When a fighter can legitimately say that they cannot remember how many different titles they have won, you kind of get the feeling that they know what they are doing inside the ring.

Eilleen Forrest has done all that she can do in the sport of Muay Thai after a little over six years of competing. Having won multiple state titles, Australian titles and a World title, it all adds up to equal one thing: success.

Now that there is really nowhere else for her to go in Australia in her preferred sport, the time has come to embrace a change to the world’s fastest growing sport. With international opportunities such as Invicta FC and most Australian promotions featuring at least one women’s bout on their cards, the sky is certainly the limit for Forrest.

“I plan to focus on MMA now. The Muay Thai scene in Australia is drying up a bit,” Forrest revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “To get more fights more often with Muay Thai, I would need to fight in Thailand or somewhere else in southeast Asia.”

Forrest (Facebook)

Dabbling in combat sports wasn’t always in the cards for Forrest. In fact, it was almost as if fate had forced her hand a little, and it was just a matter of time before a taste had become an addiction.

“I kind of fell into it by accident,” she laughed. “A work colleague of mine was training at a martial arts gym and he asked a few of us to come and give it a go. I already went to a gym, but just did some under-stimulating training. Once I started giving some martial arts a shot, it was great because I was training to actually get better at something.

“The gym held fight shows once a year. When I saw the first show, I thought that it was amazing. I said that I wanted to give it a go the next year, but then when the show rolled around I kept saying I wasn’t ready. I was pushed into the first fight and then loved it and just kept on going from there.”

Forrest and her opponent on the upcoming Combat8 fight card, Jessy Rose, are the first female fighters to enter the Combat8 cube. With the ladies of MMA gaining more and more exposure on the worldwide stage, Forrest is keen to impress in the modified-rules arena in order to get her name recognized.

“I am looking for a window to get into MMA, so as soon as the chance came up I was excited and just wanted to make it happen,” she exclaimed. “The modified rules of Combat8 kind of favor strikers, which I guess you would say is my strength.

“It’s on us to go out and do a good job and to make sure that it’s something special,” she explained. “We don’t want to put on a boring fight. We both need to go out and entertain so that the fights keep coming for the girls.”

Forrest (Facebook)

In her preparation for the bout at Combat8, Forrest has spent some of her camp training with Invicta FC star Bec Hyatt along with the dedicated team out of Gamebred in Queensland.

“It is important for me to have good-quality training partners,” she explained. “It’s been good working with some people with good MMA experience. The truth is, the better the people you work with are, the better that you will get. I have been working with some great women wrestlers and Gamebred [has] been great.”

Although being thrown in the deep end is usually the best way to learn, the Combat8 arena and its more striker-friendly rules certainly make it the best learning experience for Forrest’s eventual transition into MMA. With only one MMA fight under her belt in her six years of competing in combat sports, it would only take a few wins strung together against high-level opponents and then Forrest could see herself adding even more gold to her already impressive collection.

Eilleen would like to thank Gamebred, Adam from Raw Strength and Nutrition and Mass Nutrition for their support leading up to her fight. Follow her on Facebook.

Top Photo: Eilleen Forrest (Facebook)

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.