It’s been quite awhile since Grayson Wells has been able to fight in front of his hometown crowd, but on Saturday night he will finally get to do just that.
After having all his fights as a professional take place in Red Deer, Alta., Wells, 39, said he’s looking forward to fighting so close to his hometown of Kelowna, and is expecting a big following.
“I was always the villain out in Red Deer, so it’ll be nice to have my hometown crowd. I have people flying in from all over the place to see this,” said Wells in an interview.
“I also wanted to take this fight in Penticton to bring some more publicity to it for these amateur guys. In B.C., we have a hard time getting fights unless we travel.”
Heading into this bout, Wells said he’s had one of the best training camps ever, at Toshido MMA, because of the amount fighters from his gym also competing at XFFC 18.
Wells said this was one of the rare times the whole team was training together at the same time, which led to some solid rounds and overall strong production.
“This fight card is pretty much Toshido versus everybody else,” said Wells.
“The overall vibe of the club was awesome. Everybody was happy, helping each other, and on point with training. It was great to see everyone training as a team.”
Throughout his professional career, Wells has been known for putting on exciting fights that never get left in the hands of the judges.
Two of his three wins were knockouts within the first 35 seconds, while all five of his professional bouts never made it out of the second round.
Wells said he’s looking to continue his entertaining ways come Saturday night to ensure the fans leave happy.
“As a heavyweight, you always have to expect a quick finish. It’s that one punch either way that can end the fight,” said Wells.
“Whether he gets it or whether I get it, I can’t see this fight going three rounds.”
Enemy Territory Not a Worry
For Heinz, 30, this will be just the second time in his professional career he’s travelled outside of his hometown of Lethbridge to compete inside the cage.
But despite entering enemy territory for the first time in over three years, Heinz said he’s fully prepared to enter the cage as the bad guy.
“It doesn’t bother me. All of my amateur fights I was fighting away from home and getting the wins,” said Heinz in an interview.
“It won’t affect my performance at all being away from Lethbridge.”
This bout will only be Heinz’s second time competing at heavyweight, after making the move up a weight class in his last fight with Jared Henderson at Rumble in the Cage 58.
While it was originally going to be a one-time deal fighting at heavyweight, Heinz said he and his team are going to see how things go permanently with the big boys.
“The one thing I did notice without having to do a weight cut is I felt stronger, and I noticed my cardio was much better,” said Heinz.
“I sat down with my coach, Lee Mein, and he said he’d like me to test the waters at heavyweight.”
Much like Wells, Heinz is not one to let his fights reach the scorecards of the judges, with all five of his professional fights not making it out of the first round.
Once again, Heinz said he fully expects this bout to be over before the conclusion of the first round, while also being one of the top fights on the card.
“Whether he’s asleep or I’m asleep, I believe it’ll be over in the first round,” said Heinz.
“I think it’ll be fight of the night for sure.”
“I’d like to thank my team at Toshido and my coach David Lea, and all the people that have come out to support me.”
“I always have to give a shoutout to my team, the CMC family. I also want to thank wife and child because I put in a lot of time away from them.”