Danny Henry Willing to Fight His Own Mother in UFC Debut
UFC returns to Scotland on July 16th, 2017 and one of the most promising prospects in Scottish MMA Danny Henry is looking to book his place on the card.
Danny Henry, who is the reigning EFC featherweight champion, certainly has taken the scenic route in his MMA career. Instead of staying local, the former HeadHunters lightweight champion was offered a contract at featherweight on African promotion EFC and felt this was too good of an opportunity not to jump on it. He signed a six fight contract and made the journey to Carnival City, Johannesburg, South Africa for his featherweight debut at EFC 40 against Hanru Botha. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands winning impressively via submission in round one. Two fights later and he was challenging a household name in South Africa Boyd Allen for his featherweight title.
Speaking with Obviously Fight Talk Podcast on Monday, he explained how he didn’t mind playing the heel to hometown fighter Boyd Allen.
“Nah’ not at all, it almost spurs you on,” he said. “You just wanna get in there and ruin the party a wee bit.”
That is certainly what Henry done, upsetting the locals by beating Allen via TKO in the fourth round and claiming the EFC title.
Henry’s first title defence didn’t go according to plan, losing to a unanimous decision to the dangerous Igeu Kabesa. After this bout Henry said he had vengeance on his mind more so than claiming his title back. After two TKO victories over Barend Nienaber and Wade Groth, the Scot got his wish at EFC Worldwide 57.
The trip to Carnival City this time had more meaning than just a title bout, and Henry wanted that loss on his record back. Not only did Henry get his vengeance but he also took Kabesa’s perfect record from him by way of D’Arce Choke in the opening round and claimed his EFC title back.
Looking ahead now the Edinburgh man feels the time is right for hid move to the UFC with the promotion announcing a return to Glasgow scheduled for July this year. When asked how the EFC would see this move, Henry explained that they are actually in favour of it.
“The EFC have been brilliant to be honest,” he said. “They know about the Glasgow card and they’ve already said if it goes ahead their happy to let me out of the contract, and they almost want it to happen for me too. I beat everyone over there who is worth fighting, so there’s not really any other match ups over there for me, so they’ve almost given me their blessing and said be great if you got in.”
If the UFC offer doesn’t materialise Henry confirmed that he does have something coming up with the African promotion saying they have something scheduled for August.
Although he hasn’t had personal contact with the UFC, if there had been any contact up to this time Henry said “they know about me and they know who I am.”
If the Scot does get his place on the card, he said he doesn’t have a preference of who he faces, although one person did come to mind.
“Nobody in particular, but I tweeted at Andre Fili. I was trying to get a bite out of him but he wasn’t having none of it,” he said, and then was then asked if there was anybody else. “Nah I’m not too fussed anybody, anybody, I’d fight anybody in Glasgow, I said I’d fight my own Mom!”
The conversation then moved onto the difference in exposure Henry has in the UK and Irish scene due to fighting in Africa compared to that of others who fight on the likes of BAMMA or Cage Warriors.
“Do you know what, I probably don’t get the recognition in the UK that I deserve but I think over there (South Africa). I get loads of exposure and that was the big thing for the EFC for me,” he said. “Like the production levels is almost on par with the UFC, all the stuff they do is great. But yeah is guys in the UK that get mad exposure, Paddy Pimblett look at the push he’s getting at the moment.”
When asked how he rated Pimblett’s fight the previous Saturday at Cage Warriors 82, Henry didn’t seem to be that impressed with the young man from Liverpool.
“I thought it was a good fight, I though Nad fought very smart, he looked good. Didn’t think Paddy fought very clever, kept going for that head outside single and getting sprawled on, it was just odd” he said. “He just sort of ran out of ideas didn’t he?”
Henry continued, saying he is unsure of what advice he would give to Pimblett.
“Ah I don’t know, I don’t know what I’d say to him. To be honest I’ve never been a massive fan of him, quite arrogant and stuff” he said. “I don’t know what he’s gonna do, he’s Cage Warriors managed so I’m assuming they’ll pick some favourable match ups for him and he’ll end up fighting for that belt again.”
So if the phone does ring Danny Henry is ready to answer that call and make his UFC debut to the roar of the Scottish crowd and do something he hasn’t done in a long time, fight on home soil even if it is his mother standing across the famous Octagon.
Photo Credit: southafricanmma.com