Devin Powell lost out on a Performance of the Night bonus at UFC Calgary (UFC on FOX 30), but he certainly won big in the karma department.
Calgary, AB — Devin Powell flew under a lot of people’s radar at UFC on FOX 30 on Saturday night in Calgary. That’s not necessarily surprising, given his status as an 0-2 fighter in the company, opening up the UFC Fight Pass preliminary card. Yet Powell got UFC Calgary off with a bang! Within a round he’d sustained an early attack by Alvaro Herrera. Then he turned the tables, and fired off a crushing body kick. The arena audibly gasped. A second body kicked followed, landing in nearly the exact same spot. More gasps. Herrera crumpled to the canvas in a heap.
And with that, Devin Powell had his first UFC win. He didn’t expect the fight to end as quickly as it did. “I thought that it was going to be the first time that he got dragged into deep waters,” he said afterward of Herrera, who has never gone past the first round. Well, Herrera still hasn’t.
It was a long time coming, something he spoke to Cageside Press about prior to the fight. Powell refused to give up on his UFC dream, refused to fight elsewhere, telling us post-fight, frankly, that he couldn’t afford to.
“I can’t afford to take care of my family on local league money. I own my own mixed martial arts academy, and I absolutely love it. I love teaching kids, I love teaching adults, I love training there. If it’s not the big leagues, I can’t afford to live,” he explained backstage. Never did it cross his mind to leave the promotion, even when UFC matchmakers said they might not have a spot for him. He held out, wanting to be 100% certain before he even thought about regionals.
The persistence obviously paid off. “The UFC is 100% what I want, what I worked for, I fought for it, and I got it.”
Powell didn’t just win in the cage on Saturday. Yes, he got the big liver shot KO win. A left kick each time. He also did something incredibly generous in Calgary, however. Powell held a little contest prior to Saturday, giving two tickets to UFC Calgary to which ever fan had the greatest need for them.
“I wish I was in a position to give everybody tickets,” Powell said. Of course he’s not, but he made a hell of an effort ahead of UFC on FOX 30. Soliciting requests for those with the best reason to go, Powell got a chance to really make a difference. “There were some awesome ones, but there was a kid who messaged me, saying that his dad had never seen a fight, and he has stage four cancer,” he explained. “So it was a no brainer. We chose them. I hope they have the best time of their lives.”
Congrats to @SamLeGuilloux on winning the tickets. Sam is taking his father who has stage four cancer to enjoy the fights for the first time. @ufc please show them the best time possible! I promise I would love to give all of you tickets. Maybe one day I will be able. ✌️😎 pic.twitter.com/9nuQW1Yrp3
— Devin Powell (@DevinPowellMMA) July 28, 2018
That kind of generosity makes the UFC keeping Powell around all the more meaningful.