Davey Grant’s last bout, at UFC 251, happened to be the first ever fight on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. It was a thrilling comeback KO of Martin Day, but Grant didn’t exactly come away unscathed.
Grant, in fact, broke his jaw in the bout, which led to surgery. Luckily, all is now well on that front. “It’s spot on. I was back sparring after about eight weeks after the operation. It feels brand new to be honest,” Grant (12-4) told our own Daniel Vreeland on the Top Turtle Podcast ahead of the fight.
Most people who break their jaw worry about their jaw. For Grant, coming out of a fight (and weight cut), there was something else on his mind: a solid meal. “It was more of an irritation, because after you’ve fought, you just want to eat lots of food. And it was a bit hard to eat,” he noted, later adding “that was probably the worst bit.”
When Grant steps into the octagon Saturday night at UFC Vegas 21, where he fights Jonathan Martinez, it will have been roughly eight months since the Day bout. Which, given Grant’s erratic schedule over the years, is actually an improvement. “If we go back to most of my fights, this is a pretty quick turnaround,” said Grant.
He’s not wrong. Since joining the UFC in 2013 as part of The Ultimate Fighter 18, Grant has fought all of six times. His bout against Martinez will be his seventh appearance inside the octagon.
Grant’s KO of Martin Day might have surprised some fight fans. After all, the English fighter is better known for his submissions. But that’s not for lack of confidence in his hands.
“I’ll take anything. I’ll always look for the knockout. I know I’ve got it in me. But sometimes it just doesn’t come. Sometimes the sub comes first or whatever,” said Grant. When it came to UFC 251, “I knew I was going in there to bang with him, I wanted to, I wanted the first fight on Fight Island to be a good exciting fight. So I knew what I was going in there to do. It just turned out really well for me.”
His high number of submissions, Grant suggested, is a byproduct of opponents avoiding his stand-up when he was first starting out. “Early on in my career, people didn’t want to stand with me, so they tried to take me down and I ended up subbing them.”
Thus, against Martinez, known for his hands, Grant is willing to stand and trade. “Yeah that’s the game plan. I’m not really worried about where the fight goes to be honest. I’ll go out there looking for the knockout, if the sub comes, I’ll take the sub.”
Check out the full interview with UFC Vegas 21’s Davey Grant below!