After dealing with a personal family tragedy and facing adversity in his last fight against Anthony Smith, UFC light heavyweight Devin Clark will return this weekend at UFC Vegas 37, and he has some bad intentions upon his return. Clark last fought against Smith in November of last year, and while he would fall short in a first-round submission loss, that wasn’t the Devin Clark who was riding a two-fight winning streak.
Just days before his fight against Smith, Clark lost his mother-in-law and after several conversations with his family, he decided to move forward and keep the fight on. In an interview with MyMMANews, Clark spoke about his decision to keep the fight against Smith on, why he wants to “bully the bully” against Ion Cutelaba this weekend, and more.
When it came to fighting just days after the passing of his mother-in-law, Clark said the decision to keep the fight on against Anthony Smith was one that he and his family had to make together.
“It was super tough and me and the family had to make the decision to obviously keep the fight and still fight. It’s one of those deals where you try to push through and I did, I made it to the fight and I fought, but my mental space just was not clear for that fight. Thinking about this camp that I’ve had now, and that camp, it’s just two totally different atmospheres. The atmosphere of this camp was pretty stress-free. It’s pretty relieving to just focus on the fight.”
Coming into his 12th fight with the UFC, Clark has only suffered losses to names that most fans would recognize, which also happen to sit at the top of the light heavyweight division currently. In his career, Devin Clark has dropped fights to Anthony Smith, Ryan Spann, Aleksandar Rakic, Alex Nicholson, and current champion Jan Blachowicz. In each of those fights, Clark showed promise and potential, even if the fight did not end his way. As he works to get back to the Top-15 division rankings, Clark says he wants a rematch with Smith “and beyond”.
“Absolutely [wants an Anthony Smith rematch], absolutely and beyond. I know I’m one of the best in the division and in all those fights I lost it was simple mistakes, just me not being as mature as a fighter. Obviously that Anthony Smith one was super situational, my headspace wasn’t there. I just didn’t have my fighting spirit like usual. I was talking to Jon Jones and he reminded me ‘Devin just have fun in there.’ I go back to some of the fights I was having fun, even the losses, like Rakic, I was having fun until I got knocked out but in that process I almost finished him. It’s just going back to having fun, climbing up the rankings, and having a bit of a mean streak in me.”
Having that mean streak in him could start this weekend for Devin Clark, as he feels he has the perfect opponent in Ion Cutelaba to bring a different side out of him. While this fight had been scheduled earlier this year, Clark said there’s a reason why he and his team asked for this fight to still take place, even after Cutelaba fought to a draw against Dustin Jacoby.
“There’s a reason why we actually asked to re-book this fight. We were supposed to fight in May but I got COVID, and he fought to a draw and I still asked for this fight. Cutelaba is one of those guys where I don’t have to like him. He’s such a d-bag in the stuff that he does in the pre-fight antics and he’s just kind of a bully and I really hate bullies. It allows me to be a bully to him. I don’t like bullies but I don’t mind bullying bullies or people that think they have to intimidate somebody. I know it’s just his own self-esteem, he’s a weak little man, a scared little man, and that’s why he has to do this stuff to get in his opponents’ head, and it helps his confidence. It reeks of insecurity.”
Devin Clark would go on to call Ion Cutelaba the perfect opponent for him as he looks to get back to his winning ways, and back inside the Top-15 division rankings in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. In order to do that, Devin Clark will need to show that mean streak, bully a fighter he believes is a bully himself, and get back to his winning ways.
Full interview with Devin Clark below:
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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