Grundy determined to make up for lost time at UFC 262 after setbacks

Mike Grundy is on a mission to make up for lost time in the UFC – starting next month.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 1:46 pm
Mike Grundy from Wigan, British mixed martial artist and UFC featherweight fighter, pictured at Elite Fitness Factory, Wigan, prepares for his fight against Makwan Amirkhani, 21st March 2020.

The 34-year-old will fly to America for a featherweight matchup with Lando Vannata at UFC 262 in Texas.

It will end a frustrating wait to fight again for Grundy, who was forced to withdraw from his last UFC appearance because of a case of Covid-19 in his team.

And while Grundy’s full focus is on the May 15 showdown with Vannata, he hopes a victory will be the launchpad for more fights this year as he attempts to add more appearances to his professional MMA record.

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“If everything had worked out I could be right up there, I’ve had a few setbacks and this year I want to make up for lost time and get fighting,” said the Wiganer.

“Straight after this I’m good to go as soon as I can.

“I’m always in shape, I’m always training, and so I can always fight. Get me to the cage and I can take care of it.”

Grundy has fought just twice in the UFC – one win and one defeat – but has seen three scheduled fights not take place.

Injury ruled him out in late 2019, months later the pandemic wiped out a London event, and then earlier this year he had to withdraw from a clash with Nik Lentz in Abu Dhabi when a team member returned a positive test. “I was heartbroken when I found out,” he said. “We drove back from London where we were quarantining, and I then did five days at a hotel on my own, (wife) Debbie was pregnant and because one of my team had had Covid I couldn’t take any risk until I got the negative test.

“The UFC said, ‘Be ready, be ready’ so I’ve been training as hard as ever and now I can’t wait to fight again.”

Grundy, who has since welcomed the birth of his third son, Junior, will have the strange experience of fighting in front of a 17,000 crowd in Texas – against a 29-year-old opponent who made his UFC debut against former champion Tony Ferguson.

“This really is a great card to be a part of, I couldn’t have asked for a better one to be on,” added Grundy.

The former England international wrestler won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games before switching to MMA, winning 11 of 12 fights before his victorious UFC debut in 2019.