different training and training partner wise, everyone on a different level, It’s just levels, different to what it’s like in the UK. Everybody just wants to grind and genuinely train, it’s hard training and that’s what I needed, it’s what I wanted and it’s what I got. It was a really good experience, mentally and physically.”
From what I’ve seen on your socials you’ve been putting in some hard graft over there.
“I had to get strong, I was getting manhandled man hahaha, I had to get strong, I had no choice. Muscle wise I’ve put on a bit of weight and I’m managing the weight pretty well, I’m gonna look pretty different when it comes to November the 4th.”
Good to hear man.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to make the trip to Stockholm to train there?
“Bring your victim’s face hahaha, it’s hard training. Be prepared to be beaten up, don’t think you’re just gonna go in there and everyone’s gonna be nice to you. I’m not trying to say it’s war all the time, just be prepared for the constant high intensity training. Every morning is intense because everyone is fighting basically every month so it’s constant, so make sure you’re really prepared for it really.”
Yeah, I’ve seen some videos of their training sessions online, it really is high level over there, one hundred percent.
“Yeah, compared to what I’ve experienced. The closest it can get to what I’ve experienced was when I trained with Titan, that’s when I was 16/17. I really enjoyed Titan, but I was only there like twice a week. Being at All Stars and being there every day, training everyday, I genuinely wanted to train. I got up every morning eager to train, very happy to train. Not that I needed to train, that I wanted to train. I think that’s a big difference in wanting to.”
Definitely, I’m glad you had a good experience there mate.
As previously stated, this will be your second appearance for Graham Boylan’s iconic promotion, your first being back in June at CW 140. Despite a valiant effort the night against Caolan Loughran, the night wasn’t yours.
Having time to reflect on the events in Belfast, what did you take from your collision with Caolan?
“I’ve taken a lot from the fight actually. A lot of people have asked me how I felt going into the fight, I felt like people were trying to make excuses for me. Saying I looked really small going in there size-wise, I looked really tired or that I wasn’t feeling myself. I have no excuse, I can’t take anything of than he was more than ready for the fight, I also thought I was ready for the fight. It wasn’t my night, he was just better that night. What I took from the night was that I needed to do more, that’s why we took the trip to Sweden to work on things there and work on the mistakes that we made.”
That’s a highly admirable response mate, learn from your mistakes and step up the pace to go again.
“I’m glad it happened at this early stage of my career, instead of it happening later on and having to go back to re-doing things. This happening now is good, I have a lot of time. I’m still young, I’m still developing, I’m still able to take in a lot of information and understand Mixed Martial Arts a bit more. It was an amazing experience and I was happy to be there. I felt ready and sharp but Caolan showed me levels.”
I look forward to witnessing what you have added to your game definitely.
Looking forward, you are set to bring your prolific arsenal to the capital. You will face off against yet another undefeated warrior in Faisal Malik.
What do you make of Faisel in the build-up to your scheduled meeting on November 4th?
“Hahaha, I wouldn’t call him a warrior. He only fought bums leading up to our meeting, as well as pulling out of his Cage Warriors debuts. To be honest, I dunno if he’s gonna make it to this one. I’m not gonna take anything from him, he’s another wrestler so I have a chance for people to see how i’ve improved on my takedown defence from my last fight. It’s a perfect match and a good match for me, if he can’t take me down that’s good, he knows he’s not gonna strike with me. He’s a good fighter, but he hasn’t fought anyone like me. He hasn’t fought in like two/three years and the game has changed, the levels of the game have changed a lot. Just like Caolan showed me levels, I’m gonna show him levels hahaha.”
With the home of your camp across sea’s, there is no doubt we will see a hungrier athlete at the Indigo at the O2.
What can the fight fans of London come to expect from you when that cage door closes?
“I don’t wanna be the kinda person that says you’ll see a new me, you’re gonna see the old me. In my last fight people said they didn’t see that and I kinda see where they’re coming from. You will see a prime Festus Ahorlu, I’m gonna be comfortable as I’ll be fighting in London again. You’ll see a lot of aggression, I’ll take him down just to make people say oh he can wrestle now haha. It’s gonna be an interesting fight for people to watch, I’m not taking anything away from Faisal, he is good, I respect anyone that is in the cage with me. It will be an exciting fight to be honest.”
When you’re fighting at home, you definitely see the effort you’re going to because of the home crowd.
“Yeah, it makes a big difference. Like what you saw from CW 144 in Italy, all the Italian fighters won their fights. They were all fighting at home and wanted to make history, they definitely made history. It makes a big difference man, the crowd makes a massive difference. You saw it happen to me in Belfast when I fought Caolan, then you see what I’m fighting at home when you saw me fight Diego Barbosa, even when I fought Mike Ekundayo in the same place. But yeah, back in London again, let’s see what I can do, let’s see me in my comfort zone and see what happens.”
Catching you against both Diego and Mike, I’m definitely looking forward to your return to London.
CW’s return to London is set to be one of the biggest card’s to date. Other than your inclusion on the night are there any matchups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing?
“Oh man, literally all of them, definitely all of them, they’re all so exciting. It’s a really good card and I’m gonna stay to watch all the fights.”
“Hahahaha, yeah. I told my friends to get there early and stick with the English crowd, because the Irish are coming for that one hahaha. It’s gonna be nuts, I’m excited for that man, it’s gonna be crazy.”
One hundred percent.
It’s been catching up with you again Festus, I wish you all the best for November and the remainder of your training.
“Thank you Aaron, it’s been good talking with you again. And thanks for doing another interview with me, hopefully we can speak more in the future.”
I’m up for that mate definitely.
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?
“To the fans, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. I’ve left no stone unturned. I’ve put my all into this fight and camp, you will see the old and new Festus Ahorlu. Shout-out to Danny Beaver and Martin Ireland from Alpha Talent Management for helping me out at my camp in Sweden, as well as sorting it out of course. Thanks to all my friends and family for always supporting me, I’m really gonna make it all worthwhile on November the 4th.”
Catch Festus and many more phenomenal warriors take centre stage at what’s set to be an incredible fight card on November 4th at the Indigo at the O2 in the Capital only on UFC Fight Pass.
Feature image by Dolly Clew