Mixed Martial Arts

Cut by UFC, Marcus Davis looks for new lease on life in MFC

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The Canadian Press
4/6/2011 5:15:54 PM
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Cutting weight for any fighter isn't easy. All the more so when your wife is starting a gourmet pastry business.

That's the dilemma for former UFC veteran Marcus (The Irish Hand Grenade) Davis as he looks to relaunch his career in the Maximum Fighting Championship.

The 37-year-old American takes on Curtis Demarce of Brandon, Man., on Friday night at "MFC 29: Conquer" at Caesars Windsor in the first foray into Ontario for the Edmonton-based Maximum Fighting Championship.

It's Davis's second fight as a lightweight (155 pounds) and his new business venture with wife Lara isn't helping the diet.

"When you've got a beautiful, full-blooded Sicilian girl that can cook unbelievable carb food and then unbelievable desserts and you can't eat any of it," Davis said with a laugh.

"It's torture, absolute torture. . . Right now she's made all these different types of cake balls and man, I want them bad. I'm going to have a couple after I get through this one."

While his wife makes the treats that gives their company its name of "Desserts Made With Love," Davis serves as the marketing man for the high end sweets.

"I'm going to go out and hit the bricks and meet with hotel owners and with hospitals and places like that, and push our product," he said.

But first, he plans some hitting of a different kind.

Davis (17-8) is looking to reload after being cut by the UFC following his knockout loss to Jeremy (Lil' Heathen) Stephens at UFC 125 in January.

After winning eight of his first nine UFC fights, Davis lost four of his last five. He reacted to the slide by dropping down from welterweight (170 pounds) to lightweight (155) for Stephens.

At first, the fight seemed to be going well. One judge had Davis winning the first two rounds while the other two had it one round apiece.

Then, midway through the third, Stephens floored Davis with a looping right and nailed him as he lay on his back with another huge right.

Davis took his time before leaving the cage, walking slowly back to the dressing room.

His slimmed down body was not the problem, he said. "It felt good."

But Davis acknowledges he may have psyched himself out by worrying about how the weight cut was going to affect him.

"When that third round started I'm like 'Wow, I'm not even tired.' I got excited and I got a little ahead of myself. I was a little tentative at first to push any pace. Just because you just don't know until you try to do it.

"Everything obviously went great until I got caught."

Davis is confident his second go-round as a lightweight will have a different result.

"My first attempt at (155) was in the UFC and I hadn't been 155 pounds for I don't know how many years," he said. "Now I can get used to being 155 pounds.

"This is no knock to everybody else that's outside the UFC but it gives me a chance to experiment and try new things that maybe I would have been as comfortable mentally attempting in the UFC, because it was the UFC."

Davis, who used to indulge in more than a few sweets after a fight, said he had made a promise to himself that he would not get above 185 pounds after the Stephens bout.

That's a far cry from how his weight would increase after fighting as a welterweight.

"I was always between 205 and 210, that was my normal walk-around weight," he said.

But Davis changed his diet after learning his body wasn't handling processed food properly. Suffering from candidiasis, his body reacts to it with a yeast that throws off the digestive system.

He started eating a lot of greens and foods that counteract acid in the body -- and started to feel better and shed pounds.

Since then he has strayed above 185 just once -- and that was 187. He has been in the 170s for this camp, helped by the journal he kept on his first weight cut, down to the nutritional content of everything he ate each day.

"I'm following the exact same plan as I did before," he said.

Demarce (10-8) stepped in for Kajan Johnson, who injured his shoulder in the leadup to the fight.

The 22-year-old is coming off a split decision loss to Richie Whitson at MFC 28 in February. He had won seven straight before that.

"He's never fought anybody like me," said Davis. "Richie Whitson is nothing like me. Nobody he's ever fought can punch like me."

Davis had plenty on his plate but isn't ready to walk away from fighting.

He runs Team Irish MMA gyms in Brewer and Biddeford, Maine.

And having helped mixed martial arts gets sanctioned in his native Maine, he is now serving as a promoter.

"Look out Dana White, here comes Marcus Davis," he joked.

Davis is promoting the first ever MMA event in Maine, on April 30 in Portland, Maine. Nine of the fighters on the card after trained and managed by Davis.

Add in four kids -- daughters aged four, 10 and 21 and a son aged 17 -- and Davis has his hands full.

"I'm busy man," he said. "I'm busy."

Still he manages to get up at 5 a.m., starting his day on the exercise bike in his basement at 5:05. He's back on it before going to bed at 10 p.m.

"Fighting is passion for me. I wouldn't be sitting on this bike. I wouldn't be not enjoying cake balls, I wouldn't be training and watching every single thing I eat. I take this serious," he said.

"As much as everyone wants to think because I'm not in the UFC any more and that I got booted, that I'm done.

"I'm not done. Not yet."

Marcus Davis (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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