Bates: “I have unfinished business with Kongolo”

Bates: “I have unfinished business with Kongolo”

Thursday, Sep 07 2017 by John O'Regan

Watch Jamie Bates' debut fight from GLORY 40 Copenhagen on UFC Fight Pass: http://bit.ly/G40SFSonUFC
 
British Welterweight Jamie Bates is gunning for a revenge rematch with Yoann Kongolo.
 
The two fought in Kongolo’s native Switzerland back in 2014 and Bates ended up losing by stoppage in the third round after being dropped by a spinning backfist. Now that they are both part of the GLORY Welterweight roster, Bates is hoping they can meet again.
 
“I have got unfinished business with him,  from when we fought in his home town. I feel like I let myself down in that fight. Even though I won the first two rounds, in my opinion, overall I fought badly,” he recalls.
 
“He dropped me in the third round and even though I beat the count, the referee waved the fight off. I feel like the referee maybe got into his count a little too quickly and even then when I beat the count he stopped the fight, which annoyed me. I thought that was a bit dubious. But anyway, that was that. i’ve improved loads since then and I’d like to get that win back.”
 
Bates debuted at GLORY 40 COPENHAGEN with a win over Richard Abraham, who got himself back in the win column via victory over Daniel Morales at the recent GLORY 44 CHICAGO event. Abraham was 4-1 in GLORY when Bates fought him. Despite securing a solid decision win, Bates remembers the tension surrounding the encounter.
 
“I did feel the pressure for that one. I had a lot of injuries going into that fight, a coupe of them pretty severe. It was a bit of risk going in there. Between the injuries and being on that big stage I didn't open up as much as I would have liked to,” he says.
 
“Also, I was too much in my comfort zone. I feel I perform better with dangerous opponents. I didn't feel threatened in the fight; if he had pushed me more I think I would have shown more. He hit me with one shot which buzzed me, but that was it. One overhand right, nothing else. He wasn't clever enough; I think he still lacks top-level experience.”
 
Bates also believes that despite Abraham being 4-0 at one point and seemingly on the edge of a title shot, “it would have been too soon for him - he needs another four or five fights at this level before he faces guys like Doumbé or Holzken”. 
 
When he talks about the injuries he carried into the Abraham fight, Bates gives an insight into the kind of things that professional fighters have to cope with on a regular basis. Ask any pro about how often they have fought injured and the answer is the same: “Always”. 
 
“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,” he laughs.
 
“The guy I fought, Kev Ward, kicking him is just like kicking this big solid piece of bone. Some people just have denser bones, like you can feel sometimes even just drilling with someone that they have callus on their shins. Ward is like that. The first kick of the fight, we clashed shins and then kept clashing for the entire fight and my shin was just ruined afterwards.”
 
Despite the injuries, Bates was able to take the decision over Abraham and score a win on his debut. Now he’s waiting for news of his next match and if he can't get Kongolo he would like to face “anybody from the top five”.
 
“I guess Harut Grigorian is going to fight Murthel Groenhart for the belt because he won the Contender Tournament in Chicago,” he muses.
 
“If not Kongolo… hmm. Antoine Pinto maybe. I don’t see the hype with him. Guys just aren’t seeing how to get through his daft guard where he puts the elbow across the chin. It works in Muay Thai but it’s not really suited to GLORY; he’s wide open for a fighter who doesn't head-hunt. 
 
“Nieky Holzken, I think he’s slowing down. He’s getting old, you can see that in his reaction training that he showed in a recent video. He’s not as fast as he used to be. Too many fights maybe. 
 
“He talks about crossing over into boxing and maybe now is the time, although I think I would beat him at boxing as well to be honest. I wish the British Boxing Board of Control would let guys box and kickbox at the same time but they don’t, for some reason.
 
“But really I am willing to fight anybody. I am just waiting for the call now. Welterweight is wide open and it needs some new blood at the top end.”
 
GLORY’s next event takes place Saturday, September 30 at the Sporthallen Zuid in Amsterdam, Netherlands and features Featherweight champion Robin van Roosmalen defending his title against former champion Serhiy Adamchuk in the main event.

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