Anthony Garrett is unafraid to say he would have lost to heavyweight prospect Davion Franklin a year ago.
But times are different today and for good reason, since Garrett will stand across from Franklin at Bellator 254 this Thursday, Dec. 10. The 31-year-old is 55 pounds lighter than the last time he appeared under the Bellator banner in October 2019.
Garrett’s promotional debut ended in a no contest against the former WWE star Jake Hager due to unintentional groin shots. Fast forward to over a year later, Bellator is matching Garrett against another unbeaten prospect. Opportunity is calling and it’s clear as day for the Kansas native.
“Either him or I would have gotten a takedown and with his explosiveness, he would have probably been able to get on top and finish me if we fought a year ago. But with my speed and cardio and abilities now, I would say I have decent head movement now, it’s going to be a completely different fight,” Garrett said.
“I have a feeling they are either going to push the Hager fight again or I’ll get to fight obviously another bigger name in Bellator if I beat Davion the way I want to.”
No shortage of storylines for Anthony Garrett
Garrett’s storyline stretches further than just his work inside the cage. He recently launched a modeling career after undergoing a complete body transformation.
How Garrett got to this point is a story in itself. He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] and depression. Garrett was finally hospitalized after he could not sleep for six-straight days.
Since then, Garrett found new inspiration in his daughter Lucy. He trimmed down from a 42-inch waist to a 29-inch waist.
He is already unbeaten in 2020 after submitting JW Kiser in the first round at FAC 4 this past October.
Garrett looks completely different than the last time he wore the Bellator gloves. He expects the commentators to notice.
“I bet you $1,000 the commentators are going to be like, ‘Is this even the same fighter? Is this even the same dude we saw fight Jake Hager?,” Garrett said. “I feel they will talk about me more.”
Franklin is also making a quick turnaround this year. He is fresh off a unanimous decision win against Ras Hylton at Bellator 246 in September. Earlier this year, he finished Kiser via first-round TKO at Bellator 239 in February.
Training out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Franklin is the second recipient of the Jackson Wink. Mata Leon scholarship. Franklin is a standout football player and junior college wrestler, who’s athleticism transferred into the cage.
Garrett is not taking Franklin or his previous achievement likely, but he sees a flaw.
“He doesn’t have a gas tank,” Garrett said. “He gets in there and wants to hit you so hard and so fast that he doesn’t realize that he’s going to gas. He does have a lot of muscle, he’s a big dude and that takes a lot of oxygen to keep that going. That’s why he does gas.”
Anthony Garrett on the gridiron
Garrett is a gridiron athlete in his own right. He’s even shared the field with Cam Newton and was junior college teammates with Lavonte Davis and Jason Pierre-Paul at Fort Scott Community College.
As an offensive linemen, he helped the Greyhounds go 11-1 and finish with a No. 2 national ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association in 2009. The offense earned 4,765 yards and averaged 32.3 points per contest.
“I felt like I was a spartan in ancient Sparta. We were literally training every single day, non stop,” Garrett said. “That was probably my favorite football of my entire life.”
A real fight
Having played for Fort Scott, Garrett is used to rising to the top of his sport. Now reinvented as a fighter at 5-2, his second stint in Bellator is one he thinks will last.
If victorious, Garrett is confident Bellator will push him, maybe even giving him a rematch with Hager. First things first, Garrett is just days away from facing another undefeated prospect.
The last time he fought for Bellator, it ended in disappointment and controversy. With his transformation in the last year, Garrett is giving Belalor a new reason to remember his name.
“It’s just going to be a pure and real fight,” Garrett said. “The storyline is there.”
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.