by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Coming off of a Fight of the Night performance over Jason Black at UFC 77, big things were expected from Oklahoma fighter Matt Grice, but the lightweight has been absent from the Octagon since that bout last October.

MMAWeekly.com caught up with Grice who is currently at home training at the Oklahoma City Police Academy for the start of a career to help him provide for his wife and young daughter.

“Since my fight with Jason Black, I found out I got accepted in the Oklahoma City Police Academy,” he said, “which is something I wanted to do for a long time. And since I had my daughter it kind of sped that process up, to get something set in stone, a career going to where if something did happen to me where I got hurt, or something happened with my fighting career, I had a steady income that I could still provide for my family.”

Grice explains that his option to work for the police department ultimately will not interfere with his fight career as the Ultimate Fighting Championship has left an open door for the lightweight to come back as soon as he’s ready.

“I talked to Joe Silva and (UFC) about it, and I was kind of nervous about telling them because the UFC, they’ve got so much talent in the 155-pound division that I thought they’d just be like ‘alright you go and do that and we’ll talk to you down the road,’ but they were really cool about everything,” he stated. “I guess (what) they did is my contract just stays where it’s at. I had one fight left on my contract and whenever I get out of the academy and get off my probation then I will go and pick up my next fight.”

With all the negativity aimed at organizations for fighter treatment, Grice couldn’t be happier for what the UFC did to allow him to pursue his second career.

“Joe Silva, he told me, ‘I respect that. I understand. We can’t fault you for wanting to better yourself and provide for your family,” said Grice. “You hear everybody say ‘the UFC treats their guys like crap. They do this, they do that.’ I’ve never had anything but good experiences with them. Every time that I’ve ever fought for them, you need anything, they’re there for you.”

As far as his fight career, Grice promises as soon as his training is done he will be back at another kind of training to get him ready to focus on his fight career.

“It wasn’t just a job or a sport. It’s a passion I have to fight. I love it,” Grice stated. “I’m itching to get back in there and fight, I can’t wait.”