Veteran heavyweight Neil Grove may have lost his last three fights, but the 41-year-old is nonetheless staying positive ahead of his UCMMA 31 interim title bout against Tomasz Czerwinski.

Grove, who was last seen suffering an April knockout to athletic prospect Todd Duffee, says he has regrouped from the challenging stretch and has worked diligently to improve his defense.

“I believe, if I felt I got truly beaten, I would’ve retired,” Grove tells Sherdog.com. “One of my fights I left up to the judges -- my mistake. And twice after, I dropped my guard -- rookie mistakes I have worked really hard [to correct] in the last six to seven months.”

UCMMA 31, which takes place Dec. 1 at the Troxy in London, was initially supposed to be topped by a championship collision between former champ Grove and reigning belt-holder Darren Towler. However, Towler was forced to withdraw from the booking due to injury, forcing promoter Dave O’Donnell to book Czerwinski as a replacement and change the bout to an interim title tilt.

“Of course I was disappointed [about Towler’s injury], but it’s the way the cookie crumbles,” Grove says. “Thanks to Dave O’Donnell, [we have] a replacement in big Tomasz. He’s huge. I will have to make sure to be faster on my feet to avoid the bombs he is going to throw my way.”

A former super heavyweight, Czerwinski last competed on July 1, when he knocked out previously unbeaten Kevin Camp in just 85 seconds to win the Cage Fighters Championship interim heavyweight title. Grove believes that Czerwinski, a fighter known mostly for his power, will be gunning for a quick knockout come Saturday night. Even so, the 41-year-old says he has taken nothing for granted ahead of his confrontation with the massive Pole.

“It might be a ‘W’ for me or the scalp of his career for him, so expect it to be technical and fast paced,” says Grove. “[There will be] loads of strategy in this one. I'm more experienced and will have the crowd behind me, and my guard has changed. I want to see if I can handle his punch.”

Though Grove is currently focused on navigating the challenge presented by Czerwinski, the veteran has also set goals for himself beyond winning the interim title bout.

“[I want] to win my next nine fights, train hard, eat healthy and stay uninjured,” Grove says. “I would love to fight in America again, and at least once in Toronto, too. They love MMA over there.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Kevin Croom is Just a Few More Wins Away from the UFC

  • 26 days ago
  • 7 views

Following an erratic couple years, Titan FC veteran Kevin Croom believes he's back on track towards the UFC. read news >>

Veteran Fighter Blas Avena Found Dead, Police Suspect Suicide

  • 24 days ago
  • 58 views

Thirty-two-year-old mixed martial artist Blas Avena was found deceased in his apartment. Police are investigating his passing as a possible suicide. read news >>

After 4th Straight Win, It's Now or Never for Alistair Overeem's UFC Title Hopes

  • 21 days ago
  • 8 views

In a division where advanced age seems to be a strength, there is no end in sight to Alistair Overeem’s UFC title hopes. For most heavyweights, there will always be more chances until everything comp read news >>

With His Career on the Rebound, Sergei Kharitonov Hunting Bellator Championship

  • 20 days ago
  • 22 views

In the midst of a career resurgence, Pride veteran Sergei Kharitonov is hunting a Bellator championship. read news >>

Pride Vet Sergei Kharitonov Forced Out of Bellator Debut

  • 19 days ago
  • 26 views

The hits just keep on coming for Bellator 154, as veteran Pride heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov has been forced out of his promotional debut. read news >>

Dana White Hopes Ronda Rousey Returns This Year, but Sounds Uncertain

  • 17 days ago
  • 18 views

UFC president Dana White hopes former women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey returns to the cage this year, but the possibility is up in the air. read news >>

Stipe Miocic Finally Breaks Veteran Stranglehold on UFC Heavyweight Title

  • 15 days ago
  • 17 views

Back in January, after a scheduled matchup between Stipe Miocic and Fabricio Werdum was postponed due to a Werdum injury, the Brazilian UFC heavyweight champ threw a little shade in the direction of read news >>

Dana White Says Conor McGregor’s Next Fight Should Be Finalized Wednesday Night

  • 11 days ago
  • 253 views

UFC president Dana White hopes to silence the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather rumors. That could happen as soon as Wednesday night. read news >>

Soto Replaces Yamamoto in Ottawa

  • 4 days ago
  • 0 views

Eager to score his first UFC victory, veteran bantamweight standout Joe Soto will step into the Octagon on June 18 in Ottawa, as he replaces Kid Yamamoto in a UFC Fight Night bout against Chris read news >>

Joe Soto Replaces Kid Yamamoto at UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa

  • 3 days ago
  • 9 views

Veteran bantamweight Joe Soto has stepped into replace "Kid" Yamamoto against Chris Beal at UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa. read news >>