by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Heading into last month, 2006 had not gone quite as well as Dave “The Warrior” Menne had hoped. After spending much of the second half of 2005 on the shelf with injuries, Menne returned to action, this time at 175 pounds, to participate in Rumble on the Rock’s welterweight tournament in January.

Suffering the effects of having to cut to a weight that was ten pounds below his normal fighting weight, as well as a combination of illness and travel, Menne lacked the energy to compete with eventual tournament champion Jake Shields. Menne lost to Shields by unanimous decision.

After taking time off to recover and get his health straightened out, Menne returned triumphantly last month at Cage Rage 16 in England, defeating Alex Reid via unanimous decision.

“I had some difficulties with takedowns and holding position on the ground,” said Menne regarding his fight with Reid. “Early on, I threw a kick and slipped. I just had a hard time holding on to him. He was slippery, and that neutralized my takedowns. I got a single-leg and tried to finish it, but beyond that I just ground it out. I did what I needed to do and flew home.”

What allowed Menne to be more competitive in his Cage Rage fight was the fact that he was far healthier than he had been earlier in the year.

“I felt more relaxed,” commented Dave. “My natural weight was probably a bit lower than it was before ROTR, so it wasn’t really a cut. In that aspect. that was pretty good. I had other health issues then, but this time I was all-around healthier. I was readier for this fight because my health was better.”

As far as Menne’s immediate future, he now switches gears and becomes a promoter for the Extreme Challenge series of shows in his native Minnesota.

“I’ve got a show I’m promoting on the 20th, so I guess that’s my first goal,” said Dave. “I’m getting everything together for that… then I want to get back into a regular training schedule at my gym and prepare for whatever my next fight is.”

Menne added, “We’re going to have an Extreme Challenge show May 20th at the Medina Ballroom [near Minneapolis]. Brock Larson is going to be on the show along with various up-and-comers. We’re hoping to feature some of the best young talent in the area. People should be able to check out more info on it next week at TheSevilleClub.com. They usually post info about the shows there.”

When it comes to fighting, Dave has just one goal: To return to the form that helped him become the UFC’s first ever 185-pound champion.

“I’m looking to compete, to get back up, and be on top again,” explained Menne. “The goal is always to get back on top. I’m looking for the best opportunities. Any continent, any state… you know, if space travel becomes more affordable, maybe we could do that [laughs].”

Dave concluded, “I’m back on track for the year, so expect to keep hearing my name. I’d like to thank the show sponsors, The Seville Club and Absolute Bail Bonds. Fans, come check out the show and see some new talent that will hopefully be on the national and international stage soon, and see Brock Larson on the trail back to fighting in the UFC.”