Jack Grant predicts a first round finish of Jack McGann at BAMMA 22 in Dublin, when the promotion make their Irish debut on September 19 at the 3Arena.
Grant (9-2) is considered one of the best Lightweight prospects in the United Kingdom, and after he defeated Warren Kee in impressive fashion at BAMMA 20, he will look to further solidify himself when he faces former Lonsdale title challenger McGann.
Despite his first round knockout win over Kee, the 23-year-old had a difficult start to his BAMMA career, after he lost his first two fights to Jefferson George and Alexei Roberts. Although the decision loss to George was dubious, his cardio was one of the definitive factors in his losing effort against Roberts.
However, Grant admitted that he had learnt a lot from those two defeats, and they have been critical in his development as a fighter.
Speaking on the War of the Words podcast, Grant said: “Them two losses, they were real big speed bumps for me really, but I’ve overcome them now, and I feel that I’ve rebuilt myself off them. I feel that I probably should have had some time off before coming back to the Alexei fight, and really thought about my game, but I wouldn’t take them back even if I could now. I feel like I’ve learnt that much from them, it’s brilliant, and it’s been a real uplift for my career.”
Grant also admitted that strong advice from current UFC fighter Scott Askham among others, helped him realise he needed to reinvent himself; starting with his training regime and diet.
“I feel like I just made myself a better athlete,” said Grant. “I feel like I have gone back to the drawing board. I’m twice the athlete I was and like I say, I honestly never used to run or anything, I had some real big fights early on for a prospect, and I can remember having a Domino’s pizza the night before.”
The Lightweight division in BAMMA is dense with talent, and from the BAMMA champion Mansour Barnaoui, to the likes of Martin Stapleton, Andre Winner and others, Grant feels that in time he will be able to showcase his ability against the best in Europe.
“You can’t just go round demanding fights when you need to earn your way to them fights as well, hopefully after this fight I’ll show that I can fight those guys. I am confident that I can beat any of those guys, I just need to get my head on and preform. It’s all decision making, I’m young and my decisions are getting better even in the gym, I am fighting so much better everywhere it’s just been a great learning curve for me really.”
On September 19, Grant steps into the BAMMA Battleground against Jack McGann and the Grimsby lad states he is ready for the most important challenge of his career thus far.
“I feel like, whether it was a lesser opponent or even a higher level opponent, the most important fight of your career to-date is whoever is in front of you, because that is the guy that can soon knock you off your hype train.
“You have got to take everyone serious, you can be made to pay by somebody maybe with less skill. You have go to take all these guys serious, and obviously with McGann, he’s super confident, he wants it and he’s going to get it.”
The fledgling Fight Ministry athlete believes his speed and movement will be the key to beating McGann and his unorthodox style will throw his opponent off guard.
“I think I’m faster, I’m more elusive, I feel like until you’ve been put in front of me you won’t realise how unorthodox I can actually be. I don’t try to be unorthodox, I try to keep my game quite measured but I feel like I’ve got a little bit of a different of movement than he’ll be used to. I think in the exchanges, I feel like I’ll just come out that bit on top.”
Grant also went on to say he thought McGann was unable to take his loss to Marc Diakiese at BAMMA 19: Blackpool in a positive manner, and instead just complained. He also questioned the calibre of McGann’s wins, described the majority of them as ‘sagged over’.
Should Grant defeat ‘The Pilgrim’ he would find himself in prime position to challenge for the Lonsdale title, however, with Diakiese currently the holder of the belt; Grant’s good friend and sparring partner, he said had no aspirations to chase the title, opting instead for the UK No. 1 spot in the 155lb division.
“Belts don’t mean anything to me really. I just want to beat the best guys, I want to be able to click on the rankings and be number one, that’s more important to me. [In] five, six years’ time, I want to be the number one Lightweight in this country, in less time, I feel like I’ve got it all to come.
“I train so hard, and put so much time into this, it’s literally my life style, it consumes me, I sacrifice so much and deserve to be number one and that’s what I’m striving for.”
As for right now, Grant predicts he will not only beat the Wolfslair junior, but will finish him in the first round, and warns McGann that he is prepared to win wherever the fight goes.
“I feel like if I get my flow going straight away, I feel like you’re going to see me finish Jack McGann first round. No doubt, and it’s not just it can anywhere, he doesn’t know where I’m going to finish him, I could finish the fight anywhere, whatever he gives me I’ll take.”
Article by Andreas Georgiou