Getting back in the win column is always a good thing, even if circumstances surrounding the victory aren’t always ideal. No one knows that better than former Ultimate Fighter winner Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove.
Heading into his bout this past Saturday at ShoFIGHT 20 in Springfield, Mo., Grove had a pretty big shift in opponents just a few days out, “I was training for a five-foot-nine stand-up boxer (in Terry Martin) and then four days before the fight I found out I had to fight six-foot-one wrestler Derek Brunson and had to switch it up last minute.”
Grove managed to make the adjustment and pull off a split-decision win, but how he did it has caught the ire of some.
“I’m just irritated because everybody’s like saying I got my ass kicked, but how?” questioned Grove. “I took no damage standing up, no damage on the ground. He’s a strong, physical guy, and he kept me on my back, that’s it.
“I was doing more damage off my back and I think judges are slowly realizing that (is more important than position) and that’s why I got the win.”
While the fight didn’t go quite as he anticipated, Grove feels the win sets him up for a good second half to the year.
“I got derailed with (the loss to) Jay Silva. He was the better man that night, so it feels good to get a win off an up-and-coming prospect like Brunson and hand him his first loss,” Grove told MMAWeekly.com.
Next up for Grove is a trip to California from his native Hawaii to train with his former Ultimate Fighter 3 coach Tito Ortiz.
“I’m actually headed out to Big Bear to help Tito train for his upcoming fight (at UFC 148),” said Grove. “Definitely training with Tito is going fill a loss in my game, which is my wrestling. I’d like to get back into that, the high-caliber wrestling, that I lack that here in Maui.”
Grove is seeking a return to the UFC, and he feels the only way to get back there is to make trips out to the camps that can provide him the type of training needed to be at that level.
“I think you’ve got to put yourself in a better environment, a place where five out of the six days you’re getting your ass kicked,” said Grove. “I need to get myself to like an Xtreme Couture for a camp, maybe hit up Jackson’s or even a Team Quest – somewhere there’s high-level training partners.
“I want to hang with the best, and the only way to do that is to train with the best.”
With three wins in his last four fights, Grove feels now is the time to make that return he’s working so hard on achieving.
“I think I’m going to make my comeback,” he said. “I’m injury-free and I’m just looking to keep on pushing forward. I think ShoFIGHT is having another one in September and I wouldn’t mind going out there and defending my belt and continue to rack up some wins.”