by Matt Hill – MMAWeekly.com
‘The Irish Hand Grenade’ Marcus Davis used to find his calling and his paychecks inside the boxing ring. But when this boxer-turned-Ultimate Fighter decided that mixed martial arts was the avenue he was going to pursue, he firmly devoted himself to seeking out the best training partners and coaches that MMA could provide.
A couple of years and a number of fights later, Davis will once again have the chance to showcase his ever-improving skills when he steps back into the cage against Jess Liaudin, a tough French fighter who always looks to put on a good show and finish a fight before the final bell sounds.
The fight between these two men is scheduled to be held during UFC 80 “Rapid Fire” in Newcastle, England. Each of these two men is on a solid streak of wins, and each of them needs to continue his winning ways to keep scaling the welterweight ladder.
Davis may be a well-known fighter now, but he was first introduced to Ultimate Fighting Championship fans on Spike TV’s hit show, “The Ultimate Fighter Season II” as a participant on Team Franklin. Fans now, though, have come to know him less for his reality show celebrity and more for being a viable UFC 170-pound contender.
Ironically enough, the show that launched him into the public eye is also the last time that the Bangor, Maine native has tasted defeat. Davis lost by TKO in the series’ season finale to the incredibly athletic Melvin Guillard, his fellow Team Franklin teammate while on the show.
Since losing to Guillard, however, Davis has been riding the wave of an incredible 10-fight win streak. He has completely committed himself to becoming the best mixed martial artist he can possibly be and has shown his progression in the fight game with six of his last 10 wins coming by way of submission.
The boxer is now tapping guys out left and right… the guy formerly known as the man you didn’t want to stand up with is now known as someone who is dangerous from any position he finds himself in.
Davis said of his improvement, “I’m working my Muay Thai, my ground and pound … I’m just tying the whole thing together being an MMA fighter instead of just a striker or a grappler.”
He will be testing his progression as a mixed martial artist once again when he makes his third trip across the ocean to fight since he joined the UFC. Davis said that he loves the fans that he has encountered in each of his overseas fights, and described the atmosphere of the overseas arenas as, “Awesome.”
While Davis has had split encounters with fan support while fighting overseas (he was the crowd favorite in Ireland and the total opposite in his fight with hometown kid Paul Taylor in London), he believes that this time he will have the crowd in his corner.
But even though Davis believes that he will be the one who garners the crowd support on the Jan. 19, to be honest, he worries about crowd support about as much as he worries about his opponents’ game plans… not at all.
Davis said, “I just show up and I fight. Mark (DellaGrotte) has the plan; he’s in control … I listen. Mark’s there, he walks me through what to do and you know I’m just always prepared. I’m in good shape all the time and I just constantly get better and I change and I always come to the table with new tools.”
He continued, “I don’t watch tape because I don’t like to sit back and wait for stuff to happen, I like to create openings.
When asked if he feels whether he’ll be able to create an opening against Liaudin, Davis certainly didn’t mix his words.
“I’m going to do something that’s never happened in MMA before. It will be a first ever … I’m going to punch a hole through his friggin’ face … I’m going to punch a hole right through his head, that’s my plan.”