Hakon Foss is scheduled to meet Martyn Harris (4-2) this weekend at CW80, and the Frontline MMA fighter believes he knows exactly how his opponent will approach the fight.
“I’ve seen some footage on him,” Foss said. “He’s a one dimensional fighter. I see where his weakness is. He’s not going to do what he normally does.”
“He always does the same thing. He rushes in and tries to take his opponent down. He is going to fail to do that. I train with some very good guys, he isn’t going to be able to take me down.”
This isn’t his first time fighting under the Cage Warriors banner, he fought on the prelims of the promotion’s Copenhagen card in 2014, and it was an experience that he has not forgotten.
“It was real awesome,” he said. “I fought Per Franklin, a real tough guy from Sweden. And I had a lot of fans who came from Oslo, it was a very good event.” Foss had been looking to sign with the promotion before their 18-month hiatus, eventually signing a 5 fight contract in 2016.
Ten hour shifts laying railway tracks and repairing broken tracks took their toll on the fighter, and he decided, with the support of his girlfriend, that he needed to commit himself to the sport and handed in his resignation in January. The 30-year-old felt this line of work was impacting his ability to train, and was only giving him minimal recovery time.
Foss has seen two of his teammates sign to the sport’s premier promotion over the last year. And in his corner will be a former Cage Warriors champion, Jack ‘The Joker’ Hermansson, and Emil Meek has also travelled to support Foss.
“It motivates me,” he told SevereMMA.
“I see how Jack and Emil live, they don’t have to work anymore, they just spend their time training and have good financial sponsors helping them.”
Knowing that a significant number of European-based fighters have been picked up by the UFC after a stint with Cage Warriors, including one of his training partners, Foss hopes to use the platform to grab the attention of UFC fans and matchmakers, believing that 2-3 impressive performances could secure him a UFC contract. And not content with just securing a UFC contract in the future, he hopes to make waves in sport’s premier organisation.
“I went pro when I was 26, so I haven’t been a pro for that long, but now I’m really figuring everything out. I think I can go really far in this sport.”
There is only one welterweight fighter that Foss would not be willing to battle in his quest to reach the UFC, his Frontline MMA teammate Mohsen Bahari, the pair are very close friends and put that friendship ahead of MMA . And ideally he would rather avoid having to fight Thomas Robertsen, Jack Mason (BCMMA matchmaker) had offered him the opportunity to fight his countryman at a BCMMA card but felt that there were a number of welterweights available and turned down the fight, though he did admit that he would be open to it if Cage Warriors really wanted the pair to face off.
Foss is again having to travel to compete in the cage, since MMA is outlawed in Norway, and Foss may be waiting a while to fight in front of his hometown fans, but he would rather focus on the positives of this.
“It is frustrating,” he said. “But I get to go out of my comfort zone, many fighters just fight in front of their own fans. I’m always the underdog, which is good for me, I like that feeling.”
“I feel like I need to prove myself more when I fight in my opponent’s backyard.”
The welterweight travelled to Italy in 2015, where he fought Cage Warriors 80 headliner Karl Amoussou at Venator 2. Foss, with just six pro fights to his name, was caught in a leg lock and forced to tap in the first round. Amoussou had 29 fights to his name when the two met and outclassed the Norwegian.
“I was certain that I could beat him when I walked into the cage. I didn’t prepare enough, it was on 2 weeks’ notice. I got caught, he looked good in that fight. I would love to fight him again.”
Foss was keen to learn from that loss, frustrated that he had been caught in a leg lock, he decided to enter a submission wrestling tournament a week later. “I just wanted to get more time on the floor,” he told SevereMMA.
“I didn’t like losing like that, so I wanted to go and improve my skills. I went to a lot of tournaments and got quite far, got to a final and lost on points.”
Foss was also scheduled to fight Matt Inman at a Cage Warriors event in Jordan. He took the fight on 5 days’ notice, travelled from Oslo to London, but heavy fog prevented their flight from landing on time and they missed the connecting flight to Jordan. And then missed their rescheduled flight to Jordan. He told SevereMMA that he would be open to fighting Matt Inman in the future if Cage Warriors offered it to him.
Having lost to one of the main event fighters, and came close to fighting the other, Foss has spent a considerable amount of time studying both fighters. And asked for a prediction on the headline fight, he
responded without hesitation. “Karl has the upper hand,” he told SevereMMA.
“He has more experience, he is more aggressive than Matt. Inman is a good distance striker, but I think Karl will get him in the clinch and Matt will struggle.”