The Hot Hand: Henry Looks to Continue Winning Streak at ECC
Whenever you attend a mixed martial arts event, there is usually a fighter on the card ready to take the next step in their career. At Extreme Cage Combat: Armageddon this Friday, Jeremy Henry could be that guy when he faces Gavin Tucker. The Springhill, Nova Scotia native can’t help but let emotion take over when discussing the opportunity.
“I am super excited and looking forward to it after coming off an injury back in July. I am well prepared and ready to give it my all,” says the 5-3 Henry. “I have been able to watch a couple of his fights in person. I know he is tough. Ryan (Conner) said that he likes to put a good pace on you. He is coming from Team Titan’s so I know he is training hard.”
Conner is a teammate of Henry’s who lost to Tucker in his debut. Since then, Tucker has looked unstoppable in his last three fights, his opponents unable to land a punch. He has yet to face a guy like Henry though.
Around the maritime scene for a couple of years now, Henry has been known for his knockout power, getting off to a 2-0 start. After that, he had some trouble, losing to Martin Grandmont, and suffering back-to-back submission loses to Steven Rogers. He has since improved his ground skills and stand-up, going on a three fight winning streak that includes two wins last year where he was awarded fight and submission of the night by Top MMA News.
While he has been enjoying his recent success, this bout will hold extra meaning for him, as he will be fighting in Halifax for the first time. He does not mind the nerves that may come with it.
“I like the pressure, it excites me more than anything,” says the Lightweight. “I don’t get nervous anymore like I used to. I get very excited now, and I take that to the cage and to my advantage. I am actually excited to be fighting in Halifax at the casino for the first event there and maybe pick up new fans. A lot of people don’t really know me, so hopefully I will put on a good show.”
While he may not feel the pressure about the match, he could feel it coming from his own gym. Henry currently trains at Fitplus, which has been on a hot streak as of late. Most MMA fans know about TJ Grant’s impressive debut at Lightweight with a submission win over Shane Roller last October in the UFC. There has also been Tristan Johnson, who has put back to back wins together for the Score Fighting Series, and Chris Kelades, who won at Instinct MMA’s first event.
Henry has even recently seen success in his own family, with his brother Justin Bourgeois, who was the Elite 1 Featherweight champ. Though his teammates’ success could bring added pressure to try to get the win, his partners are helping keep Henry in check.
“They keep me focused and it keeps me working hard. It makes me want to win, and keeps the ball rolling,” says Henry. “Of course I am coming from a good camp, so I want to represent strong. With Justin, we help each other a lot to keep each other on track with our fight game. We have been training together and we have been pushing each other’s pace. We are both good at it and we both love to do it.”
Despite the positives going on with Henry, there has been some bad luck in recent months. The injury mentioned earlier in the article was a separated shoulder which he suffered in a local grappling tournament. While he was lucky enough to avoid surgery, it did cost him a chance to go into the Elite 1 Lightweight tournament last October.
If you look at the contestants left, Henry would seem to have had the clear advantage on paper. While missing an opportunity is bad, losing almost everything is worse. Henry’s home caught fire a few weeks before Christmas in Sackville, destroying most of his family’s possessions. While the incident happened during the worst time of the year, luckily no one was hurt.
“It was an electrical fire,” says Henry. “It was super hard when it first happened… it was Christmas and I had lost all the gifts and all the kids’ stuff. Then it was the preparation of what I was going to do next. Was I going to take this fight and continue my training camp? My head was down for a couple of days, but I picked it back up and got back on my feet. I have a good family, strong friends and teammates that were able to help me out. I just trained and stayed strong, which resulted in a great training camp.”
While he has been doing what he can to move forward, a win on Friday night would be a nice place to start. He’s not taking an easy fight, but one man will have him prepared, with his good luck fanny pack on him at cageside.
“We are very confident that no matter where the fight goes that Jeremy has the composure, the fitness and the skills to either put the fight were he wants it, or counter anything Gavin has for him,” says Scott Maclean, Henry’s trainer. It is not a specific game plan. It is one of those things that Jeremy is prepared for in all aspects. I don’t want to say he is inviting, but if Gavin has an answer for what Jeremy can do, then we are excited to see what Gavin brings to the table.”