Corey Fry can’t wait to fly over to Cologne, knock out Deniz Ilbay in explosive fashion and then treat himself to a traditional German sausage.
Since his journey into the world of MMA first began at the age of 15, the ferocious striker has always looked destined for success. And now, having proven himself beyond doubt on the UK circuit, he’s ready to pounce on the biggest opportunity of his career when he takes on a decorated boxer in front of 20,000 screaming fans.
When Fry steps out in front of a partisan crowd against a man who’s scaled the heights inside the squared circle, he knows he’ll have it all to prove. But having developed into an all-round fighter under the watchful eye of Steve Nightingale at North West Fight Academy, he’s confident he has the ability to render his opponent unconscious with one of his trademark left hooks.
And after the referee lifts his hand in the air, the Lancashire sportsman intends to head into Cologne city centre and grab a bite of a bratwurst.
In an exclusive interview with Sporf, he laughed: “I’m hoping the Christmas Markets are on, but I’ve heard that it might be the week after. But I’ll go out and celebrate because some of my friends and family are coming over, so I might go out and celebrate and have a German beer and some German cuisine. I’ll enjoy myself and soak it all in because I’ve heard Cologne is meant to be a beautiful place.”
Corey Fry loves tattoos and motorbikes
While Fry’s tattoos add to his undeniably hard persona, his artwork is about much more than mere aesthetics, with each design representing a greater meaning.
He explained: “They all symbolise something that has happened in my life. I’ve got both my boy’s names on my hands. I’ve got my grandad on my right hand. I have a cross to symbolise my best mate, who was killed in 2018. I think my chest is probably my favourite. It’s the one that stands out the most. I’ve got ‘Work hard, dream big’. I’ve got the skull and roses and the death moth.”
When he’s not icing people inside the cage, Fry spends his time pursuing another one of his interests — motorbikes.
He beamed: “I’ve been into motorbikes since I was a little kid. I’m sponsored by a motorcycle club. My cousin is part of a motorcycle club. He’s always been involved in motorbikes. I’ve had motorbikes myself. It’s a passion I’ve had from being a young kid.”
Corey Fry fights for his family
In a sport as lonely as MMA, it’s imperative to have an incredible support network, and the power puncher is lucky to have the best fan in the world in the form of his brother and fellow fighter — Zach.
Over the years, the pair have encouraged one another physically and mentally en route to becoming two of the best prospects in the country. And when Fry steps out in front of an army of Ilbay’s fans, he’ll have his sibling by his side, cheering him all the way.
But if that wasn’t inspiration enough, Fry doesn’t just compete for himself, but his two beloved children at home.
The loving father said: “I had kids from the get-go. I started MMA on and off when I was 15, and I had my first child at 17. So, I’ve always had kids while I’ve been going through it. It’s a great motivator to get myself out of bed in the morning because I’m not just fighting for myself, but for them as well.”
Corey Fry looks up to Aaron Aby
After conquering the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, Oktagon MMA arrived on British soil with a bang. In their first event, Fry’s training partner and cancer survivor, Aaron Aby, put it all on the line in a title fight against UFC veteran Elias Garcia. And despite dominating the first two rounds, he fell foul to a nasty cut, which forced the doctor to pull him out. But regardless of the result, the Welshman serves as a hero to those around him.
Fry asserted: “It’s heartbreaking because we all thought it was his time. But one thing Aby has shown us, going through his MMA career and over the last few years, is that life has always chucked him a curveball. It’s never been simple. If he were to have gone and won it that easy, you wouldn’t have believed it had happened because everything he’s done in his life has been a big comeback story. So, this has fit in a bit, because I think he will come back hungrier and better than ever and put on a clinic. I’m gutted for him, but it shows you that it’s not the end of the line.”
Aaron Aby has helped make Corey Fry the fighter he is today
Fry continued: “I remember when I lost my first professional fight. The pressure in the pros is that if you lose, you feel like that’s it. It’s done. But with Aby, he’s shown us that even when you’re chucked the biggest curveball, you can come back. He’s had cancer. That destroys most people on the planet, and now he’s smashing people all over the world. Aaron’s just fallen short. He’s not lost the fight, he’s been pulled out medically. He’s not been dominated, knocked out or choked out. It’s just a cut above his eye. He’ll bounce back. I know he will. He’s an animal.”
Corey Fry sets the record straight on Denis Frimpong
In addition to watching Aby fight his heart out for championship glory, Fry observed the finale of Oktagon Challenge: England vs Ireland, between George Staines and Denis Frimpong. And it’s fair to say that he wouldn’t have put up with the Irishman’s trash talk on the show. However, rather than focusing on the Dubliner, he’s setting his sights much higher, dreaming of eventually winning the title.
The 28-year-old stressed: “I’m a little bit different to them. They’ve got a cooler temperament than me. I’ve got a shorter fuse. I don’t concern myself with people who are beneath me. I don’t want to get sucked into it.
“With Frimpong, that was always going to happen in that fight. In the post-fight press conference, he said he wants to fight someone who won’t grapple him. But if you don’t want to get grappled, you’re in the wrong f***ing sport. That’s the simple fact of it. I’m a striker, but if I said, ‘I don’t want someone to take me down’, I’d be an idiot. If he’s a good striker like he thinks he is, the first thing he should be expecting is for someone to try and take him down, and he should have worked a full camp on stopping that takedown, so, more fool him.”
Corey Fry believes he is destined to become Oktagon champion
Fry concluded: “I’m happy for George. That’s probably one of the most dominant wins I’ve seen for a debut in my life. He was unbelievable. He was dominant from the get-go and Frimpong didn’t have any answer for him. But I’m not going to concern myself with people like that, I’m looking past people like that, I’m looking higher than him. I want the title eventually.
“I’m going to get Deniz out of the way. He’s got a good record, a really good resume in boxing. This will propel me into the big leagues. I did this with ‘Mr Pink’, Martin McDonough, who I just fought, he was 12-5. The ex-Cage Warriors champion, Alex Enlund, fought him, and I went out and absolutely dominated him in 39 seconds, and he’s fought some of the best in the country. So, I think when Deniz is out of the way, I can go for the title in three more fights.”
Featured Image Credit: Corey Fry