The UFC makes its return to action after around the Christmas holiday, returning Saturday, January 16, 2021. One of those names ready to kick off 2021 with a bang is decorated wrestler Mike Grundy. UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Katar will take place on Fight Island with Grundy set to face-off against Nik Lentz on the prelims. The London native, Grundy, won his UFC debut in emphatic fashion by KO/TKO, but followed it up dropping a unanimous decision in July 2020. The former Aspera FC featherweight champion looks to make 2021 his year to enter the top-15 and it starts in just a few weeks.
Wrestling and Transitioning to MMA
As with many successful MMA fighters who make it to the high ranks, Grundy comes from a strong wrestling pedigree. He started at a young age, representing England and Great Britain in the Junior Worlds as he got older. At the age of six, he started training at the Roy Wood’s Club. Wood is a world-renowned catch-style wrestler based out of England. Grundy would go on to finish fifth at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It was at this time Grundy began to learn MMA. The freestyle wrestler won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games representing England in the 74kg (163.14lbs) division.
There is an argument that can be made as to which combat sport background makes for the best transition into MMA. Many will say wrestling, as Grundy is one of those as well. “Although I am biased I would say wrestling translates the best. Being a good wrestler you can dictate the fight weather you want it on the feet or on the ground, but not only that I feel wrestlers are used to working hard. They are very disciplined athletes and are comfortable in uncomfortable situations. I think there mindset brings a lot to the table,” Grundy told MyMMANews.
Path to the UFC
Grundy’s debut came in September 2014 where he made his debut under the BAMMA banner. His first three victories all came by first-round D’Arce choke victory. In just his fourth career bout he took on veteran Damian Stasiak, where he suffered his first loss. “I learned a lot from both my losses, mainly my first loss against Damien, but I have lost in wrestling before and I understand you just got to get back on the horse. The week after my first ever loss in MMA I went to Italy and become the European champion in Jiu-jitsu,” stated Grundy. After that first pro loss, Grundy traveled to the 2015 IBJJF European No-Gi Championships held in Italy. Grundy walked out of the blue belt division with the gold medal.
Not looking back, Grundy would go on to win his next eight MMA bouts. He showcased his skills for a handful of prominent MMA organizations. This included winning the Aspera FC featherweight championship in his last bout before signing with the UFC. Prior to signing with the UFC, only two of Grundy’s 11 victories went to decision. Most of his victories coming by submission. Currently with a 1-1 record inside the UFC, he faces Nik Lentz, which should prove to be a huge name to place on his resume with the win. “It’s going to be an interesting match up, but it’s a great name for me to beat,” stated Grundy.
I am a life-long MMA fan who has been a fan since UFC 1. I was born in Illinois but raised in South Louisiana, home of many great mixed martial artists. I started martial arts at the age of 4 and continued into my adult years where I served nearly 10 years in law enforcement. I feel my job is to convey the stories of the MMA fighters we enjoy to watch and share their stories with the world.
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