British UFC bantamweight Davey Grant is back in the win column but says he knows significantly better performances are just around the corner after admitting he was disappointed in his display in Russia.
Prior to his split-decision win over Grigorii Popov at UFC on ESPN+ 21 in Moscow, the Bishop Auckland man hadn’t picked up a victory in the UFC since his unanimous decision win over Marlon Vera at UFC Fight Night 84 in London back in February 2016.
It meant there was a certain amount of pressure on the 33-year-old heading into the contest, but he stepped up to the challenge and picked up a hard-earned victory to right the ship after a tricky few years battling injuries and poor form.
“It was super important,” he said, as he reflected on his performance. “Every fight is always massive, but it’s just really nice to go and get back in the win column. It had been a while since I’d won.
“I didn’t have the greatest of performances last time out, and I know I’m a lot better than that, so it’s nice to get the win and show a fraction of what I’m capable of, (but) I still feel that I’ve got a lot more to give.”
Grant (9-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) admitted that his previous performance – a first-round submission defeat to Manny Bermudez at UFC Fight Night 134 in July 2018 – saw him succumb to complacency as he was caught by “The Bermudez Triangle” in his namesake triangle choke in the first minute of the bout.
“The fight before, I came in a bit too complacent,” he said. “I feel like I’m sort of finding my feet again now, when before I just got a bit too confident and then obviously got beat pretty bad. I just needed to realize that I’ve still got to go and put in the work; it’s not going to do itself.”
Grant said that although he picked up the victory in Moscow, he didn’t put in the performance he wanted. And the Englishman vowed to bring more action and aggression to the octagon in his next outing.
“I’m a little bit disappointed in myself, as I wasn’t as aggressive as I usually am, and I was a little bit cautious,” he admitted. “I usually throw a lot more combinations, and I usually get into a lot more of a fight. I think I was slightly worried about getting clipped because of the fight before, where I thought I was so much better than the guy opposite me but ended up getting dropped by a big right hand.
“I’m usually a lot more of an exciting fighter, and I thought I played the game a little bit, but I managed to sneak out the win. I’m pleased overall but know I can do 10 times better than that, so (I’m) a little disappointed.
“For the next fight, I just want to go back to the way I fight, be a bit more aggressive, taking the fight to my opponent and just keep on improving in all areas.”
And the modest Brit, who earned his spot in the UFC after reaching the final of “The Ultimate Fighter 18” back in 2013, said he hopes to be back in the cage sooner rather than later in a bid to build some momentum in early 2020.
“I’ve got no injuries; I’m literally just going to start training straight away, keep the weight down and then get back in the octagon as soon as possible,” he said. “I’ve never been someone who picks a fight. I always let Sean Shelby do his work and then just turn up on the day. I’m literally comfortable with anything.”
But while calling out opponents might not be Grant’s style, he did admit he’d love to make his first appearance of 2020 on home soil at the UFC’s annual date at The O2 Arena in London in March.
“Yes, I think it’s very logical – I love to fight in England any time I get the chance,” Grant said. “But if UFC wants me to go abroad and fight, I’ll go abroad and fight. I’ll literally fight anyone, anywhere. As long as I’m fighting, I’m really not fussed.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Davey Grant promises improvement after UFC Moscow victory: 'I can do 10 times better than that'