Introducing: Jamie Bates

Published on Apr 21, 2017
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British welterweight Jamie Bates (24-6) was born into the fight game, literally growing up on the mats in his father's gym in the north-east England region of Durham. Starting with karate at age four, with his father as instructor, Bates eventually progressed to kickboxing and now, 23 years on, finds himself in the GLORY ranks.

“The gym was like a crèche for me,” he laughs. “I had my first fight at the age of eight. My dad was asking who wanted to fight on the next local show and I got annoyed because he didn't ask me. So I jumped up and said I wanted to fight.

“I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, ha! But yeah it all started from there. I trained all different martial arts growing up and I played a lot of different sports but kickboxing stayed central and I started taking it more seriously after I left school.”

In recent years Bates has fought “all over Europe, Switzerland, Romania, Russia” for organizations such as Superkombat, TATNEFT and ACB. At the same time, he has worked a day job to maintain a steady income and actually has one of the rarest jobs in the world.

“I'm a falconer,” he smiles. “I've done it since I left school. I train hawks, falcons, owls, all the birds of prey. It's a pretty cool job yeah, it's certainly different.”

All of Bates' predatory instincts will be focused on one target next week: Richard 'Maximus' Abraham of Chicago, USA. They are headlining the GLORY 40 SUPERFIGHT SERIES card in Copenhagen, Denmark and Bates – who earned his spot on the roster after being scouted at the recent Road to GLORY UK event – is looking to make a strong first impression.

“Richard Abraham very forward pressure guy, likes to use his hands, always forward looking for the fight, but I think I have all the tools needed to beat him,” he says.

“Now is the right time for me to join GLORY because I have the right level of maturity and experience. I won't be going on there and learning on the job, I am ready to come in there and compete at that level and make my mark.

“Long-term, I would like to be up there fighting all the top guys, the likes of Holzken and Doumbé, but I am just focused on working my way up the rankings first. I'd like to fight Antoine Pinto too, he seems to be getting some attention lately.”

The conversation turns towards Pinto's recent baiting of former welterweight champion Nieky Holzken via social media. Holzken is known to strongly dislike even the slightest trash-talk and Pinto has been going at him full-force, leaving the former champion furious.

“He is definitely making a lot of noise, he's funny,” says Bates. “I know trash-talk is all part of the game these days but I don't want to do that myself right now, I want to get my first win out the way before I start talking about anyone.”

GLORY 40 COPENHAGEN takes place Saturday, April 29 at the Forum Copenhagen in the Danish capital city. Abraham and Bates headline and the event airs live on UFC Fight Pass.

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