When you’ve squandered your UFC opportunities, when other big promotions fail, and when you’re still one of the better fighters on the scene, an MMA career can be a difficult thing, as David Loiseau has learned.
Loiseau (21-10), a former middleweight title challenger who was one-and-done in his past two UFC stints, now is trying to make a living on the regional circuit. That includes a fight tonight against Caleb Grummet (5-6) at Challenge MMA 2 in Montreal.
But to even get such a fight has been a challenge.
Two weeks ago, the Loiseau had a fight lined up in Calgary. But the Canadian’s opponent dropped off with an injury, the local commission wouldn’t approve a proposed replacement, and then the fight was scrapped when yet another potential opponent demanded more money to fight someone of Loiseau’s caliber.
“It’s just (tough) getting the opportunities to fight, the right fight, the right money, the promotions,” Loiseau told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “A lot of promotions are folding. I got the Tachi Palace belt, and they stopped doing fights. Then I go and to look for fights elsewhere. It’s not as easy as it looks to book fights.
“I have a lot of fights and a lot of experience, and not everyone wants to fight me short notice or anything like that.”
Although it’s been nearly a decade since Loiseau was slicing opponents such as Evan Tanner with his razor-sharp elbows, his reputation precedes him. He suffered losses to Ed Herman and Mario Miranda in two recent UFC fights, but on the regional circuit and against the sport’s prospects, the 33-year-old is still a feared behemoth. That’s why, given so many UFC hopefuls’ dreams of getting to the big show while keeping their records void of losses, it can be tough for Loiseau to get a fight.
“Nowadays, a lot of promoters want to have UFC-caliber fights, but they want to pay small-show pay,” he said. “So a lot of guys don’t want to fight. Sometimes it gets hard to put fights together.”
That requires Loiseau to be ready at a moment’s notice. While such a scenario has forced numerous big-show vets into retirement, the Tristar Gym and Team Jackson-Winkeljohn fighter thrives on it.
“That’s one thing about me: It’s my lifestyle,” he said. “I’ll always be ready to fight. I train all the time, and I just stay ready. I train hard all the time.
“My goal honestly is to become the best fighter I can be. I just want to become the best I can be, and wherever that takes me, I’ll go, whether it’s the UFC or anywhere else. I was too focused on what’s outside. I need to focus on me and what’s inside.”
Loiseau said he’s also motived by his continued fan support. He remains a popular figure both in Canada and stateside, and with five knockouts in his past five wins, he usually delivers memorable performances for those fans.
As his career continues on, though, Loiseau has given some thought to his outside pursuits. He’d like to do some more acting, for example. But for now, his primary pursuit is MMA improvement. And he believes it could keep him busy for quite a while longer.
“Priority No. 1 is fighting right now,” he said. “I never drink, never smoke, never do drugs. I’m very disciplined. I’m a fighter before anything. I’m 33, but I live a clean lifestyle, healthy lifestyle. I’ll be fighting until 38, 39, 40, no problem.”
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