Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

“I am where I should be” UFC debutant Jai Herbert talks about his journey to the top of MMA. [VIDEO]

Posted on 7 February 2020 by Jake Jones
Jai poses with the belt and his team at Renegade Jiu Jitsu. Photo credits to @Dollyclew

It was announced last week that the now former Cage Warriors lightweight champion, Jai Herbert, has signed with the UFC and will make his debut on March 21st at UFC London.

Herbert, 31, fights out of Renegade Jiu Jitsu based in Birmingham, UK. His record currently stands at an impressive ten wins and one loss.

He received the call up earlier last week and will replace Scotland’s Stevie Ray, in a bout against the dangerous lightweight, Marc Diakiese.

Diakiese, 26, holds a record of 14 wins to three losses and splits his training camps between AVT in Leeds, and Hemmers gym in the Netherlands

Herbert is the 96th Cage Warriors fighter to have now signed with the UFC, following the recent signature of the former Cage Warriors light heavyweight champion, Modestas Bukauskas.

Many fans and professionals across social media had called for this move. However, Herbert’s time has finally come and is under conditions that many would see a dream debut.

The standard pathway for many fighters to make their debut is to be placed on the early prelims, to then move onto the preliminary bouts in their next few fights. Should they be victorious in all these match ups, then they can expect a spot on the main card.

It is looking likely that Herbert vs Diakiese will be on the main card and possibly even the co-main event. Despite the full line-up of the card being announced, the schedule for the fights has not yet been decided.

Although it is unlikely that he will get the co-main spot, it would make for a wonderful story if he can get the win immediately before the main event, where his team-mate and title contender, Leon Edwards, takes on the former champion Tyrone Woodley.

It is nothing short of a story where hard work and dedication gets you to the top. However, standing in his way is a knockout artist who will look to shine in front of his home crowd.

Take a look at what Herbert had to say in the video below.