Ep. #23 – Zack Davis

Zack Davis is an amateur mixed martial artist fighting out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The Dartmouth native trains at Fit Plus MMA, home of former UFC fighter TJ Grant. He recently picked up a victory in his MMA debut via doctor stoppage.


Zack Davis: All right! Well, I guess I’ll just start off. I was a house quarantine, treating you and house house training and everything going quarantines it’s a bit slowly, changing though the the face of it at first, it was. You know as I’ll play some video games for a couple weeks and hang out and rest and then slowly it’s becoming longer and longer so that kind of it’s continuously changing and how it affects trainings, been I mean it’s what it is, I’m trying to the the People at the gym, if it plus there they do some video calls every every day. Every other day there was some training, so I’ve been trying to hop in recently they moved the times around. So I was able to join in there. Some Muay Thai training stuff, like that just kind of get moving and throw in some combos get the get the hips movement a little stiff, a little more stiff than I used to be yeah how’s that I mean have you been out to the parks? Obviously they just recently lifted that and there I haven’t. No, what were I work and currently also live? We live on a lake right, pretty much up to ourselves right in front of me with a big 400 acre property. So in terms of going out and hiking trails, we have our own private property here, so I’ve been a little I’ve been blessed for that and haven’t had to worry about, you know being cooped up inside a house. So that’s been nice yeah, I’m like rate in Dartmouth, like rate yeah, okay, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, it’s like I go outside and I’m practically breathing in coronavirus, so yeah kind of sucks, but yeah limited here to just kind of trying to do whatever I can to To stay active, obviously I don’t compete or anything like that, but you definitely don’t like being a. I don’t play video games so get bored yeah yeah. I did not play a lot of video games up until a couple weeks ago and that’s that has changed. Maybe nuts fret, not all all for the positive but definitely could be training a little more than I am right now what’s uh I mean I just watched your last fight right before this. I wanted to kind of get an idea of what your fight style was like and and whatnot, and how the fight went. What did what was your take of the fight? How do you, how do you assess it obvious, anime fight yeah, I think like like? I have, I have a muy Thai fight and I have MMA fight and after both those fights is like. I won both those fights by TKO, the cut weak and that cuts a whole other thing for this last fight, but I mean looking back at both those fights it’s like just like, knowing that, like one that I got, I know I’m a better fighter than that. Like there’s so much to learn just from like from like one fight just be like, like you, you’re like you, can do better than that like like, but at the same time like doing well for like the first time in the cage when I first started training Scott McLean or head coach is like people look great on the pads, they’re doing combos looking really good, then they spar and it all goes away and they look like they look awful and then they start getting really good aspiring and then they hop in the cage. Just are fighting that all goes away again, so, just like always trying to build that back up for the fight there with John, like I mean John brought a lot more than I think I thought he was gon na bring to that fight. I’M like we both came out with swinging and we stood toe-to-toe in the pocket and just swung at each other, so it was a great fight. It was a ton of fun. John was a great guy at the hop in there with so yeah yeah first round was fireworks. Yeah you hit him back yeah I tried to catch yeah. I tried to count the strike count on the first and I know I think for myself alone. I think it was over a hundred strikes throw and I want sure how much land abut over hundreds. I think just on my end and then I don’t even get a chance to count like it was just. It was a lot, but we were thrown yeah. You got you got tagged there did that. Did that really hurt or were you out or like what? No it’s hard it was like. It was super early. The first like I don’t like minute thirty seconds of the fight. If I was the like the be honest, I think it just kind of kick me off balance a little bit. I remember being hurt or rocked looking back like, and I just kept going forward at that point. Like my mind was set on one thing and that was forward pressure so even getting hit. My brain didn’t even like register that just like no keep going forwards, see what happens next. So what about the? How do you feel about the cut I mean I? I was obviously I knew the result of the fight before I watched it and I was like I did yeah it was. I mean that the eyebrow cut was was bad, but I think obviously, if that’s a pro fight, I don’t think they caught. They call it but because yeah I amateur fight, but it was it bittersweet. Obviously, I’m sure you would have rather just put him away or TKO me submission or something but yeah yeah I mean yeah, obviously like he always won like that. Big glorious finish like that’s. That’S whatever in dreams of right but like in terms of the cut like so I wear my glasses right now. I wasn’t really wearing anything in the in the cage, so I couldn’t really see what was happening like. I knew that there was a cut, but I couldn’t I couldn’t see how bad it was from where I was or anything like that. I’M also still Justin. Like the you know, the first that first fight kind of debut, like all like journaling through the roof, so kind of hard to kind of focus, but I mean yeah, it was an amateur fight, we’re both one-on-one or O & O or 101. Now so I mean I understand, but I mean like we were both ready to keep fighting like, so I I don’t feel like I’ll. Take the win like I’ve put. We both put the work in I’ll. Take the one I feel like you know. I was doing very well, like the commentators said the same thing as taking the first round, probably just by just by a hair, so I felt good about it, but yeah yeah. He gave us a pro fight. We definitely would have kept up. I wouldn’t I stopped them at all, how’d, you how’d, you find with Fight League Atlantic. How did you find them as an organization? For I mean it was their first, the first kind of rodeo, so they were awesome. There’S obviously, some a few kinks that kind of come with that like there is some weird pacing issues like we were the first fight of the night and like just in terms of like like Jawa. No there’s no music like this is some small things like that. Like but nothing like huge like they were awesome like they’re, also, we had a snowstorm like basically a great before the fight and then like, like the a tree the day after the fight as well. So like they’re, trying to like get stuff in like like flights, are canceled all over the maritime, so they’re like trying to get everything organized and I think they did a great job. I got was great working with those guys that I was really happy to be on that promotion like that first fight of the night that night, so we’ve got to break that cage and was a it’s pretty fun. How was it competing in Truro? I mean, I guess, for most people who watch this. They have no idea what tro is but yeah. This is a population. That’S not not! It’S not a very big poppy, there’s a big population, its best way to put it, but fortunately it’s not too far from Dartmouth. So I’m sure you had lots of family and friends there yeah. So that’s actually so my Muay Thai fight, that’s what was my like. Fighting debut is back in November, so I went up and I fought in Dalhousie New Brunswick, which, if you’re from the area power yeah my grandmother’s from there, but it’s a it. Is it’s not a very it’s much smaller than true and it’s. It was like six hours away, also like a snowstorm like the day of the fight like so we so me and my in my corner. We drove up like the day before, like I was the only one who drives I Drive, stick and the other guys couldn’t drive everybody. So I was cutting weight and stuff and I was only one driving, and so that was like definitely a much different experience like Errol was like in our fat in my backyard comparatively right, so I actually had a few friends come for my Muay Thai fight. For my MMA fight, though I had a ton of people, ton of support people come up and it was really fun like there’s a little bit of extra pressure to it’s like you know, like are these people all gon na come here and watch me get knocked Out in four seconds, or am I gon na – be able to put a show on for them at least so I think either way they win like they get to see me humbled or they get to see me win, so my friends will be happy either way, But yeah it was great that my parents came up like my poor mother watching me fight, but that’s a whole other thing. How is it like competing it at fit? Plus I trained I mean I don’t train frequently, but I did some jujitsu at Forza, ok, yeah! It’S just down the road but yeah yeah. What’S my parents to face it’s four minutes for my parents like just round the corner? What’S it what’s it like it fit? Plus I mean the guys there I mean TJ grant goes the fit plus yeah, where you get trained for a long time. Yeah, that’s where he came up like I mean yeah fit plus. I think right now, especially like it feels like things, are happenin there. Man, I mean break. I guess before all this happened, but like we have lots of a gut like we had fights like, but weak fighters, constantly getting ready for fights like kind of coming into this year, like when I started a year and a half ago now like there was, I Just started to kind of feel like they’re, just trying to ramp up some I’m a programming like some more classes of stuff, so I so I’m like probably one of the freshest fighters there. So I just really lucky to be under all these awesome fighters, like Brad, Sullivan and Kyle like they’re, just like lots of like just awesome, awesome fighters to be able to train alongside and some of these protea and stuff like that. So it’s a really good atmosphere and we all train hard and we know we all push each other, especially myself. I always have to kind of fight a little harder that not gon na get my butt kicked every day, so it’s a great great spot to Train. But what ultimately got you into the sport? What got you into martial arts and, in main, that’s a great question. It’S hard to say a little bit, I think, for those people who don’t train it’s a little hard to kind of understand like why. Why we like train, and why fight I start training I did karate actually was like kind of my introduction of martial arts. I did it for four or five years to junior high in high school. We didn’t do a lot of likes. We did some sparring and stuff like that. But didn’t do a lot. I mean I loved it. It was awesome, and then I kind of stopped doing that coming into any high school did some rugby. Some other sports, but then just know, always wanted the foot like fight and train again, just never really had the time or the schedule, but eventually one of my friends did a couple free trials a fit plus. So I was like I’ll go I’ll, go check it out, and then I went for one trial and then I, the next day I got like a year membership and I haven’t stopped going so it’s like yeah. I just like missed it so much, and this is something about it like just the just the way it pushes your body and in your in your mind, like all just together, there’s no there’s nothing fancy about it. I kind of like, if you get paired something like hockey, there’s no like stickhandling or anything feints like that. There’S it’s just what you can do, one-on-one against somebody else, yeah hard thing to explain. Yeah I mean I do a little bit of jujitsu work. Schedule kind of makes it complicated now, especially of Azura. They don’t have a you know they did. They had their. The timing doesn’t really work out for me like the guys there and everything it’s just you miss it. You know you miss just rolling on the mat and even if you get choked out ten times of a practice, the one time you choke someone else out, it feels great and yeah. It’S it’s! It’S humbling. When you like, first time, I went thrown around and then second second time I got submitted by twelve or thirteen year old girl was wasn’t, wasn’t the nicest feeling but motivated me to get back that back in there, and you know it’s it’s awesome when you can Submit someone twice your size, not so much fun when you get submitted by someone happier, sighs yeah yeah, it’s all part of the game, yeah, what Co? What’S the ultimate dream in MMA like how far do you want to go? Is this something you want to do long-term? You want to go pro. What what is it? Well, I guess it depends. If you ask me or my fiancee, she depends on the heads amount of damage. I take, I guess as one but I mean yeah like I love the ride ride the wave like in head head into something pro like. I know, I’m I’m a good distance away for something like that. There’S a lot of work between here and there, but I mean that would be an awesome gold. I mean that’s, I think that’s the first step is ya, know, get a pro fight, keep training and just work hard and trade. Alongside the guys, I think, there’s a really great opportunity and great have a new roof. It plus, with the guys we trained the kind of head into that for sure you know, we’ve put the work in and commit to it. I guess I should do some push-ups after this, but but yeah I mean yeah, I think, take as far as it can really and work hard at it. You know no, no one, the big the big three comes call and that’s a great day, but, like I won’t be heartbroken, I’m not gon na put my whole life on pause that pursue it, but it’s definitely part of my life and something I’ll continue that to Kind of follow as well yeah, I’m assuming you work outside of outside of anime and everything so yeah yeah a full-time job actually have to drive it’s. The gym is not close to where I work. I have to drive some in between 45 minutes the hour and a half. Sometimes it’s the gym every day, every four or five times a week whatever. So it’s a be a little tricky yeah. What’S your uh who’s, your favorite fighter, like current current fighter? Oh, it’s a good question. I guess like when I, when I’m training, how much trying to find someone like I can watch that kind of like relates a little to like what I’m doing like I like cowboy Cowboys. A great fighter is really sad kind of the the McGregor fight, but uh that was kind of kind of hard, the best fighter, but he got knocked out in thirty seconds last night Cowboys Cowboys my favorite fighter. Yeah he’s a great fighter so and I’m also just like hopping into the kind of MMA world and, like I watched UFC back, I was like Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin like in junior high or whatever or high school. But now I’m just in to get back into it, so trying to step back also back into the world of watching the the sport as well, so Anna Sonya’s, also, I love Sonya, he’s great he’s a really fun fighter to watch. Also, if you ignored the last fight that he was in as a really fun fighter, the watch yeah. What’S your what’s your prediction for this weekend, I think this is probably gon na be the most exciting fight, possibly in years, I’ve never looked forward to a fight. So much in my life, probably because I’ve been deprived in fights for so long. Yes, your what’s your what’s your prediction for this weekend and I guess what’s your take on both of those guys, I mean I I think if I want Tony to take it because then that still kind of lets Tony and could be kind of that kind of Preserves that that they train a little bit if Tony gets taken down this weekend, I think it might derail that train a little bit more after what four or five times so we’ve been railed, but I haven’t watched a lot of gate see so I’m not too Sure what the what to see from him, I’m probably gon na – do some some watched videos this week, this kind of get my head in the space yeah. It’S pretty much year-round like that that one round of your first fight, it’s like that. Every round advice: okay, alright, I know what I like him already he’s a wrestler, but he doesn’t wrestle it’s just full speed ahead, tuck his chin down and start swinging. I got a lot of power. It’S fun! It’S gon na be a fun fight and we’ve been deprived of fights for so long, so oh yeah or yeah yeah I’ve been watching this a lot of old stuff right now, just it’s all over a UFC he’s supposed to free fight some. I guess please. Yes, please says it’s been fun when what are you looking to get back in there? Obviously, things are on hold, especially here in Nova Scotia. You don’t really know what’s what’s available, but are you looking to get back in there before the end of the year? You’Re? Just gon na work and just kind of wait it out. What’S the what’s the plan like back in the cage, yeah or any yes, yeah yeah I get the ring or the cage yeah. I might. I might end up in the ring again before I end up in the cage. You know. I really like the work of my grappling and kind of really flush that out a little bit more and but I’m still pretty happy with where it is right now, but for the amount of time I’ve been training and everything yeah. I mean it’s hard to say. Like it would have been nice to get it, I got another fight and, like spraying or maybe the fall, but now that no one’s fighting until at least the fall likely it might uh it’d be great to get back to the cage here. But just to be interesting to see where it all falls, kind of puts a huge monkey, wrench and everybody’s plan, so we had guys lined up wait. I think it was a April man. We had like guys in March like lined up for so many fights like three or four or five of them are all fighting and yeah. It’S all all about canceled, so so we’ll see who’s ready and who’s, not and and what kind of the landscape looks like. But I mean it’d be great to be back and invite twice in the year. I guess kind of sucked only at the fight, but once this year in February, so yeah I’d be great to get back in and in some capacity. Who are your your main training partners and like who are some of the guys at the gym that you think can like propel themselves or make it yeah like so the main people like we trained with we yeah we’re the what we call it’s like the fight Church we, we are a lot of our hard MMA sparring is Sunday morning we get up at like 9:00 9:30, some like that, and we train for a good hour and a half and we do like 15 rounds man. So that’s that’s the fight church crew. There’S a so there’s a actually like three of us fought in the Fla card, so there’s a we had a really good, showing there for that. First Ethel a 1, so it’s myself, Zack Garcia! He was supposed to fight pretty when it all got cancelled as well. He’S a really fun fighter, the watch so my sure, if you’ve watched his fight in Fla, they he has spear tackles the guy in the cage and they been they put a dent in it. So and that’s pretty fun uh, and then they throw him across and Isaiah Bernard. He fought a fla one as well. Luke to st. Croix cobbling corn, Brett Sullivan Khalifa Hambleton Usos be a fighting as well. Recently he went up. Did some Muay Thai Canada national stuff? A Carmen she’s, a awesome or Thai fighter at the gym as well, so I’m probably missing some folks, but those are kind of the main crew there that we get up to oh yeah LM Andrew Thomas. He was supposed to make his TKO debut pretty soon. I think as well, how was the transition you had karate background and hit some muy Thai? What was the transition like to Jiu Jitsu? So I don’t think interest last names Thomas and make it the wrong. Ah, but I for four it’s different. It’S uh, especially, I think, karate Muay Thai. When you start looking at it, I mean I turned them at very different times, but like they they’re the concepts between the two are almost like polar opposites. You know more ties, it’s high, it’s tight! It’S fast and it’s violent and then karate is kind of longer, like you know, that kind of that wonderboy, big, deep stance like those big kicks the whole like mentality of like one punch, is all you need, like kind of setting that all up versus Muay Thai, Where it’s combinations and elbows and knees and stuff, so it is really, it was really different hopping in, like you really have to kind of like adjust your you kind of your fights, tie on your stance and then MMA is a whole other fight stance and style. They protecting this grappling, but so that was that was a big big difference. Karate gave me an awesome foundation, though, just like terms are like know how to throw a punch like. Where does your striking your power come from like like fight stance and athletic stance? We actually did some grappling in our dojo and we, when I trained so that gave me a bit of a foundation for jiu-jitsu juice, there’s a whole other ballgame too, like actually. We do I mean for MMA and then, if we do a lot of nogi stuff and then we that we do G’s stuff it that’s. Those are almost two different worlds as well, so always trying to like adjust back and forth, and so you really got to be flexible and elastic. When you have my training, so many different things yeah, I can’t stand ghee, I’m not my like find it a lot easier. I don’t like it when people grab the collar at it’s really easy choke me. So I don’t that’s my excuse. There yeah. Definitely not a fan of ghee, just like last question here is some non MMA stuff. What yeah you? What are you doing now like giving you free time? You mentioned video games earlier? Is there any any shows or anything on there that you’re entertaining yourself with yeah? I mean I’ve been playing on, I mean I’m not 14, but I’ve been playing about fortnight. So it’s a lot of my friendly everyone’s locked at home right, so games like for tonight or like war zone or lots of people can play from different platforms like this. Getting online talking to people staying connected as much you can be social, that’s really cool. I watch it. I would also watching on watching uh tales from the loop on Amazon, Prime, that was pretty cool a bit of a sci-fi thing getting outside and just doing some walks. That’S that when it’s nice I would spend terrible weather and Nova Scotian in the past couple weeks. So yeah it’s been like back and forth, like it’ll be like like yesterday it was ridiculously warm and then today it’s don’t wan na leave the house. It’S awful yeah yeah Wednesday might be nice too, but yeah, it’s finding different ways, pretty much to stay connected with people and then, but also, you know, see I’m an extreme extrovert. I like all the way so not being able to see people. It’S really really drains. My motivation and my energy, so it’s it’s trying to find ways to connect like that, have been been huge, all right, man. I appreciate you taking the time and it was good to get to know you and definitely nice to speak to someone from Dartmouth next time. I’Ve been speaking of fighters from all over the US, so kind of nice to speak to someone from nearby and for sure yeah thanks for thanks for talking to me, I’m in all the best. Yes, sir

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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