Wigan's Mike Grundy ‘has more wrestling skills to show’ after UFC glory despite hamstring injury

Mike Grundy has vowed to vanquish the reputation British fighters can’t wrestle as he starts his UFC career.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 9:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 10:24 am
Mike Grundy

The 32-year-old won a bronze medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games for wrestling, but was held-back from unleashing the best of his skills during his win over Nad Narimani last weekend – due to a hamstring tear.

But having waited so long for his chance in UFC – seen as the pinnacle of MMA – the Wiganer revealed he was not going to miss the fight.

“Some people have said, ‘Why didn’t I push the takedown – because I didn’t, even in the first round, it was only at the end I pushed a takedown,” he explained. “But the truth is I tore my hamstring two weeks ago, a grade two hamstring tear, but I was never going to pull out this fight.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“What did my hamstring was while I was wrestling.

“And after the first takedown I felt my hamstring, that’s why I stood up more, and so I was a bit hesitant with my takedowns. So I’ve not had the chance to show my true wrestling. And there’s a lot more to come.”

Grundy won his fight, the first of a night which also featured fellow Team Kaobon fighter Darren Till, with a technical knockout in the second round.

But when asked after his fight about the reputation Brits have for not being good wrestlers, Grundy responded: “That’s why I’m here, I’m going to show we can wrestle, I can wrestle, and I can compete with these American guys at the top.” Grundy’s win caught the eye of not just his loyal followers from Wigan, but also well-known figures on the MMA scene.

Reality TV star and MMA fighter Aaron Chambers said: “Amazing performance. He brought the show.”

Jon Ferguson, co-host on MMA podcast added: “Monday after his UFC debut and Mike Grundy is back to coaching wrestling kids’ classes.

“From the bright lights to his bread and butter. Huge respect.”