Marcus Davis and Jeremy Stephens at UFC 125Over this past year, former UFC welterweight Marcus “Irish Hand Grenade” Davis has overcome an issue with weight, which he feels cost him in his time with the promotion.

Previously having had to cut down from over 200 pounds, Davis discovered medical issues which kept him heavy going into fights, and having since worked to overcome those issues, things have gone much better for him.

“It’s been since about September 2012 since my health really turned around and I haven’t had any relapse of the issues I’ve had since then and I haven’t been above 185 pounds since then,” he said. “It’s a huge difference to have that 30-40 pound difference of weight to walk around at.”

In three fights since getting his issues under control, Davis has won two (with one no contest) in dominating fashion.

“When I fought David Bielkheden, I went into his hometown and dropped him three times in the first round and then I took him right to the ground and beat him the whole time on the ground,” said Davis. “It showed how good my jiu-jitsu defense and my wrestling have become; I got every takedown on him and dominated him.

“Against Darrius Heylinger, I’ve always had problems against guys over six feet, but I was able to work out a very good game plan against him and out-struck him and out-wrestled him, and once again won every round.”

Davis (22-9) is feeling so good these days that he’s made the decision to drop down to 155 pounds and will make his debut at the weight in the opening round of this season’s Bellator lightweight tournament on Friday against top Russian fighter Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy (23-1).

“(Sarnavskiy) is going to be taller than me, but his reach is only like two inches longer than mine, so I don’t think that’s going to matter much in the fight,” said Davis. “I know everybody talks about how strong this kid is, but I guarantee he’s not going to be as strong as I am.

“I have strength and experience on my side, so I’m looking forward to this fight.”

In the past, Davis admittedly has gotten caught up in trying to make a fight as exciting as possible and gotten into exchanges he probably should have. For this fight and tournament in general, Davis told MMAWeekly.com that he’s going to avoid such tactics and fight as intelligently as possible.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a slugfest, or at least I don’t intend it to be,” he said. “When I fought in the UFC, I did fight to entertain and I did take it to the point to where the UFC was giving huge (finish) bonuses, so I got into this groove where I was paid to do that, and that’s what I did.

“I’m fighting, in my opinion, the most dangerous guy in the tournament stylistically, so I’ve got to go out there, be smart, not get hit a lot and look to finish this kid any way that comes up.”

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