BANGOR, Maine — Former Ultimate Fighting Championship contender Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis will make his return to mixed martial arts competition during an Oct. 6 fight in Malmo, Sweden, against David Bielkheden.
Davis (20-9), the owner of Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy in Brewer and Portland, had been scheduled to fight for the Superior Challenge promotion in Sweden in January, but when Karo Parisyan had to back out of his scheduled Oct. 6 fight with Bielkheden due to illness, Davis moved up his Scandinavian timetable.
“It is very sad that Karo hasn’t managed to get rid of his problems, and everyone in Superior Challenge wishes him all the best and hope he recovers soon so that we, in a near future, can watch him fight again,” said Babak Aghavali, CEO of the Superior Group International promotional group that will put on the Davis-Bielkheden bout.
“Marcus Davis is a great fighter and I personally like his fighting style a lot. He has incredibly dangerous combinations and a devastating overhand left.”
After taking on Bielkheden in a welterweight (170-pound maximum) bout as part of the Superior Challenge 8 card scheduled to be held at the Malmo Arena, Davis anticipates returning to his hometown for the final fight of his professional career.
While no firm date has been established for Bangor’s first MMA card, there has been considerable talk throughout the state’s mixed martial arts community that a card is in the works for the Queen City later this year.
“I plan to come back here after the [Bielkheden] fight and have my retirement fight here in Bangor,” said Davis, who will turn 39 on Friday.
Davis took up martial arts at age 8, then turned to a career in boxing where he compiled a 17-1-2 professional record before moving on to mixed martial arts.
After two wins as an amateur in 2003, he went on to compete in the pro ranks. That career has included 15 UFC bouts, highlighted by victories over the likes of Paul Kelly, Chris Lytle, Jess Liaudin, Paul Taylor, Pete Spratt and Shonie Carter.
Davis’ last mixed martial arts bout was a split decision loss to Chuck O’Neil at W-1: Reloaded held in Miami last Oct. 15. That loss ended a three-match winning streak for Davis.
Bielkheden, also known as “The Brazilian Swede” because of his background in Brazilian jujitsu, will bring a 17-11 record into his bout against Davis. The Stockholm, Sweden, native also is a UFC veteran, having competed for the top-tier MMA franchise in 2008 and 2009.
Bielkheden has lost four of his last five fights, including a unanimous decision defeat to Cathal Pendred on June 2 in Dublin, Ireland. A win over Davis reportedly would put Bielkheden in line to fight for the Swedish-based Superior Challenge promotion’s welterweight title.