Marcus Davis has taken his time since his UFC release to get his priorities straightened out.
Now with several successful businesses up and running, a weekly podcast and a proper nutrition plan, he's finally starting to understand all angles of the fight game.
With that, has perhaps come the best physical conditioning of his entire career as "The Irish Hand Grenade" is already walking around near fight weight, the first time he's ever done that since he began competing nearly 10 years ago.
The Maine native will get an opportunity to fight in front of his hometown fans when he takes on Waachiim Spiritwolf tomorrow night (March 21, 2013) on the Bellator 93 main card in Lewiston and he's extremely excited to be back working with Spike TV, the television station that launched him into MMA semi-stardom.
Davis spoke with MMAmania.com about being back on Spike TV, making positive changes physiologically and how his mental perspective on fighting has shifted over the last couple years in this exclusive interview.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): It must be nice to be fighting on a relatively big stage again after some time on the local circuit.
Marcus Davis: Yeah, I get to revamp my relationship with Spike TV. I love Spike TV, it's awesome. I've done more than just MMA with Spike. I did a little reporting thing when I was in Ireland for St. Paddy's Day. I did TNA Wrestling with them as Mojo's coach so it's awesome. I love the fact that I'm back with the people form Spike TV and I still have a relationship with some of the people that work there. I've stayed in contact so it's awesome. It's just great to be back with them. I feel that this is where I belong, especially in the twilight of my career. How awesome is it that I get a chance to end my career pretty much where I started it? I consider the true start of my MMA career was when I got that exposure on Spike TV.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Did the fact that Bellator has a deal with Spike play into your decision to sign with them?
Marcus Davis: Well it was obviously a huge factor. Bellator is a great organization and a popular one so that alone is enough to make an MMA fighter want to fight for Bellator, but for me, the extra cherry on top was Spike TV.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): It has to be nice that Bellator is holding an event in Maine, which is where you were born, where you're at today and where you've got your family. It probably isn't very often you get to fight so close to home, right?
Marcus Davis: Yeah, it's Christmas and a birthday wrapped up into one for MMA for me. I'm back with Spike TV, back with the big stage and able to do it right here in my home state. For me, Thursday night will be a gift to me which is awesome.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): They've got you matched up against Waachiim Spiritwolf on the main card, a fighter you know is going to be bringing the thunder. He's one of the more entertaining fighters win or lose every time he steps into the cage. What are you expecting against him on Thursday?
Marcus Davis: I expect just what you said. I expect him to come out and try to knock me out and come at me guns ablazing and pushing to try and finish the fight. He doesn't do anything other than that so I expect him to try and do that and then I will implement my game which is to make him make mistakes and when he makes mistakes, every single times he does, I'm going to try to capitalize and finish the fight. That's gonna be my game. Pure technique and deception against straightforward incredible Hulk fighting. Just smash and bash is what he'll try to do.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've made a lot of changes recently, the biggest one being your weight. You've mentioned how you used to walk around at 215 pounds which made the weight cuts brutal. What was the big transition for you that got you to today where you're walking around at close to your fight weight?
Marcus Davis: Well it came down to it being a constant struggle. I was just figuring out where I was, working with a doctor and studying on my own and figuring out some stuff that were genetic things that are the problem. I looked at my family history and where my genealogy comes from. Doing that and finally putting the pieces together and making changes to my diet and whatnot, my nutritional intake with vitamins and minerals and how my body is processing them or not processing them, it was a huge thing having to do with the weight. When I was able to start figuring that out and live that kind of life, I found myself walking around at 190 all the time.
Going into this camp, I never weighed more than 185 and then two weeks ago I was below 180 and then this Saturday I was two pounds away from fight weight. That's never happened before so it was a huge difference. I think my body has adapted too. Granted, I've switched to a new arthritic medicine. At the same time, I'm not carrying around the frame of a 215 pound guy 95% of the time throughout the year and that's gotta be better for my body. It's got to be . I feel that and it's put me in a really good positive place right now.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): How do you feel that it factors into your power and speed, everything that goes into putting on a great fight?
Marcus Davis: I think that factors into all of them in that body mechanic-wise, I'm able to move better, I'm able to feel my body, my conditioning better than I was before where I was moving and was heavier. That's harder on your heart so your conditioning is affected. Movement wise, I used to think "I can't move this way because it'll hurt this or that" and learning about the pain I was receiving from just moving around. I'm not dealing with any of that now. It's gonna help me in every facet I need in fighting. As long as you're mentally and physically healthy, you're in a good place and right now I have both.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You mentioned being on some arthritic medicine, do you think with this drop down in physical size, do you feel rejuvenated a bit?
Marcus Davis: Absolutely. You go from going to bed and wondering if you're still going to be in pain the next day and being able to train at all and waking up and going "Oh crap, this is not gonna be a good day," to going to bed and being pumped because you're feeling great and then waking up and still feeling great. That rolls into the next day and the next and so forth until you've got this giant snowball going and you're riding a high because you feel healthy, you feel good and you feel like you're doing what you're supposed to be doing and that's where I feel I'm at right now.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Something I picked up on was you even mentioned you weren't ruling out a return to 155, and that's shocking to me considering how rough it was on your body the last time you went down to lightweight.
Marcus Davis: Yeah, I said I'd never do that again. When you're walking around at 215 pounds and you're doing a 55-60 pound weight cut, that's crazy. It's not healthy and that knocks off years from your life. Right now, if this keeps happening, I'm not saying that's definitely what I'm doing, but if this keeps happening and I keep walking around now in the 170s, it's not going to be too crazy for me to make 155. I'm not saying that's what's going to happen, but if there ever was a time that it could be on the table, it's not off the table right now.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): One of the more interesting changes I've seen is you were a guy who would get so fired up, so angry, getting on twitter and making crazy comments and you're just so much more relaxed and calm this past year. I've heard you surrounded yourself with a bunch of positive people, but what are some of those big changes you've made on that side of things?
Marcus Davis: You know, I really just looked at things from a different perspective rather than the look I've had my whole life which has been through the eyes of a fighter. I've always looked at everything from a fighter's point of view, aggressive, ready to battle anything that came across my way and live life that way. When you do that, you tend to look at things angrier and what I've done now is I've accepted that there are people, things that happen that I can't control. The only thing I can control is how I react to those things and that stuff and if I react crazy and pissed off and say stupid things on twitter like I've done before and act like an idiot, then that's what's gonna come back on me. I'm gonna have bad stuff coming back because that's what I'm putting out there.
Instead, I can sit back and look at things rationally and be calm and respectful and that's what I'll get back. I get good vibes and respect back and that's where I'm at in my life right now. I don't want to be surrounded by negativity. I want to be nothing but positive and when negativity comes, I want to shrug it off. I'm not going to explode and get angry about it. I'm going to deal with it and walk away. I'll let negativity hang out on its own with all the other negative stuff and I'll keep on doing my thing.
You can follow Marcus on Twitter @IrishGrenade.