Interview with Jamie Hay ahead of Bellator 275

Jamie “The Haymaker” Hay 2-0-0 is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the lightweight division. A professional competitor since 2019, representing Rio Grappling Club England. He has competed for FCC, ICE FC and is about to make his debut for Bellator MMA.

 

I’d like to start this off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me today Jamie and also to congratulate you on your scheduled bout at Bellator 275. I hope training camp has been going well?

 

“Yeah, very well mate, thank you.”

 

It must be a tremendous honour to be included in one of the leading organisations in the mixed martial arts world. How did you feel when getting the call that you would be part of the roster to go to war in the 3arena?

 

“It felt good, it’s something I’ve been working ‘for’ for a long time. It feels like all the hard work has paid off.”

 

Looking back on your career in the cage, did you expect to be part of one of the biggest stages outside of the UFC so early on in your professional journey?

 

“No, absolutely not. It came as a nice surprise but a great offer, I couldn’t turn it down. We got asked the second week of January “would I take a fight on Bellator” I said yeah, “would you fight Lee Hammond” I said yeah. That’s no disrespect to Lee, it’s probably more respect to him because we were very happy to get in with him.”

 

Last we saw you in action was back in February 2020, taking on and defeating Liam Gregory at Full Contact Contender 25. A night you and the many fans in attendance at the Bolton auction house will not soon forget. No sooner did the bout begin you ended the bout via Heel-hook. Was this your plan going into the bout or just a spur of the moment reaction after taking that knee from Liam?

 

 

“It was the full plan all along, we worked on a game plan. I was either gonna roll in for the Heel-hook or get in close and either fly in for it or drop down to it. I had the plan pretty much from the start of the week really, that’s what we were looking at. I just came off a couple of competitions, I think I’d won with 4 Heel-hooks on Grapple Industries on the same day. We were sort of fresh off that, it was something I’ve been working on quite a lot and was ready to take the Challenge in MMA so I got it.”

 

The finish was a perfect complement to all of the exceptional work being done at Rio Grappling England. What does it mean to you to be able to represent them as well as yourself on one of the biggest stages of them all?

 

“It’s great to represent the Rio Grappling Club, we got places all around the world. One of the best up in Scotland that’s run by James Doolan and his team at Higher Level. We got an array of fighters coming out of Rio Grappling Club from all over the place, it’s great to get wins under the belt for the team.”

 

 

Your debut for Scott Coker’s Bellator 275 card sees you take on SGB Ireland’s Lee Hammond. An exceptional talent coming out of one of the biggest MMA gyms in the world. Have you taken some time during your camp to do anything in the way of research on your opponent?

 

“We’ve had a look at him, we know what he brings to the table. He’s an exceptional grappler, he seems to have fallen in love with striking recently. We know what we’re going up against. I wouldn’t say it’s a specific game plan to him, I think game plans are great until you get into the cage and get punched in the face. Things get thrown out of the window pretty quickly, I know that from experience. I think what I bring to the table is gonna be something different, to what he’s had in the past although he’s very experienced.”

 

 

Fight fans in Dublin are in for one of the most stacked cards that Bellator has brought across the pond. Other than your inclusion on the night are there any matchups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing?

 

Mousasi vs Vanderford looking forward to that. I think it’s a great fight, I got Vanderford taking it. I think he’s an exceptional fighter. I saw him in the hotel last night, the guy’s massive for a middleweight, he’ll have my full support that night. I was looking forward to Mousah vs Queally but that’s now off unfortunately and I gotta give a shout-out to my boy Junior, Junior Morgan. Looking forward to his bout with Darragh Kelly, that will again, be a good scrap. I don’t think you can be excited for this card without looking at Leah McCourt vs Sinead Kavanagh, I think that’s another great addition to the main card, it’s one I’m looking forward to and it’s a real 50/50 fight as well.”

 

 

It’s been a pleasure speaking with you today Jamie. I look forward to seeing you out there and I wish you the very best of luck on the night.

 

Last but not least do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?

 

“I’d like to thank Bellator for having me over. Looking forward to putting on a performance, fighting in someone’s back garden it’s always fun to do at this level of my career, I’m ready to go. Big shout-out to all my team, Adam Evans big shout out to him he’s my main training partner. Sam Kelly, Ian Butlin. Gavin Hughes, another Bellator fighter I’ve been doing a lot of training with for this fight, big shout-out to those guys.”

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