by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
(Graphic courtesy of irishhandgrenade.com)
Marcus Davis returns at UFC 75 in London, England. In his sixth Octagon appearance, the “Irish Hand Grenade” will take on Paul Taylor in what is expected to be an entertaining fight.
The Maine resident is coming off of a TKO victory over Jason Tan at UFC 72 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
“Everything is going great. Once again I’m in good condition and no injuries to speak of. I’m ready to go,” said Davis.
A former contestant on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter, Davis lost his UFC debut against Melvin Guillard on the show’s finale. Since then, the former professional boxer has compiled nine consecutive victories, the last four coming from inside the Octagon.
In preparation for this fight, Marcus surrounded himself with some well-known names. “For this type of opponent, I’ve been mainly training at Sityodtong [Muay Thai Academy] with Mark DellaGrotte [kickboxing coach from Ultimate Fighter 4]. Kenny Florian has been helping me on the ground. I feel really good on the ground. I’ve really been working my ground-n-pound. I did a lot of sparring with Patrick Cote, getting him ready for Kendall Grove. Also sparred with Jonathon Goulet. Now I’m back home at my school, Team Irish, in Bangor [Maine].”
A former Cage Rage champion, Paul Taylor is a tough fighter with a kickboxing pedigree and holds notable wins over Zelg Galesic and Jess Liaudin. Taylor made his Octagon debut at UFC 70 where he defeated Edilberto de Olivera.
“I watched his fight against ‘Crocota’ [Edilberto de Olivera] out of mistake. I don’t watch fights anymore of the guys I’m going to be fighting because I find a flaw in them … when I fight them, I tend to wait for them to make that mistake and I’ve learned that you can’t do that,” revealed Davis. “You have to go out there and open up your own opportunities.”
“All I do know about him is that he’s a grappler/kickboxer and that’s going to fall into fighting me,” added the leader of Team Irish. “He’s saying that he’ll stand up with me, but we’ll see; I’m going to hit him and we’ll see what happens. I really see me beating him in every facet.”
Prior to UFC 72, Davis was informed by the UFC that he would have to change his nickname. Because the event was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the UFC did not want to possibly offend the Northern Irish crowd with Davis’ moniker. Marcus fought under the temporary handle of “The Celtic Warrior”.
“After that was all over, I told them [UFC], ‘listen I can’t do that anymore.’ Don’t call me anything else, either just Marcus or the Irish Hand Grenade. I’ve had that moniker for so long. It’s nice to be back to the Irish Hand Grenade,” stated Davis.
Fighting abroad doesn’t bother Marcus Davis. In fact, he expressed his interest in fighting in other countries, particularly in Japan. “I would love to fight in UFC Japan and fight [Takanori] Gomi. That’s the one I’ve been asking for and I’d meet him at a catch weight of 165 [pounds]. It’s probably never going to happen. When I leave this sport, I want to have one fight that people will talk about; like Hagler vs. Hearns and those kinds of fights with boxers. I want to have one of those fights in MMA. That’s all I want. I’m not asking for belts. I’m just asking for one absolutely sick fight that people will talk about forever. I think that Gomi and I could be that fight.”
This Saturday at the O2 Arena in London the “Irish Hand Grenade” has the opportunity to extend his UFC winning streak to five and move himself one spot higher on the list of title contenders.
“Don’t blink. Paul Taylor is going to come out firing and I plan on firing back. This fight is going to be a fast one and I think it’s going to be over in the first round. It’s going to be a quick and entertaining fight. I fight because I like to fight. Whether it’s on TV or someone’s backyard, I’m happy to fight.”