Don’t blink for this heavyweight clash.
Friday night in the co-main event of Unified MMA 41, former Havoc FC heavyweight champion Grayson Wells (5-3) will look to add to his title collection when he locks horns with Unified MMA heavyweight champion Christian Larsen (5-2) in what could easily shape up to be fight of the night.
With nine combined knockouts, Wells and Larsen have yet to involve the judges so far in their career. As per usual, Wells will look to push the pace and make things entertaining.
“Since I started fighting, I believe I’m there to entertain and people pay good money to come watch me fight,” Wells said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I think it’s my job to entertain, not just win. I grew up street fighting in Red Deer, Alberta. I think that kind of plays into getting it over and done with. It’s just more exciting that way and I’ve found that I do better when I push the pace and it’s better for the fans. That’s what people want to see.”
With a wealth of experience from a 25-year combat sports career, Wells will look to set the tone early on in the cage.
This is a matchup that Wells has campaigned for in the past and the long-awaited opportunity has finally arrived.
“This is like the third or fourth time we’ve kind of been matched up, so it’s been years in the making. As a person, I have nothing bad to say about him. He and I are actually friends and we get along outside of the cage,” Wells said.
“Just being who he is, he’s definitely the largest opponent I’ve ever faced, probably the biggest human I’ve seen in person to be honest. I’ve watched his tape and studied the hell out of him. I’ve been to his fights and seen him throw down. There’s not a lot of openings, but there are some that I feel like I can capitalize on. I feel like I’ve been around a bit and the feeling of the nerves and jitters I’m better prepared for now, so I feel like having a calm demeanour will help me prevail in this fight.”
Wells is relentless in the cage, an approach he said he brings with him to the gym everyday.
Keeping Larsen in mind as an opponent inspired Wells to make some changes to his physique leading up to their matchup.
“Spending so many years fighting at 205, I feel like I move fairly well for a heavyweight,” Wells said.
“I usually walk around at 235 but when this fight got cancelled before COVID and things were put on pause, I knew this day was going to come eventually, so I spent the last year and a half putting size on because I knew that’s the main advantage Chris has. I spent time in the gym, even got up to 260 at one point, so I feel like I’ve narrowed the gap a bit.”
Putting more of a focus on his body and his technique, Wells has taken a step back from hard sparring rounds leading up to this title fight.
Over the years, Wells has learned that trying to do too much will usually get you into trouble and he’s found an approach in and out of the cage that works best for him.
“I’ve backed off the sparring a little bit just because of so many years at Toshido I got some crazy rounds in. I’ve had so many fights now so I know what it’s like to be in there and I’m just excited for this one,” Wells said.
“The past year I worked a lot with Dan Golkar from Scorpion MMA. We’ve been sharpening up my technique and straight punches. One thing I’ve learned about fighting, when you first start in MMA you think you need to know all the stuff so you try to pile everything on. For me, implementing a simple strategy seems to work the best.”
Wells has made a career of throwing down with the best heavyweights Canada has to offer and Friday night he will add another one to his list when he looks to take the strap away from Larsen.
“The heavyweight title is the crown jewel of my sport, so it would mean a lot to win the Unified strap. Especially with the lineage of Tanner Boser and stuff like that, it truly means a lot to me,” Wells said.
“After losing my Havoc title, climbing my way back up and getting this opportunity, I’m going to make the most of it.”
“Friends, family, all my coaches and training partners.” Follow Wells on social media: INSTAGRAM