Once again, the UFC spotlight shines down on the ever-growing British MMA talent pool. From UFC 38 at the Royal Albert Hall in 2002 to UFC Fight Night 147 in London right around the corner on March 16, the British Isles continue to play host to top end mixed martial arts whilst showcasing talented prospects within the sport at the highest level. While the majority of eyes will be on Darren Till as he main events his second U.K. card in a row, opening up the proceedings in the capital and making his UFC Octagon debut will be Commonwealth medalist Mike Grundy.
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A long term training partner of Till’s at Team Kaobon, Grundy holds 11 wins and just the one loss in his professional career and is looking to add to his eight-fight win streak when he faces fellow Brit Nad Narimani at the O2 Arena on Saturday. Despite this being his official Octagon debut, the Wigan native has been exposed to the UFC environment for the majority of his combat sports career. Grundy has been in the corner of UFC veterans Terry Etim and Paul Sass, as well as being one of Darren Till’s main training partners. With all of this previous experience coupled with his impressive wrestling background, it was a case of when rather than if the Wigan native received his UFC call-up.
Speaking to The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko in an exclusive interview, Grundy said “It’s been a long time coming. I’ve got a good record, I’ve been around on the scene a bit and I’ve got the credentials in wrestling. But it’s here now and I’m excited to fight on March 16th. I’m going to go out there with everything I’ve got and get the win.”
Grundy’s credentials in wrestling are highlighted by his bronze medal win at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Freestyle Wrestling. An impressive grappler as well as a dominant wrestler, 8 of Grundy’s 11 wins have come by way of submission. UFC London will be Grundy’s first time competing in the cage in over two years. His last bout, a decision win over Fernando Bruno in November 2017 had earned Grundy the right to compete in a four-man tournament in Pancrase for the organization’s Featherweight belt. The Englishman was scheduled to face Hiroshige ‘Hanzo’ Tanaka in the opening round before he had to withdraw due to injury.
Standing in Mike Grundy’s way is former Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion Nad Narimani. ‘Smiler’ has a 12-2 record and fought twice in the UFC in 2018, picking up victories over Khalid Taha and Anderson Dos Santos. Despite his opponent’s pedigree and Octagon experience, Grundy has one thing in mind come Saturday night.
“I’m expecting a Performance of the Night Bonus, I’d like that. That’s my goal and so I’m expecting a Performance of the Night Bonus.”
You can listen to John’s full 12-minute interview with Mike Grundy below.
Sports Journalist covering MMA, Boxing and Football. Huddersfield Town media team 2017-2018 Premier League season