The Power Weasel: “I'm Davey's biggest test; he has never faced someone like me!”
He's back, but he's not staying for long. James Pennington is going to defend his bantamweight title on Shock N Awe 11, July 14th before he heads off to join the Cage Warriors promotion. The Weasel has become one of the hottest prospects on the UK domestic scene and has taken leaps up the YourMMA fighter rankings. Now it's time for him to spread his wings and continue his career with one of the biggest promotions on the planet. But holding onto that zero is going to be tough as another of the UK`s best bantamweights, Davey Grant, is heading South with his thoughts solely on claiming the Weasels belt. This is going to be one hell of a show.
So we at AddictedMMA have decided it's time to hop back over the Solent and get the man they call The Power Weasel to share his thoughts on this wonderful match-up and his future in the industry.
Addicted: So James, this could be a strange evening for you. You have been blooded on the Shock N Awe cards and have been a huge part of its growth, but after this fight you will be heading off to fight for the juggernaut that is Cage Warriors. What are your favourite Shock N Awe memories?
James: Well my best Shock N Awe memory has to be winning the belt against Chris Garry. He was a great opponent who took me three rounds and made things very tough for me on the night. I felt great after that fight because it was 3 1/2 years of hard work that paid off.
Addicted: Of course, first of all you have to get through the incredibly tough Davey Grant and he will be looking to ruin your farewell party, do you feel he has the tools to give you a hard time?
James: "Incredibly tough Davey Grant?" I wouldn't say that! Let me tell you now, I'm Davey's biggest test, he has never faced someone like me. If you look at his record it's littered with guys that were brought in to pad it. He's been looked after, sheltered from real fights or put in with flyweights but now he's going to find out what a real opponent who brings it really feels like.
I just want to be involved in awesome fights that allow me to show everyone what I'm capable of doing!
Addicted: Do you have a message that you would like to send to Davey?
James: Simply this, don't be upset on the long journey home, be happy you can say you stepped up and fought someone as good as me. P.s, I can make a prediction, Davey Grant will shoot for the takedown from the rules meeting, possibly even the weigh-ins.
Addicted: So how has your preparation for this fight gone?
James: I'm the fittest and sharpest I've ever been and over the past 12 weeks I have ironed out some little faults! I have new skills for this fight and I'm very confident in my abilities, training two to three times a day every day has hurt, but will be worth it. For sure all my training partners have been pushing me to my limits, a big thanks to Mike "Big Daddy" Ling for pushing me to what's humanly possible on the treadmill and all the Gym01 lads.
Addicted: You recently took the bantamweight title at KAYO MMA in fine fashion, your stand up and head movement seemed on another level, and that was against a tough opponent. Are you aware yourself of the speed you seem to be constantly improving?
James: Winning the KAYO title against Carl Hunt who was 4.0.0. at the time in his own backyard felt great, Carl's a great lad and I know he will do well in the future. If you thought I'd improved then, then you are all going to be shocked by how much better I am since I went full time. I think the only way you can see how much you've improved is by cross training with other gyms and new training partners who bring all different types of styles. Our gym has guys coming from all over England to train with us. This is when you feel the difference in your abilities.
Just over the past month Chris Garry came down and trained with us which was great and we regularly train with the MMA Clinic guys.
Addicted: You certainly have a great pool of sparring and rolling partners at Gym01, who gives you the toughest time in the gym?
James: Well in all honesty I get pushed by everyone, everywhere. That's no jest; the gym is full of monsters. I'm not going to name all the guys in the gym normally on the mat but at Bantam/flyweight if you had Phil Harris, Owen Gayle, James Brum, Paddy Moore, Brett O'Brien, Belal Miah trying to break you then you can start to understand how tough training at our gym really is. Add in multiple guys like Brett "Lil Ninja" Caswell who has Olympic level Judo and is coming through then it's impossible to really say.
Addicted: Of course, you have had plenty of experience getting used to the Cage Warriors brand cornering your team mates and stuff like that. Are you hoping to get on one of their international cards? With Korea and South Africa coming up surely you must fancy trying out one of those places!
James: I would love to fight in Korea but I'm happy to take the right fight anywhere in the world!
Addicted: Also, you have gone from one great match maker in 'The Jedi' Brian Adams to the guy regarded as the best match maker in Europe, Ian Dean. Is there anybody in particular that you are hoping Ian matches you against?
James: Like I said earlier, I'm happy to fight ANYONE my management puts in front of me. My aim is to get to the UFC, trying to sneak there without fighting any tough guys isn't my style, I'll leave that to the Davey Grants of the World.
Addicted: So obviously we have another stacked card ahead of us with Shock N Awe 11 just a couple of weeks away, other than your own, what other fights are you looking forward to on July 14?
James: I'm looking forward to all of my team mate's fights but two in particular being Brett "lil ninja" Caswell vs Ben Harrison and Luke "Mutant Mass" Killick; I know these two fights are going to be spectacular.
Addicted: Who would you like to give your shout-outs to James?
James: I'd like to give a shout out to all the Gym01 crew, Brian Adams, Graham Boylan and the Intensiti fight team. Also my new sponsors who have made me an awesome custom gum shield @Funkygums.com. @Londonfightstore.com for all your MMA needs and suitefa1.com for all your custom prints.
Addicted: And of course our signature question. What is the Power Weasel addicted to?
James: I'm addicted to Poppy Thompson!
Addicted: Big thank you for your time James, and all the best on your latest adventures.
James: Thanks guy's it's always a pleasure.
images 1-4 by Little Red Creative.
Published by Ruarie Farrelly - Sun, 1 Jul 2012 20:02