Heavyweight Anthony Garrett (4-2) will fight Jake Hager (2-0) on Friday night at Bellator 231, making his Bellator debut on the main card after fighting in his hometown Kansas City throughout his pro career.
“I’ve been loving it since I got here. Meeting all the fighters and starstruck by Phil Davis and John McCarthy,” Garrett said. “I told Phil he’s one of my idols. He shared a picture of his kid, I showed him a picture of my daughter. It was really cool and surreal to meet him.”
Garrett was fond with the idea of his name being featured on Bellator’s main card, but the emotions were felt when the 29-year-old K.C resident fought for the Shamrock Fighting Championship, Kansas City’s most recognized amongst fight fans.
“Fighting for Shamrock FC was always kind of a dream of mine. In the Kansas City area, Shamrock is the big show, the real deal in Kansas City,” Garrett said. “It has been a real honor and treat to fight for them.”
Garrett fought under the Shamrock FC promotion since his last amateur fight when he earned a first-round knockout over JW Kiser. “Jack Swagger” Hager has also defeated Kiser, via arm triangle choke in the first round back in January at Bellator 214.
Kiser has been around the MMA circuit in Kansas City and Garrett looks to keep the fight off the mat.
“I think if I can keep it standing, I will dominate this fight. If he gets a takedown, which he may, my jiu-jitsu is better than his jiu-jitsu,” Garrett said. “The only way he will beat me is if he wrestles the whole fight.”
Bellator 231 will take place in Uncasville, Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday night at 9 pm EST live on Paramount Network and DAZN.