Gavin Tucker Discusses Win in UFC Debut
While fans that went to see UFC Fight Night Halifax were there to watch the card as a whole, you knew that one person was going to the loudest cheer. Sure enough, when Dropkick Murphy’s started blasting in the Scotiabank Centre, the crowd went bonkers when Gavin Tucker walked down to the octagon. The Ship Cove, Newfoundland native, who now calls Halifax home, impressed the crowd and UFC brass with a decision victory over Sam Sicilia that wasn’t even close. Top MMA News was able to talk with Tucker yesterday and while he use to fighting in the city it was defiantly a different experience.
“It was a pretty surreal experience finally making it to the show,” says Tucker. “It felt like a long time coming and I was happy that I was finally there and I was finally happy I was able to showcase my striking. Most of my matches up until the last two were grappling so I was finally able to show off my Maui Thai and I was happy.”
Some wondered if the nerves were going to set in making to the big show with the large crowd in his adopted town or as UFC commentator Brain Stann pointed during the fight if Tucker was going to be over his head because the total record of his opponents was a losing record although Stann did point out the guys he was supposed to beat he did pretty quick. Tucker was able to stand up and wasted no time picking apart Sicilia on his feet and his him with repeated strikes throughout the fight and was able to use good footwork to keep Sicilia off balance on where he was going strike next. While he wasn’t happy that he wasn’t able to finish the fight he was happy with the result that got him a new four fight deal with the win. With everything riding on winning the fight it was hard to take everything because all he wanted was the win.
“All these type of feelings you have you can only take in after the fight,” says Tucker. “At the time I had to focus, I didn’t care how many people were there. The thing that I wanted was the memory of the win and everything that went into that so I didn’t really give too much attention to what it would was going to feel like with the crowd, the noise, the light and the cage. The cage did feel great under my feet. It was really nice to kicks and not worries about slipping and things like that. It was nice and the gloves were nice, it was just business as usual.”
While it may it have been business as usual for him in the cage, it was not so easy outside the cage. While talking about having family, friends and everything else that was going on, the big story on him during the fight was that his mother made her first trip out of Newfoundland to watch him fight. While I am sure she was worried that her baby boy was going to get hurt, it was hard for him to think about once the cage door shut.
“Because of the outcome it was a very positive thing but I am sure during the fight it was very stressful,” says Tucker. “For me, I have been in fights before and anyone who has fought at this level knows what’s it’s like to get there ass kicked so it was no problem for me but when you have people around and there are other things involved becomes more pressure.
The way you have to deal with certain kinds of pressure, this was latterly the ultimate pressure, The kid’s 1st fight in the UFC, the 1st time his friends and family have been able to come and watch it cageside, the 1st time it has been televised. All this stuff is exposure and I had to sit down and analyze it what it is. With all the factors is can be stressful if you let it be but its only stress that exists if you let it. The time it takes to formulate these thoughts is time that I could invested in training or focused on technique so I identified what it was, put it in the pressure column and cross that f’ing list off because it is non-existent .”
After everything we seen if Tucker looks like this after a month’s notice, it could be scary to see what he does with a full training camp.