Marcus Davis Excited to Fight Nate Diaz at UFC 118
As a young, poor child from the East Coast, Marcus Davis set forth his goals early in life. The proud Irish-American wanted to become a professional fighter and compete in Ireland.
At the ripe age of 19, Davis made the leap to the professional level of boxing and, just a few years later, was drawn into the hype of mixed martial arts, making his professional MMA debut in 2003.
Throughout both his boxing career and mixed martial arts career, “The Irish Hand Grenade” has had a great deal of success, enjoying power in his hands that have led to several vicious knockouts, as well as an ever-improving MMA game that has allowed him to compete in the sport as a professional and even accomplish his goal of fighting in Ireland.
Yet with all the success that has come to Davis over his career, make no mistake about it, he is a fighter, first and foremost, for your entertainment.
Davis’ streak of entertainment is set to continue this Saturday at UFC 118 in Boston, Massachusetts where he will meet Nate Diaz in a welterweight tilt. Davis immediately showed interest in this fight when it was first presented to him due to the fact that it is certainly a Fight of the Night type of match up.
That is the kind of fight that Davis has always looked for, which is why he is appreciative of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva’s decision to give him a fight that will in all likelihood be an entertaining one for the fans.
“That’s what I hunt for, fights that make sense,” Davis says. “It doesn’t make sense for me to fight wrestlers that are going to try to take me down and lay on top of me and try to grind out a decision just by being safe. It makes more sense for me to be fighting the guys that are going to fight a little bit on the ground, but are also going to fight standing up. Don’t get me wrong, it’s MMA and I do enjoy the whole aspect of it, but I don’t like the laying and praying stuff. Yeah, we are supposed to win fights, but our job is to entertain. That’s what we are. We’re entertainers. I think that we can entertain a lot of people that night.”
The match up with Diaz certainly builds upon Davis’ excitement for the fight. He gets to fight a man who will engage, exchange, and boasts a noticeable never-say-die attitude.
But, just to add to the intrigue of the fight, Davis also sees a match up with a fighter he feels he is fairly similar to. However, he also sees the advantages he holds over his younger opponent, which he believe comes down to his boxing experience.
“He’s similar to me as far as what he uses in his arsenal,” Davis says. “I think that what Diaz does for his boxing, being long, throwing out his lead left hand a lot, he has some good things that he does. But I have more tools. I have better footwork. He moves forwards and backwards. I move side to side. I’m good at closing the gap quickly and getting my shots off and getting back out. I think that I’m the more powerful puncher. I don’t think there is any question about that. I hit guys with one shot and they go out. As far as boxing skill goes, I think I have the advantage there.”
With an alleged advantage in the boxing department, Davis is confident that his fight against Diaz this weekend will end in victory for him and, likely, a bonus check for both he and Diaz.
But Davis’ upcoming fight is just a small part of the bigger picture.
At the age of 36 in a sport that is bitter towards its aging veterans, Davis continues to plug away and win fights, but that will not always be the case. Apart from the rare examples, the exceptions to the rules (see Couture, Randy), this sport has never been kind to anyone crawling up there in age.
However, Davis does not let age get in the way of competition. He understands that careers come to an end and that one day his will as well, which brings up the inevitable question of legacy.
I really don’t know what my legacy is going to be, but when I get done with this sport, I want people to remember that I did try to entertain, that I came out biting my mouthpiece and throwing punches,” Davis says. “(Just that I) tried to be the best fighter that I could be. I’m never going to be a great wrestler. I’m never going to be a great jiu-jitsu guy, but I think I can entertain and that’s what is important to me.
“The only shout out I have really is to anybody that is supporting me. I just want them to know that I truly appreciate the Facebook messages, the requests for signing cards. I still look at that and can’t believe that people even want a picture of me or something signed of me. But I think it’s just great. I appreciate everybody’s support and I’m just going to go out there and entertain you Saturday at UFC 118.”
While it may not be an easy thing to address, Davis has clearly determined what he wishes to be remembered by. He has never concerned himself too greatly with a main event slot, a top contender spot, or a championship belt. No, Davis fights for the fans, and his highest hope for when his career comes to a close somewhere down the road remains that his fans will recall him for his undying efforts to make them cheer, smile, and always come back for more.