Saturday night’s main event at NEF XII may have been the final bout of Marcus Davis’ mixed martial arts career.
“I plan to return in May and that will be it,” said the fighter known as “The Irish Hand Grenade,” before he lost to “The” Ryan Sanders of Brewer at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston on Saturday night. That bout was stopped after the first round when the ringside doctor determined that Davis had lost his vision in one eye.
The 40-year-old Davis does hope to fight one more time under his current contract with Bellator MMA in May, but nothing has been confirmed.
“It’s not an absolute done deal,” said Davis. “They’re trying to put it together but if they can’t I will not fight in June.”
Davis would like one more Bellator appearance as his competitive swan song because it likely would be televised by Spike TV, where the Houlton native and longtime Bangor resident made his MMA breakthrough as a contestant on UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter 2 series in 2005.
Davis lost that initial bout, but soon went on an 11-match winning streak that earned him a return to the UFC in October 2006. He went on to compile a 9-5 record with the world’s top MMA organization, with many of those fights also broadcast by Spike TV.
Spike TV now airs Bellator programming.
“I want to do my final fight on TV, and I want to do it on Spike TV because that’s where I got started with The Ultimate Fighter,” said Davis, who is 22-10 overall in his mixed martial arts career.
Davis has spent the last decade in mixed martial arts after a successful boxing career during which he went 32-2 as an amateur and 17-1 in the pro ranks. He once was the top-ranked middleweight in New England before contractual issues soured him on the sport just as mixed martial arts was taking hold nationally during the late 1990s.
Davis has set a May retirement date because he is planning to travel to Europe in June for a two-week tour of U.S. military installations, a practice he began doing frequently during his years with the UFC.
During this tour, which Davis said will conclude in Kosovo, he plans to share stories of his 30-year career in combat sports as well as some of the skills he used to rise to a top-10 status in the UFC as well as land his current Bellator MMA contract.
“I’ve been fortunate to be able to do this many times since I first signed up with the UFC,” said Davis. “I just want to thank those who are serving our country. I’ve got [several] family members who have been in the military, so I’m very honored to be able to do something like this.”
Davis said that once he returns from Europe he plans to become a fulltime coach.
“Hopefully I can develop the next ‘Irish Hand Grenade,’” he said.
Boetsch to fight April 26 at UFC 172
Lincolnville native Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch will return to the octagon April 26 when he faces Luke Rockhold of Santa Cruz, Calif., in a middleweight battle as part of the UFC 172 pay-per-view card in Baltimore, Md.
Boetsch (17-6, 8-5 in the UFC) and Rockhold (11-2, 1-1) were supposed to meet at UFC 166 in Houston last October, but Rockhold had to drop out after suffering a torn medial collateral ligament.
Boetsch instead scored a split-decision victory over C.B. Dollaway at UFC 166 to end a personal two-fight losing skid. Those losses had come after Boetsch had won his first four fights after dropping from light heavyweight (205 pounds) to middleweight (178.5 pounds), a run that elevated the former four-time Maine wrestling state champion from Camden-Rockport High School into title consideration.
The 33-year-old Boetsch, now living in Sunbury, Pa., currently is 11th in among UFC middleweights while Rockhold is rated sixth after scoring his first UFC victory, a first-round stoppage of Costas Philippou in the main event of UFC Fight Night 35 last month at Atlanta.
Peters-Kagan connects with UFC
Bangor native Emily Peters-Kagan is among 11 fighters with the Invicta FC women’s mixed martial arts organization whose contracts have been assigned to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Peters-Kagan and the other 10 fighters will report to Las Vegas in May and participate in the first-ever all-women’s edition of The Ultimate Fighter reality television show — with the winner of that competition being crowned the inaugural UFC women’s strawweight champion.
An additional five fighters will be selected for The Ultimate Fighter via a tryout.
“The women’s 135-pound division in the UFC has been amazing and we know there are a ton of talented women’s mixed martial artists out there,” UFC president and Hermon High School graduate Dana White said in a press release. “Now, you’ll see even more great women’s bouts in the UFC with the addition of the 115-pound division. We’re excited to crown the first-ever UFC women’s strawweight champion in 2014 after a historic season of The Ultimate Fighter.”
Peters-Kagan, 32, now lives in Albuquerque, N.M., and has a 3-1 professional record.