Thursday, July 7, 2022

MMANEWS.COM EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Marcus Davis

After coming off a very impressive win at UFC 75 and taking home fight of the night and submission of the night honors, Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis sat down with MMANews.com's own Chris Howie to discuss, among many other things, who he'd like to fight next and how it felt to win those bonuses.

Chris Howie of MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I will be speaking with UFC Welterweight, Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis. How are you today Marcus?

Marcus Davis: Good man. How are you?

MMANews.com: I’m feeling pretty good Marcus as I’m sure you are after coming off that very impressive victory at UFC 75.

Marcus Davis: I feel great right now. I had a big win and I beat a really tough guy and I did it in a way that many people would not expect a former boxer to do it in. It was a very good win.

MMANews.com: With another win coming by submission, what have you been doing to better develop your all around MMA ground game?

Marcus Davis: Over the last year with my fights in the UFC I think that I’ve shown more of my wrestling game and submission game. My throws, takedowns, elbows, and kicks show different aspects of how much I have grown as a fighter and if you look at my record my first wins were coming by KO and TKO and now in my last 10 fights I’ve submitted 6 of those opponents. I have TKO’d two of them and gone to two decisions so I think that shows how much I’ve grown.

MMANews.com: Since coming off The Ultimate Fighter you have been on a 10 fight win streak and have been silently sneaking up the welterweight rankings. How do you feel you match in the UFC welterweight division right now?

Marcus Davis: I’ve seen some sites that have me ranked at 10 or close to the top 10 but what is important to me right now is just getting better and better. I don’t really care about where I’m at in that whole scene right now. It is also important that I get good fights that compliment my style which is I touch your hand at the start of the fight and then I go after you and throw punches and try and not you out. Those are good fights for me. If I had to rank myself I’d say I am at least in the top 20 but I don’t think I’m ready to be in the top 10 although some people do see it that way. It’s flattering but I don’t think I deserve any title shot soon. I think there are so many other guys out there that deserve like Jon Fitch and Karo Parisyan — guys that have been working hard. My time will come. If I go another year the way I have been going and this time next year I’m on the 15 fight win streak, then yeah give me a title shot but right now there is no rush.

MMANews.com: What did it mean to you to win fight of the night honors for UFC 75?

Marcus Davis: It was awesome man. In my last two fights I’ve won every bonus you can get. When I fought Jason Tan I got knock out of the night and against Paul Taylor I won submission of the fight and fight of the night and it feels good to have come so far and feel appreciated. I’m showing that I’ve come full circle and am not just a one dimensional fighter anymore. I’m an MMA fighter and there is really nothing about me that shows I’m just a boxer anymore other than the fact that I can punch.

MMANews.com: When did you first start martial arts?

Marcus Davis: Well I first started in martial arts when I was 8 years old. I had my first amateur boxing match at 14 years old and turned pro at 18. So I was pretty busy. As an amateur I was 32-2 and as a pro I was 22-1.

MMANews.com: When did you decide to enter the MMA world?

Marcus Davis: Well I was tempted as early as 1993 when they first started doing the UFC. I seen the first one and I was just hooked and couldn’t wait for the next one to come out. I started playing around and was doing sort of hybrid training. I was going to Jeet Kune Do School and doing a little bit of grappling but I was tied to a professional boxing contract and couldn’t do anything else or I’d get in trouble. So when that contract ended I started playing around with it a little more and had my first MMA fight, well not MMA but more like Pancrase rules with open hand strikes, back in 2000. The first fight on my MMA record came in 2003.

MMANews.com: Do you see yourself fighting again in 2007 or will we see you early in 2008?

Marcus Davis: I think that the UFC could call me and I’d could fight on the big show in December but they haven’t mentioned anything yet but they have mentioned me possibly returning to the UK in January.

MMANews.com: What are your thoughts on going over seas to fight?

Marcus Davis: I love going over there. I’m from a small town, Bangor Maine, and I didn’t get to go too many places until I started fighting for the UFC. Now that I’m with them I have been to Ireland and London. When I was in London me and my manager, Joe Cavallaro, rented a car and travelled the whole northern part of Ireland and London. I’d love to go back to Ireland but I’d fight anywhere they go. Being from a small town I’m always travelling and it feels like I’m the bad guy because I’m fighting them in their backyard but that doesn’t bother me at all – I kind of like it.

MMANews.com: Do you have a preference on where you fight?

Marcus Davis: Man I’m a proud American and love fighting in the USA but I’ve been everywhere and there isn’t a whole lot new to see. I’d like to fight overseas again but at the end of the day I’ll fight anywhere.

MMANews.com: Let’s talk about your training a bit. Who helped you prepare for your fight at UFC 75?

Marcus Davis: For UFC 75 I went back to my main coach who is Mark Dellagrotte. He is the one who helps ties everything together and makes sure it all fits. Jorge Gurgel is my ground coach, teaching me how to be a Jiu-Jitsu guy and how to be comfortable on my back and fight from my back and my comfortable in the grappling aspect. Obviously my experience in boxing is helpful and Mark helps blend that in to the things that Jorge teaches me. My last coach who past away, Seung O Choi, help make me a complete Mixed Martial Artists and now Mark helps keep it all there and together. I spend most of my time at Sityodtong but I also go to Jorge’s school and work out with those guys, Rich Franklin and my buddy Joe Riggs.

MMANews.com: I actually spoke with Kenny Florian a weeks back and he talked about how Sityodtong is becoming one of the most effective MMA schools out there.

Marcus Davis: Yeah, I was reading in a magazine and they put Mark as one of the top 3 coaches in the world for MMA. It was Real Fighter magazine and I know of a book that is being written about the best teachers of MMA in the US and they are going to be interviewing Mark for that in October. Obviously Sityodtong’s logo is Muay Thai Kickboxing but there have been times that I have been in and we’ve had 9 BJJ black-belts at one time. There are professional boxers there all the time and grapplers. You can just go in there and find someone who is a specialist at everything.

MMANews.com: With more than half of your last 10 fights ending in a submission, do you prefer to still win by KO or are you comfortable anywhere now?

Marcus Davis: Well who doesn’t like a highlight reel knockout? I just the ground game as well now but one thing that matters most to me now is having exciting fights. I don’t want to fight anyone that is just going to lay and pray on me. That stuff worries me because not just for the fans but for myself as well, I like getting in there and just go after it. I want to have that feeling you’d get from watching a fight like Gatti-Ward or Bonnar-Griffin. The feeling you get when watching a fight like those is how I want people to feel when they watch my fights.

MMANews.com: Your last fight was definitely exciting…

Marcus Davis: Yeah exactly like that one. I don’t want to be in a fight where I get in the clinch and take the guy down and submit him. I want the fights people are going to talk about around the water cooler.

MMANews.com: Is there anyone in particular that you would like to fight next?

Marcus Davis: The dream fight for me right now, and it is not because I think I can beat him but because I think we’ll have a good fight, is Takanori Gomi. Our styles would compliment each other in that it would be a war. I know I’ll bust his face up and he’ll but my face up and it will be an amazing fight and that is the type of fight people want to see.

MMANews.com: Do you feel that is a fight the UFC could make happen?

Marcus Davis: I told the UFC, “If you want the greatest fight you ever had to happen, make that fight”. I told them I’d fight him at a catch weight so if he wanted to fight me at 165lbs I’d make 165lbs for that fight. I know that is what they did for him in Pride so I’d be willing to do it.

MMANews.com: Ok Marcus, do have any sponsors or anyone you would like to thank?

Marcus Davis: Most of all I have to thank Full Contact Fighter. They’ve been with me since I started in the UFC and have treated me so well and taken really good card of me. I’ll continue to stay with them because of how they’ve treated me.

MMANews.com: Ok well I’d to thank you Marcus for speaking with me today and I’m like myself everyone can’t wait until your next fight.

Marcus Davis: Thank you for having me.

If you have any questions or comments please fee free to drop Chris Howie a line at [email protected]

You can also discuss this interview in our forums at forums.mmanews.com

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