If you ask Jay Perrin about New England MMA finally being on the MMA map, he’ll be the first to say, “God damn right it is.”
Perrin makes his Contender Series debut in August against Dwight Joseph. The Cage Titans bantamweight champion will be one of few who are representing New England on season three of Dana White’s Contender Series.
“Growing up in New England is probably one of the best places to grow up.”
Jay is proud to be from New England, where people are resilient and have thick skin. He’ll jokingly tell you how the culture in New England is tough, “along with the f*cking weather.” From growing up in gyms, Perrin comes from a generation of Irish boxers, and he’s one of the last hoping to carry on the legacy.
Training since the age of six, Perrin decided to pick up MMA at 14. Today, those at his gym have become family and his mentors have helped guide him through the sacrifices and doubts that come with the sport. “I have found a collective of people who have my best interest at heart,” said Perrin, “And I know that so I trust them, that’s why I continue to progress with them.”
New England is city of champions and it’s time for someone from the area to make it big in mixed martial arts. New England MMA has gone under the radar for many years, however recently, there are many fighters who are leading the charge in putting the East Coast on the map. The likes of Rob Font and Calvin Kattar are, “putting on amazing performances, win or lose, they have really shown there’s something going on here in New England.”
Now that there’s more talent in the area wanting to compete, Jay feels that fighters coming up will be even better. In 5 to 10 years, MMA as a sport will keep improving and continue reaching new audiences on ESPN’s platform. With a newly found spotlight on New England MMA, it’s now up to the second generation of fighters to prove those before them right. That New England MMA is elite, too.
“We’re throwing out good quality, high-level fighters.”
With others paving the way, the 25 year old fighter takes the responsibility of showcasing the talent out in New England seriously. He looks to put on a performance, earning him a UFC contract this summer.
It’s “New England vs Everybody,” said Perrin.
Make sure to catch Jay Perrin, Fabio Cherant, and Richie Santiago on this season of Dana White’s Contender Series airing on ESPN+.