Five years and nine amateur fights after he started training, a Chichester fighter is about to make his professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) debut.
Ashley Kilvington will step into the cage against ‘GI’ Joe Laurence, a grizzled MMA veteran with 14 professional fights to his name.
He accepted the fight on 11 days’ notice – while preparing for a different professional bout in November – but remained unfazed by the short-term change.
Talking about the fight, Ashley said: “I’m coming in as the less experienced guy, but I don’t think that necessarily means I’m the underdog. So I think, personally, it was a good fight for me to take.
“I’ve been in shape over the last couple of months for exactly this reason. A good fight comes up; I don’t want to waste the opportunity, so I’ve been in shape, getting ready. I’m ready to take it. It’s actually perfect timing.”
Ashley’s professional debut will take place at Shock n Awe 30, the tenth anniversary of a Portsmouth promotion where, as an amateur, he held the flyweight title.
Talking about the anniversary, he said: “It’s a massive show. They’re bringing all the old veterans back and obviously new up-and-comers. It’s the biggest show they’ve ever done, in their new, prestigious venue. So yeah, it’s very nice to be invited on the card, even if it is late on. It doesn’t matter. I’m ready to go.”
Fighting alongside Ashley will be teammates from the Mad Hatter’s Asylum: the Chichester gym that introduced him to mixed martial arts.
Brothers Billy and Tommy Clarke, twins Sam and Ollie Gibson, as well as Jake McEvoy and professional debutant Darren Bushby, are all Ashley’s training partners, and will be competing on the night, looking to improve their mixed martial arts records with highlight-reel finishes.
Some, like Billy, Ollie and Jake, will be fighting for amateur championship belts.
For tickets, visit shocknawe.co.uk or contact Ashley on instagram
Or, to find out more about training Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu- a form of grappling which focuses on joint-locks, choke-holds and strangles- at the Mad Hatter’s Asylum, click here