Former UFC welterweight Marcus “Irish Hand Grenade” Davis would like to call a mulligan on 2013. It was just that type of year in his fight career.
After starting off the year with a controversial stoppage against Waachiim Spiritwolf in Bellator in March, Davis returned home to Main and got his only win of the year against Darrius Heylinger in May in the NEF, only to see his momentum swiftly halted by one of the worst losses of his career in the first round of last year’s Bellator 155-pound tournament.
“2013 started out tough with that no contest versus (Waachiim) Spiritwolf, which became a big thing on the internet with all these people saying this stuff, even after the commission (representative) said he didn’t find any groin contact and that he actually had a panic attack. So I thought it would be overturned and it wasn’t,” said Davis looking back on last year.
“That was a rough start, but to come back and get a win over a kid like Darrius Haylinger, who is over six feet tall and having a reach and being as good a striker that he is was a great thing for me. I never had any real luck at 155 pounds and I don’t have that frame, and I really, really wanted it bad, but (my fight against Sarnavskiy) was a really horrible performance and wasn’t there.”
Looking ahead to this year, Davis is intent on 2014 being his last, regardless of whether or not he wins or loses his fights.
“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten a lot of wear and tear on me and I’m looking forward to ending my career in the next couple months,” Davis told MMAWeekly.com.
“I’ve basically got two fights on the books. We haven’t completely finished all the details about the second one other that it would be in Bellator on Spike TV, and that would be my retirement fight. Right now, I’m focused on getting past this fight on Saturday, winning it, and then preparing for May and announcing my retirement that night.”
As Davis (22-10) mentioned, on Saturday night he’ll be returning to the NEF to face former student Ryan Sanders (5-4) in what could be the most difficult fight emotionally of his career.
“I really have mixed emotions about this fight,” said Davis. “There’s some animosity there, and I tried to get it settled and squash it a year ago by going to him and talking to him about my part in it, but it’s now turned into something that the promoters, the organization, and this kid and the fans here in Maine really want (to happen).
“(The circumstances of the fight) hasn’t really affected me as far as my training and stuff like that; it’s more in the mental aspect of the fight. So we’ll see how the fight unfolds because I’ve never been in this situation before. I’ve never felt this way going into a fight. It’s just kind of odd. We’re just going to have to see what happens Saturday night.”