Paton-native Dylan Forkner waves to the crowd prior to his professional MMA debut Saturday, Oct. 20 at Wild Rose Casino. The former Greene County Ram won by TKO of Nathan Endres 35 seconds into the opening round.  BRANDON HURLEY | JEFFERSON HERALDPaton-native Dylan Forkner strikes a poses following victory in his professional MMA debut Saturday, Oct. 20 at Wild Rose Casino. The former Greene County Ram won by TKO of Nathan Endres 35 seconds into the opening round.   BRANDON HURLEY | JEFFERSON HERALDPaton-native Dylan Forkner addresses the hometown crowd following his professional MMA debut Saturday, Oct. 20 at Wild Rose Casino. The former Greene County Ram won by TKO of Nathan Endres 35 seconds into the opening round.  BRANDON HURLEY | JEFFERSON HERALD

MMA: 1-0 IN LESS THAN A MINUTE

Forkner wins in a relatively quick and painless debut
“I had the mindset that I was going to sit in and relax and let (the fight) come to me. He popped me in the nose with a jab. It woke me up.” - Dylan Forkner

By BRANDON HURLEY

Sports Editor 

sports@beeherald.com

@BrandonJHurley

JEFFERSON – Nearly three hours of anticipation built to an electrifying, yet brief  climax. 

Making his professional MMA debut in front of a hometown crowd in the main event was all the motivation Dylan Forkner needed. 

Even a fractured hand couldn’t keep him from putting on a show for his fans, as the Greene County High School graduate silenced Nathan Endres with a flurry of lightning fast punches, securing match victory just 35 seconds into the first round Saturday, Oct. 20 at Wild Rose Casino. 

Forkner didn’t exactly plan for such a quick start, until Endres caught the 140-pounder off guard with an early hook. That brought to life a sleeping giant. 

“I had the mindset that I was going to sit in and relax and let (the fight) come to me,” the 22-year old Paton-native said. “He popped me in the nose with a jab. It woke me up.”

Forkner sprang into action, pummeling his opponent, connecting with several fierce punches, driving Endres to the mat, causing the ref to step in and call the fight by technical knockout. It was all over before Forkner’s supporters, decorated in black and gray “ForkU” shirts, even had a chance to take a sip of their adult beverages. 

“In three of my last four fights, I’ve finished with an overhand or a right for a KO,” Forkner said. “So I’ve taken that and (worked) on different angles. I caught him with that. It seems like every time I hit somebody with that, they just go to the ground. I hit him with the punch and finished it from there.” 

Though his pro career has lasted less than a minute of actual fight time, Forkner’s debut was in danger of getting pushed back well before he took to the ring. But he knew he couldn’t let his friends, family and friends down, even with a fractured hand. Surgery could wait. There was too much riding on this particular fight, he had to give it a go. Forkner had no problem withstanding a little more pain to kick-start his pro career in front of a boisterous home crowd. 

“That punch actually hurt a little bit more,” Forkner said. “It happened back in May and it just kept nagging and nagging. And when it finally broke, tickets were already selling like crazy. I wasn’t going to back out for anything.”

Putting off surgery was well worth it, he said. To come out victorious in his first pro fight was something he’ll remember forever. You only get one shot to make a first impression. 

“I’m taken aback by the support,” Forkner said surrounded post-fight by family and friends. “Honestly, (the win) hasn’t really set in, I’m in the moment still. When I go home and look at the video, it will. One and O is cool, but I have to keep climbing the ranks and moving up.”

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