SBG amateur Forsyth to campaign for CM Punk debut slot


CM Punk’s signing with UFC has caused a plethora of debates across the landscape of MMA. Viewed as the pinnacle of the sport, the gold standard, ‘Punk’ is likely to walk straight on to the main card of one of their events.

A man who has had no experience with MMA bar some casual jiu jitsu, the fuel for the arguments against his inclusion are quite obvious.

Be that as it may, the former WWE champion has obvious selling power – something UFC would be silly not to capitalise on from a business point of view. For his debut, UFC have proposed that the Chicago native will meet an opponent of the same experience.

Given that, amateur middleweight Ben ‘The Spyder Monkey’ Forsyth feels a mixture of it being the right time for him to make the transition to pro, and the fact that circumstances for Punk’s meeting are too good not to pursue, have given him an incentive to campaign to be the man to introduce the 36 year old to MMA.

“I feel like it’s a mixture of both things,” said the SBG man. “I feel like it’s about time for me to go pro anyway, and an opportunity to face someone in this kind of scenario doesn’t come along every day.

“I’m in line to fight for a title on March 7 at Shinobi which will be in Liverpool, and after that I think it could be time for me to make that step up. It will be my sixth amateur fight and I really doubt CM Punk will be ready before that anyway.

“This is something that I’ve already said to John Kavanagh and he thinks I’ve lost it,” laughed the rangy middleweight. “To be fair, he always embraces this kind of stuff and I know UFC won’t commit to an opponent that has fought before, from what I’ve heard they want it to be the opponent’s pro debut too.

“They’re going to have to get someone and SBG is one of the most recognised gyms in the world at the moment. It’s all eyes on us so it might give me a better chance.”

SBG may be one of the most talked about gyms in the world of MMA at the moment, but will that bolster or hinder Forsyth’s chances of capturing the bout?

With a substantial amount of money sure to be generated from the outspoken WWE proponent’s debut, is it too much of a risk to pit him against someone from a gym as successful as Forsyth’s?

To add to that, the Irishman has previously competed in K-1 bouts. He may be simply too experienced for this particular UFC task.

“That’s the thing, I really don’t know,” admitted ‘The Spider Monkey’. “Will they look at the fact that I have competed in these different combat sports? Will they look at the amateur fights or will they just kind of say look, he’s literally got no professional experience?

“I think it’s far more likely that they put him in against me than someone like Cathal who he’s been back and forth with. They wouldn’t allow that, I think we all know what would happen there.

“You see a lot of people trying to say that UFC have so much invested in the Irish that they’re letting people into the organisation that wouldn’t be there if they weren’t from the country.

“The fact I’m Irish could be positive or negative I suppose, but he has to fight someone. I think because of the timing of it, considering the success of the gym, it could definitely happen.”


On the topic of Pendred, despite the Irishman securing his third consecutive UFC win on Sunday, CM Punk took to Twitter to ridicule the Dubliner. Tweeting ‘HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA’, as a reaction to Pendred’s performance against Sean Spencer, Forsyth discussed how he felt about the social media exchange.

He said: “It’s so insulting for him to do something like that. I sent him a tweet about it, I told him that Cathal was far beyond him and how if they did fight, Cathal would be fighting someone so many levels below him it would make absolutely no sense.

“There would be absolutely no point in making that fight. I’ve got no fights, he’s got no fights. I think he would be out of his depth with me, so why even start talking to Cathal like that?”

It would seem the main criticism of CM Punk stepping straight into the Octagon for his MMA debut would be the fact that there are so many better athletes, fighters competing for years upon years that have been overlooked by UFC.

There are no shortage of names on the SBG books that could be considered a on the cusp of securing UFC contracts, and Forsyth commented on how it makes him feel to see pro-wrestler turned fighter getting a shot ahead of some of the veterans from the Dublin gym:

“It does kind of offend me that he’s jumping the queue when I look around SBG and see some of the talent that hasn’t been signed, guys like Chris (Fields), Artem (Lobov), Phil (Mulpeter) and (Peter) Queally – there’s a long list of names.

“I was talking to Queally about it yesterday. We do a lot of rounds together, he’s fighting that guy Van Staden next in the EFC and he’s got a similar build to me and the guy I’m fighting has a similar build to Queally.

“He was kind of giving out about it. CM Punk is getting priority here because of his Twitter following essentially. Money talks – if you have two million followers, you’re probably going to get signed. It makes sense from a financial point of view for Dana and them,” he said.

Likewise, the problems with a relative novice stepping in to meet CM Punk – the job Forsyth wants – has similar negative connotations attached to it:

“It would be such surreal circumstances if it did happen,” Forsyth admitted. “I’d almost feel a little bit bad about it. It’s just one of those things, I think everyone would have to embrace it for what it is.”

Finally, Forsyth urged Irish MMA fans to get behind him in his quest to meet CM Punk:

“If he needs someone to fight, why not fight an Irishman? Get on to Dana White and let them know you want me in there!”


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