HEXAGONE MMA: Dean Garnett can’t wait to be a ‘beast’ in the octagon ahead of long-awaited comeback

British MMA veteran Dean Garnett will take on Miguel Haro this Saturday in his first competitive fight in almost five years.

The 34-year-old has been out of action since his victory over Dominique Wooding back in 2018. 

Since then, Garnett has been busy building his own academy while also coaching the likes of UFC's Muhammad Mokaev.

Despite being away from competitive action, Garnett admitted he is enjoying other roles in the sport.

"I'm living my dream," he told Planet Sport. "This is the vision I had 10/11 years ago for myself.

"I wanted to achieve more in my fighting career but I'd say I'm happy overall with what I've done in the sport and I still think I've got time left to make an impact."

Garnett's Aspire Combat Sports Academy has unearthed a number of potential world-class MMA talent.

The academy also goes beyond the sport and offers qualifications.

"Some of the things you develop at the academy include a post-16 BTEC. We've got a classroom facility on site and when students leave school, they do a two-year study programme which is all about sport.

"They obviously make it relatable to MMA. They do a lot of coaching experience, they can get extra qualifications like hand wrapping and all that kind of stuff.

"It's kind of a world first programme. We've done some really special things at Aspire. I think Muhammad Mokaev is the most noticeable one but we've also got a lot of young talent coming through.

"Liam McCracken is making his Bellator debut on the 25th of February. He's probably one of the top prospects in Europe right now.

"We've got a host of other guys. We've got a young kid Shea Williams who is only 13 but is the number one pound-for-pound ranked amateur on IMMAF's rankings for juniors. He won the World's recently."

While Garnett is pleased with the amount of talent coming through his academy, the Brit is also glad to be returning to the octagon himself.

He added: "We've got loads of guys who have big careers in the sport coming. It's nice to be a part of that team and a leader in that community. But it's also nice to go back to me being a beast again in the octagon."

The Liverpool-born fighter will square off with Miguel Haro at HEXAGONE MMA 6 in Paris on January 22.

The event will be streamed live on DAZN.

READ MORE: HEXAGONE MMA: Dean Garnett targets future title shot as he makes long-awaited octagon return

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