Jeremy ‘Ninja’ Petley 14-9-1 is a Canadian Professional Mixed Martial Artist. A professional competitor since 2010, representing London Fight Factory and Great Britain Top Team. He has competed for Adrenalin Fighting Championship, BAMMA, Made4TheCage Fighting Championships, Europa MMA Fighting Championship, Contenders, Bellator MMA and is due to make his debut for Cage Warriors at CW141.
Hey Jeremy, it’s great catching up with you again mate, and congratulations on your long-awaited debut at CW141.
“Nice to chat to you again mate, and thank you very much. I’m absolutely buzzing, I can’t wait to perform.”
I hope this training camp has been going well in the build-up to your scheduled inclusion to CW’s explosive 20th anniversary?
“Camp has been going really well, meticulously with the high-quality coaches I’m surrounded by at London Fight Factory and GB Top Team in Silviu Vulc and Brad Pickett and Top Teams Ashley Grimshaw. Man, every day is productive. Keeping injuries and niggles at bay, everything’s coming together, to be honest at the moment. 4 weeks out now it’s coming together like clockwork is what it feels like, really positive.”
“People sometimes judge the grappling when they watch, but when I get a hold of you it’s a different game. I feel like now I’m getting a hold of people and I feel like I can really impose my will more than ever you know.”
Absolutely, it’s not always about a beatdown in the fight game.
“That’s the thing, with grappling it’s hard to see the things you don’t see. But when you watch it back, you can judge the quality of someone’s Grappling as there are certain aspects of it that are harder to pick up on. It’s different when someone’s got a hold of you with a level pedigree, not to big myself up or anything haha.”
I completely agree, I admire the grappling game, it’s so technical. As you said there are so many different aspects to it, to people that are outside of the field, it could be harder for them to grasp.
“Yeah, absolutely. If you’re not engaged in the game of grappling it is gonna go a little over your head. I understand why it could be an acquired taste.”
Fans will be overjoyed to finally be able to witness you in action for the London-based organisation, what does it mean to you to be part of Graham Boylan’s roster?
“It’s a massive honour to finally be debuting with Cage Warriors, such an iconic promotion. Not to mention the roster itself, they represent some of the best young fighters in the country and in my division particularly. It’s an honour and I’m really happy to be finally getting an opportunity to perform on the Cage Warriors stage. And secondly, I’m looking at it as a massive opportunity to get some great matchups and some good W’s. And ultimately go through this Featherweight division and win the Featherweight crown, that’s my number 1 goal here. I really see it as an opportunity to make a run to that world Championship, I want a world title belt around my waist. I’ve held regional belts around my waist, but I’ve never been able to call myself a world champion. With a Cage Warriors strap, I can do that.”
On my many visits to Great Britain Top Team, you have shown your pure unadulterated will to compete in the cage.
What has driven you to compete at the highest level since starting out on your professional journey back in 2010?
“Yeah, there’s a pattern, those old guys who are still there, they’re clever. They take care of your body, you can see that these disciplined and intelligent guys have long careers. I’ve done things right and I will continue to do things right so I have a career until I’m 40 or who knows. I wanna be around as long as I can be, saying goodbye to this sport would be the saddest thing I’d ever have to do, I’m happy to be putting it off as long as I can.”
I completely understand that. But it’s not always goodbye, when you do finally hang up the gloves there’s always the opportunity to pass on your vast knowledge to the next generation.
“Oh absolutely, that’s something that makes it less depressing. I know that, as you said, when I do eventually hang up the gloves, I know that in some respect I’ll be in and around the sport. Running my own place perhaps or my own team of fighters, who knows what the future has in store. But I certainly can’t imagine a life where I won’t be involved in the MMA World you know.”
If that’s the case then I’d definitely love to come and visit one day.
“Absolutely, the minute it opens you’re welcome of course.”
As well as a strong gym, strong representation is also key to success in the brutal yet exhilarating world of mixed martial arts. Alpha Talent Management strives itself in giving gifted amateurs and well-rounded professionals such as yourself the best opportunities possible to succeed in their quest for Glory.
What does it mean to you to be represented by Martin Ireland and his team?
“Working with Martin has been a pleasure, a real education seeing how he works. From his job relationship point of view, I’ve found it to be incredibly fruitful. But the fact of the matter is I consider him a brother, we’ve come to be very close friends over the years, he’s a top man. One of the things I’ve grown to appreciate is the way he works with the fighters, and the level of time and commitment he puts forward is evident. Alpha Talent Management Is an orchestrated network of fight recruiting. directing fighters into gyms that work for them, pointing them in the direction of coaches that can fill some holes in their game. We’d be talking, I’d be advising him on certain fighters, he’d be suggesting and throwing certain fighters my way, it feels like a continual factory if you know what I mean. What he’s turned it into is really fantastic, and I have to say, for any young fighters who are looking for genuine support in their career, you don’t need to look any further. Martin and Alpha Talent Management and everything he’s built, I can’t speak highly enough about the guy.”
Your debut for Cage Warriors was put on hold back in March when you were set to take on CW stand-out Tobias Harilar. injuries as well as cancellations are all part and parcel of the fight game. What was going through your mind when having to put your debut on hold?
“Oh, it was really frustrating, especially so late in camp as well. And something as trivial as an ankle injury. The good thing was that I was able to recover quickly and get another opportunity so quickly in July. The main thing is I’m back in action and ready to go again.”
Fully fit and ready to showcase your explosive arsenal for Europe’s biggest stages once again, you take on another well-known CW veteran in Steve Aimable. Defeating 3 of his last 5 opponents and is a holder of immense KO prowess. It is set to be a barn burner of pure unadulterated organised violence when you two clash in the capital.
What do you make of Steve in the build-up to your head-on collision at the Indigo at the O2?
“I think Steve is exactly what I can expect from the Featherweight division, and that is a high-level competitor. Someone who represents a great matchup and a massive challenge, which is ultimately what I’m looking for. I wanna be challenged, that’s number 1, I wanna be challenging the best around and that’s definitely Steve Aimable. And someone who puts me in line towards that world title, a win over Steve could definitely send me in that direction. I respect the guy as far as his ability, I can see what kind of a level fighter he is and the threat he brings to the table. But I also know what level I’m on, I’m looking to make a statement in this fight. so people look at me and think oh there you go, there’s someone who can take the Featherweight division by storm and take that Featherweight crown.”
Without giving too much away, what steps have you been taking to make sure you walk out of the 02 with yet another Digit to your incredible Mixed Martial Arts record?
“Every camp I feel is a learning experience, I continue to tweak and improve ways to compete. Everything down to periodization of it, my rest and recovery. I feel like I’ve always been doing the same things, working hard and tailoring myself to be on that given date, I’m doing everything right. I think I’ve learned a lot, being much more efficient with my training and at a higher volume, I’m really optimising everything at the moment.”
The CW team have left no stone unturned to make sure their 20th anniversary is one fight fans will remember for years to come. So many high Profile warriors such as yourself are set to shake the capital to its very foundations on July 22nd.
Other than your inclusion on the night are there any matchups in particular that you’re looking forward to witnessing?
“Keep an eye on them GB Top Team guys, they’re taking over that’s for sure. We train together and I know exactly what they’re capable of. As far as my own personal interests from my division, I’m looking at the guys that are in contention for the Featherweight Champion Jordan Vucenic, My previous opponent Tobias Harilar being one of them. I’m interested in the guys competing for the title because that’s what I want, I wanna be competing at the very top of that Featherweight division. I want that title around my waist and begin my reign as Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion, that’s where I see this next year going.”
I wish you all the best for July Jeremy and I look forward to witnessing you out there.
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?
“As always, love to the ones that support me. From my dedicated coaches at GB Top Team and London Fight Factory to my lovely fiancé at home who gives me emotional support. As far as my fans, I call them fans but really they’re just a bunch of my friends, they come to watch my fights and there seem to be more and more each time. To be able to go out there and perform and have the electricity those guys provide and having people there that really care about whether you win or lose, means a lot. It gives you a reason to continue to fight, so nothing but love to all my dedicated Ninjats.”
Feature image by Brett King