Jack Brown Interview #20 – Marcus Davis – March, 2013
This is number twenty in Jack Brown’s series of interviews with MMA fighters and personalities, and for this particular interview, we’re pleased to feature the veteran MMA fighter and boxer, the “Irish Hand Grenade,” Marcus Davis. Davis, a native of Maine, has had a long and successful fighting career. But he’s not done yet. This Thursday, he’ll be making his promotional debut on the main card of Bellator 93, in Lewiston, Maine. Davis will be fighting at welterweight and facing another veteran, Waachiim Spiritwolf. Please enjoy our conversation below.
Jack Brown: What was your first experience with martial arts/combat sports and how did it become more than just a hobby for you?
Marcus Davis: I was eight years old, and my mother put me in traditional karate because there were no boxing gyms in town. My grandfather was a great pro boxer and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. By age fourteen, I had my first amateur boxing match.
JB: You were a successful professional boxer long before you entered MMA. What was your most satisfying win boxing?
MD: My most satisfying win was against Joe LaRoux, for two reasons. He was undefeated at the time and I was also in a fight with his management then, and because it was in the old Boston Garden right before they demolished it and turned it into the Fleet Center.
JB: Your first professional MMA fight was a TKO win back in 2003. What do you recall about that fight?
MD: I had around six to nine MMA fights early in my career that never made it on a registry. My first two MMA fights were at heavyweight. Then I started to head down to welterweight. I think you may be asking about the Shaun Gay fight. All I really remember was it was in Atlanta, Georgia. I remember I was with Team Miletich at the time and Pat was cornering me. I remember punching him and tackling him to the ground, and I grounded and pounded him until both the towel came in and the ref stopped the match.
JB: You originally entered the UFC through the second season of The Ultimate Fighter. What did being part of that show do for you personally and professionally?
MD: It opened up the opportunity to train places where I wouldn't have been able to train at before. I met Jorge Gurgel and we became very close friends and he shared a lot about jiu-jitsu with me.
JB: After fighting on the TUF 2 finale, you returned to the UFC in 2006 and then went 6-0 in your first six fights back in the promotion. What contributed to your success at that point in your career?
MD: I stopped striking for close to six months and only grappled during that time. I filled some holes that were in my game and became more confident in MMA.
JB: Your overall MMA record is 21-9, your UFC record is 9-6 (with a bunch of "of the night" bonuses), and you fought a lot of tough guys in multiple weight classes. What performances were your most satisfying and are there any previous opponents that you'd like to rematch?
MD: As a fighter you want every fight back you ever lost. As far as the most memorable for me, it was fighting Chris Lytle in Dublin, Ireland.
JB: We last saw you in the octagon back in early 2011. You've gone 4-1 in MMA since then, and are now a part of Bellator. What has this part of your career been like for you and who has been especially supportive?
MD: It's been great as of recently. The pressure is off. I feel healthy, and I've got the support of my wife and kids, and my team and friends. I couldn't ask for more. I am happy.
JB: What current MMA fighters do you have the most respect and admiration for, and who are the fighters out there that you would still like to fight?
MD: I've been a Cro Cop fan and was happy to see him win the K1 GP this past week. I admire those who fight with their hearts and treat everyone, both in and out of the sport, with respect until they are disrespected. I don't get the ego, “I'm an MMA fighter” thing. It's silly. As far as fighters I would still like to fight, well I'm in a different place now and tore up my ninja death squad list a year ago. I let that stuff go. Too much else is in my life to worry about and fight for.
JB: You've been a fighter almost all of your life. What other plans or goals do you have for the future?
MD: In the future I will be involved with MMA, whether it be my school, training, managing and/or promoting.
JB: Last question, Marcus, and thanks for taking the time to do this. What does it mean to you to be a fighter and how much do you enjoy it?
MD: It really is just who I am, a part of me. I don't know another way to be. I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had. I hold nothing but love for the sport and the fans that spend their time and hard-earned money to support the sport that has cared for my family.
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And keep checking the UG for the next Jack Brown Interview!
Previous Jack Brown interviews:
#1 Dan Hardy
#2 Rose Namajunas
#3 Joe Lauzon
#4 War Machine
#5 Tom Lawlor
#6 Mike DolceDiet
#7 Reggie Warren
#8 Bas Rutten
#9 Bobby Razak
#10 Joe Proctor and Daron Cruickshank
#11 Chris Leben
#12 Tarec Saffiedine
#13 Dany Lauzon
#14 Jimmy Smith
#15 Phil Baroni
#16 Julie Kedzie
#18 Bec Hyatt
#19 James Thompson
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