Mike Grundy has set his new year goal – to “make a statement” in the UFC.
The 32-year-old achieved his 2019 mission when he debuted in the world’s biggest, and best-known, mixed-martial arts competition.
And after injury prevented him from building on his impressive first win, he wants to make up for lost time over the next 12 months – starting, he hopes, with an appearance on the London bill on March 21.
“Hopefully I’m on it, nothing is sorted yet,” he said.
“This next year I want to make a statement. I want to climb the rankings and be calling for certain fights. Ideally, I’d like three or four fights in 2020.
“I’m fully over my injury now and good to go. I train all the time so I’m always ready.
“I stayed fit over Christmas – I gave myself Christmas Day off, but that was it.
“In the past, when I’ve had a fight in January, I’ve trained Christmas Day and not had a Christmas dinner, so at least this year I was able to enjoy it with my family.”
Grundy’s record in MMA is impressive, with 11 wins and one defeat before he was signed up by the UFC.
He then made a dream start to the ranks with a TKO win against Nad Naramani at London’s O2 last March.
He was previously a top-level wrestler who won bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but switched to MMA when he was invited to Team Kaobon, in Liverpool.
At the time, Terry Etim was preparing for a UFC fight against a quality wrestler and Grundy was drafted in to help him prepare – and fell in love with MMA.
He works out at his own gym in Wigan, Elite Fitness Factory off Swan Meadow Road, as well as at Team Kaobon, where he trains with Darren Till, one of the leading names in UFC.
“It’s been a really busy time, because we’ve just refurbed Elite Fitness Factory and we’re taking on new members all the time, but I’m really enjoying it,” he said.
And reflecting on the past 12 months, Grundy said: “Obviously it was good to get my start at that level so the early part of the year was good.
“But then I got injured and had to pull out of my second fight, which I was gutted about, and I didn’t fight again.
“But I’m over that now, I’m in good shape and looking forward to a big year for me.”