Here’s how you know you have the makings for a potential barnburner: Since Waachiim Spiritwolf stood toe to toe with Marius Zaromskis and survived, he figures he can do the same tonight against Marcus Davis at Bellator 93.
Perhaps that’s the reason the two welterweights kick off tonight’s main card, which airs on Spike TV from Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.
Like UFC vet Davis (21-9 MMA, 0-0 BFC), Spiritwolf (9-11 MMA, 1-2 BFC) has heavy hands. And against his opponent, a former pro boxer who’s won four of five fights since his UFC run ended in 2011, Spiritwolf hopes he gets a chance to show it.
After all, despite two recent losses to former DREAM champ Marius Zaromskis (one due to a cut and the other via split decision), as well as a no-contest with him during a 2010 Strikeforce event, Spiritwolf was clearly game.
“I stood up with Marius Zaromskis in three fights, who’s one of the best strikers in the world,” he said. “A lot of people would say I hands down won the second fight, and I have a lot of people say that I won the third fight as well. I also injured both of my hands during that fight. So if I can go to a split decision with Zaromskis after standing up with him for most of the fight, that makes me confident I can stand up with Marcus Davis too.”
The 37-year-old also is confident in his ground skills. Davis, after all, has added some solid grappling credentials to his resume in recent years. But he’s confident Davis, who fights in his home state for the first time in his career, will look to please fans. And that means plenty of striking.
“Marcus is a really tough fighter, but I feel like I have the strategy, the foot speed and the hand speed to really take advantage of my gameplan,” Spiritwolf said. “So I’m going to look to go in there and hit him hard, and we’ll see who’s standing at the end.
“I feel like I can match or beat him in everything in he does, so I’m very confident in this match up.”
Despite a sub.-500 record and a single split-decision victory in the past three years, Spiritwolf knows why he gets fights with big organizations. He knows why fans like seeing him on cards, and he knows why promoters sign his checks to have him on their cards.
He’s here to entertain, he said.
“I see this fight as ‘Hand Grenades’ vs. ‘Tomahawks,’” the Native American fighter said. “It’s going to be exciting for the fans. He likes throwing bombs, and I like throwing bombs, and we’re just going to see who’s got the biggest heart.
“I love putting on a great show. Every time I fight, people come to me after the show and tell me I really made their night or deserved the fight of the night or whatever. The people with the promotion are all very nice to me, and Bjorn (Rebney) is such a gentleman, so I really look forward to putting on another great show for Bjorn.”
So, if months or years from now people are still talking about tonight’s fight, Spiritwolf knows he did his job.
“This is a great way to start the show,” he said. “I’m batting leadoff again, and it’s going to be a great fight. People are going to say, ‘Man, I remember that Spiritwolf and Davis fight.’ My goal is to go in there and win.”
For more on Bellator 93, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.