After a gruelling training session with Manchester United captain, Katie Zelem, MMA star, Jack Cartwright, revealed why his fighting style resembles what Lisandro Martinez does on the pitch.
With Oktagon 48 at the AO Arena in Manchester, on November 4, almost upon us, the popular athlete, welcomed Zelem into his gym for a spot of pad work.
Showcasing his skills as a coach, it only took the brawler a few minutes to transform the United legend from a mere novice, to a menacing puncher.
In a testament to her versatility as an athlete, the midfielder, exhibited not just power and technique but a positive attitude, which has seen her reach the pinnacle of the footballing pyramid.
The experience not only made Zelem’s day, but also filled Cartwright with joy in equal measure. Having grown up a United fan, he was delighted to welcome his new friend through the doors of the Wayfarer Academy. And following the heavy session, he revealed which Old Trafford icon his brutal style most resembles.
In an exclusive interview with Sporf, he laughed: “Probably Lisandro Martinez. I’m not the biggest in stature, but I’m pretty violent.”
Jack Cartwright loved training with Katie Zelem ahead of Oktagon 48
With awe-inspiring skills and an unrelenting will to win, the former Cage Warriors champion’s Martinez comparison is undeniably on the mark, but with his fighting prowess already beyond doubt, how does he think Zelem would fair in the cage?
He beamed: “She did very good. She’s a quick learner and picked it up well. She’s fast and listened to instructions.”
The Mancunian continued: “I think she could definitely have a fight. She didn’t seem too keen on it, to be honest. But when she started throwing the punches, she was pretty sharp. So, I think, when she’s playing football, people better be nice to her, or she’ll stick a backhand on them.”
“Katie’s a great athlete. She represents Manchester United at a very high level. She’s very down to earth and a good human being, so it’s been a pleasure to meet her.”
Alas, despite having proven himself in MMA, Cartwright isn’t overly keen on testing his skills out on the pitch.
He laughed: “I’m absolutely useless. If I could play football half as good as I could fight, I’d be doing that instead of being punched in the face, if I’m completely honest. I’m terrible at football; Katie would make a mockery of me. So, I’ll stick to fighting, which is what I’m good at, and leave the football to the pros.”
Jack Cartwright wants to make a statement at Oktagon 48
Having scaled the heights of Cage Warriors, the power-puncher is determined to put his name in lights once again. And at Oktagon 48, he’ll have his chance, when he takes on Croatian warrior, Antun Račić, in a number one contenders’ bout.
With the Dubrovnik native having previously claimed the KSW championship, he’s one of the few men in Europe capable of mixing in the Brit’s calibre. But regardless of his experience, Cartwright still believes he can get the job done in style.
He asserted: “I think he’s very good. He’s one of the top guys in the division. He’s small, only 5 ft 6, but he’s stacked and pretty muscular. But I think I’ll just be too good for him. I’ll be better in every single area. I’ll be way too much. However, by the time he realises, it will be too late because he’ll be locked in, in front of a home crowd, getting his head pinged off, and I’ll be getting my hand raised.”
Jack Cartwright wants to emulate Ricky Hatton at Oktagon 48
As a child, Cartwright would watch the big fights at the AO Arena, in awe, one day dreaming of competing there himself. Having watched on as the likes of Michael Bisping and Ricky Hatton achieved their wildest dreams, the thought of having the opportunity to go out there and put his name in the same realm as his heroes is a chance he can’t wait to grab with both hands.
He smiled: “I’ve grown up as a massive MMA fan; it’s what I do for a living. But I love boxing, too. I grew up idolising Ricky Hatton. So getting to fight in the same venue, ‘The Hitman’, beat Kosta Tszyu, is a dream come true. If you’d have told me that when I was seven years old, I’d have bit your hand off. So, I’m trying to soak it all up and go out there and put on a good performance.”
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