Former CES champion and Contender Series alum is moving gyms, looking for a late summer return.
Bantamweight Tony Gravely (19-6) made his UFC debut back in January at UFC Raleigh against stealthy veteran Brett Johns. An alum of the ever loved Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS), Gravely was ready to make the jump into the octagon after an impressing many times on the regional scene. After a 3rd round victory on DWCS, Gravely fell short to UFC veteran Brett Johns in his debut.
“Very close to perfect, my debut was nearly perfect, only thing I’d change is if I had won,” Gravely laughed, speaking to Cageside Press recently. “To get to live my dream and make my debut in the perfect setting with so many family and friends in the building.”
Gravely, who lives in Virginia, has mostly fought in Rhode Island under the CES promotion. To fight in North Carolina is the closest fight to home he has ever had. Although Gravely admits that Virginia is not to be his home for much longer, as he moves to Florida in what can be considered a “fight move.”
“I’m excited, I’ll be training at American Top Team (ATT) training with some of the best in the world” Gravely told us. “It’s defiantly bittersweet, I don’t want to leave my friends, my team in Virginia all those who have helped me but I’m excited because this will help me grow as a fighter.”
The DWCS alum joins the elite class of fighters out of ATT. Including former interim champion Dustin Poirier, BMF belt winner Jorge Masvidal and former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The list of successful fighters and champions under head coach Mike Brown is impressive, and Gravely looks to join the ranks.
As for when we can see Gravely back in the cage, he hopes for a late summer or fall appearance back in the UFC’s famed octagon. A lack of training at home has stalled the next fight but with the move to Florida, Gravely is looking to get back to intense training that he has done his whole career.
“I’m looking at August. I haven’t had the chance to train, I’d been offered some things in May but our gym has been shut down,” he explained. “With moving down to ATT I think August, September is a very real thought.”
It’ll be exciting to see Gravely, an already super promising prospect in the UFC, add to his arsenal at ATT. A first fight against Brett Johns, a fighter who is top 15 and has fought some of the top athletes in the division, shows the high hopes the promotion has for Gravely right off the bat. Not to mention many observers.
Be sure to catch our full interview with UFC bantamweight Tony Gravely in the video embedded above.