Grundy fighting his way up the ranks

Mike Grundy after beating Fernando Bruno in Brazil last weekend
Mike Grundy after beating Fernando Bruno in Brazil last weekend

MMA ace Mike Grundy is hoping to have finally convinced selectors to call him into the UFC.

The Wiganer won his eighth fight in a row last Saturday night in Brazil, where he proved his credentials by beating an opponent with experience in mixed martial arts’ top competition.

Grundy’s win over Fernando Bruno at Aspera FC58 by unanimous decision was one of the hardest to achieve yet for the former wrestler who won bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

And now he is waiting to see if he’ll get the call into the big time.

“Hopefully the UFC give me a call to get onto the London card in March. It would be the ideal Christmas present if they did,” he told the Wigan Post.

“Hopefully I’ve sealed it now – they can’t say I haven’t worked for it.”

Grundy’s latest win, which saw him keep control despite a second-round onslaught from his 35-year-old opponent, brought the Team Kaobon star up to 11 wins in his career.

“The second round was closer but I was never in any danger,” he said.

“I still won the round and was in control of the fight.

“He has a good resume. He’s won the Shooto comp in Brazil and there’s a TV programme called Tough and he got in the semi-final of that. The UFC called him.”

Bruno fought in UFC 190 in 2015 and at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale the following year, losing both, but his credentials should still carry enough weight to further boost Grundy’s profile.

On the win, 30-year-old Grundy said: “It’s massive.

“I’ll never stop training and I’ll push on.”

Grundy has put himself through a year of quick turnarounds, fighting four times in the past 12 months to boost his profile by maintaining an unbeaten run going back to March 2015.

And it’s the second time this year he’s taken the long route to a fight as he also beat Yutaka Saito in Japan last January.

But this time Grundy felt more prepared going into his fight with Bruno.

“I arrived the week before and had chance to acclimatise,” he said of the 30-
hour journey to Santa Catarina.

“Previously in Japan I landed on the Thursday and fought the Sunday – I didn’t have chance to get used to the sleeping patterns or anything. This time I did and I felt good going into the fight.”

As well as overcoming being the only non-Brazilian on the fight card, Grundy also won over the crowd with his performance, being swamped by people wanting photos at the end of the night.

“It was nice to have that – you sometimes don’t even get it over here,” he said, adding it took him over an hour to get out of the ring after the fight as a result.

“I was thanked for taking my time with them and having pictures – but I’m enjoying my situation and I owed them something back for the support they gave me.”

Grundy, who also coaches youngsters for Team Kaobon and Wigan and Leigh 
Wrestling, insists he will keep training as usual as he waits to see where his next fight will be.

And he also has other important projects to keep him occupied.

“The kids have important comps coming up and I’ll concentrate on them for a bit,” he explained.

l Mike Grundy also wishes to thank sponsors: Qualitech, Plumbers North West, Haresdon properties, Pier UK Ltd, Lean and Mean cafe, Vincent Cameron Drilling, Elite Fitness Factory, Wigan and Leigh Wrestling Club, Summit Physio, Simpson Heald Pearson solicitors, BBperform and SBJTraining.