They say you can’t go home again, but for former UFC and current Bellator fighter Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis, he gets a chance to do so when he returns to Bangor, Maine, for the NEF promotion on Saturday night.
“I’ve only fought in Maine as an MMA fighter twice,” said Davis. “I’m the only main card UFC fighter left. But no, there’s no pressure on me (fighting in front of my hometown crowd). I’ve just got to go out there and do what I do and come out with a victory.
“For me to grow the sport I love, the sport that takes care of my family and to grow my brand and schools here, it only makes sense to try to promote the hell out of MMA here as much as I can.”
Davis is returning to Maine following a disappointing Bellator debut in March where he ended up with a no contest due to his opponent, Waachiim Spiritwolf, being unable to continue after what initially appeared to be an accidental knee strike to the groin.
“As far as the match goes, I feel like I was in his head and honestly I think he took the coward’s way out,” said Davis of Spiritwolf. “His people are saying it was a low blow, but the referee couldn’t really see what had happened and assumed it was a low blow, but if you watch any of the video footage from the side, it completely shows all the kinetic energy and everything went right into his stomach.
“The doctor’s findings were that he had a panic attack in there. Anyway, it’s over. It’s disappointing that a victory got stolen from me basically because basically he was in over his head.”
Davis hopes Saturday’s bout against Darrius Heyliger will have a different outcome, even if to him the bout is a lot more difficult than people might expect.
“On paper it looks like the veteran guy against the guy that’s relatively new, but the thing is, it’s a horrible match-up for me stylistically and size-wise,” said Davis. “He’s six-foot-two and I never do well with guys over six feet (because) everybody knows I’ve got a short range. He’s a really good striker with a wrestling background that’s won by all means and comes from a very tough camp who have all done well in Maine; so stylistically it’s a nightmare for me.
“What I need to do to win is I need to go in there and control the pace and I’ve got to make him make a mistake and do the things I do best and not try to force anything.”
Should Davis get past Heyliger healthy, he told MMAWeekly.com he intends to move to lightweight full-time and return to Bellator later this year for what could very well be his last shot at glory.
“I’m going to finish out my career at lightweight as long as my body maintains it,” he said. “This year coming up, I’m going to go in the Bellator tournament and win my three fights and would like to be able to face Michael Chandler if he’s still champ at that time.
“I’d like a crack at (Chandler) and see what happens and then maybe a year or two after that hang my hat up in Bellator and finish up my career with them.”