Living the Double Life: Tucker talks ECFP Fight and Music
For the last few months in the maritimes, there have been several MMA fighters who have started to make a name for themselves. One of these people is Gavin Tucker. After starting off with two impressive wins, he will look to continue that momentum when he faces Dave Spence at East Coast Fight Productions Friday in New Glasgow. While Spence maybe coming in with an 0-1 record, Tucker knows that any fight can be a dangerous match up.
“I really don’t know much about Dave Spence,” says Tucker. “He is 0-1 against Phil Boone. I watched the fight and he didn’t look too bad. He had nice boxing and a good right so I will try and prepare for that. I felt that fight might have been stopped a little quick. It seemed like he was OK and the ref might have pulled a premature stoppage. I expect him to be tough and in shape so I will train hard for him.”
While Tucker may be unsure if he will be able to handle what Spence will throw at him on Friday, Tucker still can’t help but feel confident going in.
“It is nice to have a little momentum going in,” says Tucker. “It feels like I am going straight into the water again. It does help that it will be in a ring because I train in a ring here at Palooka’s.”
Originally from Ship Cove Newfoundland, Tucker only picked up martial arts in the last five years when he was going to school in Stephenville. It was not until he was going to Saint Francis Xavier University that the idea of trying MMA came to him. It was then that he started picking up Judo and ended up winning some regional medals. After that, he moved to Halifax where he started training with the guys at Team Tita’s. He loved it so much he now works the front desk during the day. Since then, he has been able to work along side of guys like Roger Hollett and former world Muay Thai champ Rob Walker. While top guys like them are good to hone his skills with, it is some of the guys making there way up in the gym like Mike Mallot and Mike Murphy who have pushed each other and have become like the three musketeers.
Even though Tucker resides in the Halifax area, his heart still is and always will be a Newfie. Few fighters have come from the area and Dwayne Lewis is the only one that comes off the top of my head. The MMA scene may be an endangered species and there is no commission in the province, there could still be a light at the end of the tunnel.
“I think it would be wonderful if we could get a commission there because there is interest in the bigger cities like St John’s,” says Tucker. “They have guys teaching Jiu Jitsu up there and there is a Muay Thai club up there so they have the facilities to train properly so it would be nice to see it happen. Everyone would need to get there head’s together to make it happen.”
Besides mixed martial arts, Tucker does have another thing going for him and that is being a musician. He may have been doing Judo and keeping in shape in university but was mainly there to study music and he focused mainly on Jazz guitar, although he he does have a bit of rock in him as well as other genres. He has worked on various projects including doing summer gigs back in Newfoundland to performing jazz to musical theater and even judging the Rotary Music Festival. He does do gigs in the Halifax area from time to time. The only conflict with playing guitar and fighting is that MMA may not be kind to the hands but there are different techniques that help him cope through the pain.
“There are some hand pain because you never going to walk away from a fight with everything intact sometimes,” says Tucker. “You can find ways around this like I will play slide for a week or do other things to adjust.”
The pain to play through the pain may be able to work there may be a time later on in Tucker’s life where he may have to choose between either music or mma. While both keep him pretty busy. Going from one to the other gives him a new sense of love for each passion.
“This summer I will be going back to Stephenville to work for the same theater company,” says Tucker. “I have a few gigs lined up there so I am looking at least a six week stint so it will be back to the guitar and I can use the hands in a different way I guess. It is kind of back and forth with a strange balance because when your involved with one it is kind of a love/hate relationship. So when your doing it, it brings a negative/positive paradox where you do one, you can’t wait to get back to the other. Music has been there longer and if I can be a 50 year old man playing music that would be great because you really can’t be a 50 year old mix martial artist. You got to straighten out the timeline and be smart about it.”
Whatever it is, music or mixed martial arts, that Tucker decides to pursue towards in the future, I am sure either way he will be a success.