Following the recent signing of highly rated prospect Akonne 'The Jedi' Wanliss, BAMMA once again add another big talent from the amateur ranks to the promotion. Making his pro debut at the SSE Arena, Wembley on March 9th at BAMMA 34: Lohore vs. Brazier, BAMMA.com sat down with wrecking machine Jay Shepherd to discuss signing to BAMMA and his Welterweight pro debut against James Reedman.
Jay, you’re about to make the leap into the pro league after a relatively short amateur career, what were your thoughts behind that?
It was simply a case of knowing that I'm ready, and also my coaches and manager knowing I am ready based on the fact that to date none of my opponents have been able to handle me. So it was the next logical step.
Your fights tend to be very short, is this something you train for?
I actually train to go longer than the actual fight duration, but the #SavageSquad don't get paid overtime, so if I see an opening I'm going to take it and finish the fight.
And what made you get into MMA in the first place?
I used to train boxing as a teenager but I found it boring to be honest, then I discovered MMA. I was intrigued with the many different ways a fight could be finished and how the different disciplines in martial arts you have to learn could benefit me, not only in the sport, but in day to day life. Of course I love fighting too (laughs), so it was the perfect fit for me.
We know that you’ve attended BAMMA events before, what is it going to be like being an actual part of it this time around?
Yes I have, I was blown away by the professionalism on show and the way things are set up and run by the BAMMA team. The organisation is simply mind blowing, so I'm super excited to be a part of this now.
So what are your hopes and plans for your pro career from this point?
I'm all in at this point and I want to go all the way. As you know I'm dropping down to Welterweight, so I'm coming for titles and I plan to clear out the division in short order, starting with James on March 9th.
Any words for your opponent James Reedman?
James, make sure you train harder than you ever have before, because when that cage door closes and the bell rings, you are in there with the living nightmare!
Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to Martin Ireland, Danny Beevor, Alex Montagnani, Barry Ryan, Rico Biggs, Joel Salter and all my friends and family for all their support - it's been second to none #SavageSquad