I was born in Durham in North-East England and life growing up was good. I lived with my parents and sister, just a normal family life.
Growing up I always wanted to be involved in something physical, I had thought for most of my teenage years I would end up in the military. However I've always wanted to be a fighter for as long as I could remember. Being brought up in the gym around fighters, and watching fights on the TV / Internet, it was always what I wanted to be.
My dad owns the MASAC Gym in Annfield Plain and I was pretty much brought up there as a child. From the age of 4 I studied Karate, and moved onto Jiu Jitsu before finally moving onto kickboxing aged 8.
My dad was asking the other kids in the class if they wanted to fight on a local show, I got jealous and asked to fight not really knowing what I was getting myself into. I had my first fight aged 8, won, and the rest is history.
I am fighting for a better life for myself and my daughter. I've never been a strong believer in the 9 to 5 lifestyle, so I'll do whatever it takes to succeed outside of that realm so I don't have to live that lifestyle, I did it for long enough to know its not for me.
I want my daughter to grow up proud of who I am and what I've done, and create a better life for us both in the process being able to do all the things we want to do.
Bates came into GLORY after being scouted on a 2017 Road to GLORY UK event. He faced Richard Abraham, who was 4-1 in the organization at that point, and took a solid decision win over the Chicagoan.
Bates believes his performance was too conservative against Abraham. He has a solid reason though - he says he carried a couple of bad injuries into that fight.
“I had a bad ankle and a bad shin. It was from my last fight before Abraham, bone damage. I think they called it myositis, something like that. The pain in my shin was so bad that I literally couldn't stand even to have the bed sheets over my leg, it was just too much pressure.”
At GLORY 49 he faced rising contender threat Eyevan Danenberg, the tallest fighter in the division, and lost a decision. Bates suffered broken ribs in the first round and had to fight through it. He says the pain of each subsequent kick made him want to vomit “but there was no way I was going to quit.”
Danenberg went on to win a four-man tournament at GLORY 51 two months later and secured himself a welterweight title shot.