It’s not often you hear that a fighter has turned down a UFC fight contract, but that’s exactly what ACB bantamweight Dean Garnett did.
Less than eight weeks ago, Garnett was offered the chance to step in and fight on the UFC Glasgow fight night event on July 16. Speaking exclusively to MMAUNO.com earlier today, Garnett revealed why he didn’t take up the offer.
“They offered me a fight against Albert Morales, the guy that Brett Johns fought,” Garnett said. “I wasn’t impressed by him at all on the night, but it doesn’t change my opinion on the situation at all. They offered me the fight on the like three weeks notice so that definitely wasn’t the right time for me to dive into the UFC.
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“I was already really happy with what ACB had offered me and what I’d already talked through with them. For me, at this stage of my career it’s better for me to be fighting a 13-2 former world champion of ACB. I would rather go fight him in his own backyard then have fought on a small Glasgow card for the UFC at this point in my career.”
Garnett was speaking about his fight with former ACB bantamweight champion Magomed Magomedov which takes places at ACB 67 in Grozny on August 19. ACB’s commitment to both him and expanding their business worldwide was a big reason why Garnett chose not to pursue the UFC offer.
“I never got the impression that the UFC was going to be using me as someone they would be sending abroad for shows,” Garnett said. “ACB have got crazy shows lined up in Australia, Japan and the like. I know they also want to make the UK a big market, bigger than the UFC have. It just felt like this was where I was going to get the best deal for myself at present.”
With that opportunity now a distant memory, Garnett is now focused on Magomedov and making a name for himself in ACB. Garnett’s confident that if he continues on his own trajectory, the offers will come flooding in again at a more relevant time.
“This fight is 100-percent a tougher fight than the Morales ones would’ve been for me,” Garnett said. “I was just about starting to prepare for this fight when I was offered that, so I was out of shape and it wouldn’t be stupid to jump into another fight just because it was on the UFC.
“I’ve got my own plan and I know for a fact that one day soon, all the promotions in the world are going to be offering me deals. I just looked at what’s suitable for me right now and a win against Magomedov is going to put me in line for a title shot in somewhere like Australia against whoever is the champion.”