MMA: Interview with the England's newest UFC fighter - Davey Grant
Davey is ready to fight whenever the UFC tell him - and with an event in London in March - that could be sooner rather than later
Monday 23 December 2013
At 14-years-old, Davey Grant was training in a kickboxing gym when he first discovered the sport of MMA.
“I had my first amateur fight when I was 15, and really enjoyed it. I played lots of other sports too. I used to play a game of football on a Sunday morning and then go and play a full game of rugby straight after. I love team sports as I’m a sociable person, but the thrill involved in fighting, the pressure and spotlight being only on me; I just knew it was for me.”
After living his teenage years to the fullest, Davey didn’t start dedicating his life to MMA until the age of 21.
“I was watching the a fight with my mates and I told them I used to do it. Nobody believed me because I’m not the kind of person that gets into fights, I just like to get along with people and have a laugh.”
To prove it to his friends, Davey went into training for a fight that they could all come and watch. He won, everyone saw, and “the buzz” had returned. Davey never looked back. A scaffolder at the time, Davey was only able to train threetimes a week. He made it work.
Davey made his name this year on the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show. I asked him about his experience on the show and the difficulties spending six weeks away from his family in Las Vegas.
“Obviously it’s strange because you’re living your dream, but at the same time you’re missing your kids so much. I just had to try and keep that to the back of my mind because I knew what a good opportunity it was. I really enjoyed it in the house and met some amazing people, also I ended up on the same team as my mate Michael Wooten. Even when it got tough, giving up never crossed my mind because I knew at the end of the day, this is what I want to do.”
At the semi-final stage of the competition, Davey’s opponent, Anthony Gutierrez failed to make the 135 (+1) pound weight limit. Davey received a bye to the final but was visibly upset at not being able to fight his way there.
“I was devastated. I didn’t even feel like I was in the final. Ronda [Rousey] was a big help and luckily it was only a couple of days from the end of the season so I was able to refocus, knowing I’d have to fight Chris [Holdsworth] next.”
Ronda Rousey, UFC Womens Bantamweight Champion, was Davey’s coach on TUF. She fights in the co-main event at UFC 168 next week in what is expected to be the company’s biggest show of 2013. Davey and Rousey have stayed close since the show.
“I was living in her house for a week before the TUF finale. I won’t be there next week, but I’ll speak to her and let her know I’m thinking of her.”
Davey lost his final with Chris Holdsworth. But shortly afterwards, UFC President Dana White announced that Davey would be signed by The UFC regardless.
“I was so excited to fight Chris, and wasn’t really feeling the pressure. In the fight I just made a few bad decisions. I should have kept it on the feet, but I tried to finish him because I’m exciting fighter. It was a mistake taking him to ground because he’s a black belt in BJJ but I thought I saw the finish. I would definitely like to avenge the loss. Not taking anything away from Chris, I think I lost the fight rather than him winning it. You learn more from a loss than a win, and that was my first loss since my professional debut. It’s just made me even hungrier.”
“I found out that I was being offered a contract when a friend sent me a text. Dana had been on “Beyond the Octagon” and announced it. I went on twitter and I was getting loads of tweets. I couldn’t believe it.”
Davey said he’s ready to fight whenever the UFC tell him to and he’s willing to fight anyone. With an event in London in March, it’s possible he might appear on that card.
“It’s surreal being at UFC events now because everyone there is a fight fan so I’m like a celebrity. Fans want photos and autographs and it’s nice, I don’t mind it at all. Yesterday I was shopping in Newcastle and a boy came up and asked for a photo, but that doesn’t happen a lot outside of events yet. The sport will grow in the UK, and hopefully I’ll still be fighting when it does. It would be a dream come true, to see MMA get the respect and exposure it deserves. There’s no sport more physically demanding than this one.”
Davey is aiming to be a UFC champion within 2-3 years, and I wouldn’t doubt him for a second. He is as honest, humble and dedicated as they come in sport. England have a new prospect we can relate to and be excited about. It will surely only help the UFC’s popularity here moving forwards.
As for UFC 168, Davey Grant is picking Anderson Silva to regain his belt from Chris Weidman. I am not so sure, but there will certainly be fireworks on the 28th December as the UFC close out their year on a high.
Latest in Sport
Danny Ings: Liverpool target wanted by Borussia Monchengladbach... who could get Burnley striker for just £260,000
Humiliated Brazil look to continue recovery at Arsenal
Marco Reus vs Theo Walcott: Which is the better option for Arsenal?
England vs Lithuania match report: Harry Kane fires in first Three Lions goal just 78 seconds into debut to put icing on the cake
'God, she's beautiful': Embarrassment for basketball player Nigel Hayes after microphone picks up comment about female reporter
- 1 Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
- 2 Dad eats daughter's weed brownies, thinks he's had a stroke
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...