UFC hopeful Michael Grundy will get a taste of the big-time this weekend - but he isn’t turning his back on wrestling.
The Great Britain grappler was overlooked for the Team GB squad in favour of ‘plastic Brits’ – and their lack of Olympic success only amplified his disappointment.
Since then, he has focused his attentions on mixed martial arts and has his eyes on a belt later this year after winning three straight fights in the octagon.
Grundy (below) is also carving out a reputation as a wrestling coach in cage fighting – or MMA – and two of his fighters will be involved this week when UFC returns to these shores with an ESPN-televised show at Nottingham – Featherwight Andy Ogle and Lightweight Paul Sass.
Grundy, of Highfield, said: “Wrestling is a big part of MMA training and I’m looking forward to seeing how Andy and Paul get on this weekend.
“It’s good for me, working with them, because I’m getting into MMA myself and so I’m leaning all the time. I’ve had three fights and won them all, hopefully I get a chance at a title.”
The 25-year-old, though, is still hoping he can return to international wrestling ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in two years’ time.
He said: “I’m still on their world-class team. I wasn’t happy to be left out of the Olympics – I don’t see the point in putting in a Russian in a GB shirt instead, especially when they’re only going to get the same result. I just hope they’ve learned their lesson for the Commonwealths.”
Grundy also coaches at Eckersley Mill-based Wigan and Leigh Wrestling Club, which has enjoyed success in the Scottish Open recently. Sessions take place on Mondays and Wednesdays. Call 01942 375180.