Early in his fight against Alonzo Menifield at UFC 250, Devin Clark faced adversity when he broke his orbital bone in the first round, adversity that he would’ve folded to previously in his career but this fight was different. After suffering the injury early in the first round, Clark admitted that he thought he would give in to the adversity, as he has done so in the past, but found a way to push through.
“Yeah as soon as I broke my orbital bone in that first round when he hit me with that shot, that shot broke my orbital. I needed a couple breaths just to realize what was going on, and realize I was alright still and I could keep fighting. Once I did that, I got back to my control, let him know that I will still take his ass down and I think that got in his head as well, then I started throwing some strikes and let him know he was still in a fight.”
Although during a pre-fight conversation Clark made it known that he was looking to secure the first finish of his UFC career, but that didn’t come to be in the fight against Menifield. Clark was able to get his second consecutive unanimous decision win and even through some of the tougher fights, Clark sees himself as just doing his job, and that’s why he’s able to pull through.
“Just doing my job, it’s my job and if I couldn’t handle it, I shouldn’t be fighting. We’re gonna get hurt in there, you have to get through it. A lot of stuff my Dad instilled in me and also my brother beat the shit out of me, you just get tough over time and realize you don’t need to quit when your body or mind want to, when the pain is telling you to quit, and you just know you can keep going. All the years of training and being mentally tough.”
Speaking to the lessons he learned growing up through family, training, and recognizing what he signed up for as his job, Clark noted that in his win over Menifield the biggest thing he took away from the victory was what he found within himself after facing adversity.
“I didn’t quit on myself, that’s the biggest thing. When my orbital broke in that first round, you really want to quit in a moment like that because you don’t know what’s going on. I’m proud of myself that I was able to overcome the injury and rely on my training, my mental and physical training to get through the fight. I tried to knock him out a little bit, I tried to wrestle him a little bit, I clinched him a lot of bit, and used everything in my power to beat this guy. People didn’t give me a chance in hell of beating this guy, they thought I’d be knocked out in the first round and it almost happened, but not this time.”
Now riding his two-fight winning streak and taking away his most recent opponent’s undefeated record, Devin Clark is ready for whatever the UFC throws his way.
“I don’t want to stop short of No. 15 [in the rankings] and that’s Shogun [Rua] I think that’s a great fight for me, I think I deserve that fight. He’s a legend in the sport, I have a lot of respect for him, that makes me want to him fight him all that much more and beat him. That’s the first step of proving that I’m on the climb. I’d love a top-15 guy, I usually don’t turn down fights, now is not the time to be picky, no matter who is across the cage from me, I know I can beat them.”
Riding plenty of momentum in 2020, Devin Clark is banging on the door of the very best in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, and if he continues to do what he has proved in his last two fights, he’ll have the opportunity to get the big fights with big opponents, and continue to show that he belongs.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to some of the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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