With one win apiece, the time has come to settle the score.
Red Deer’s own Devon Neis (6-5) and Abbotsford’s Grayson Wells (4-3) will share the cage for the third time in their careers when they meet in the main event of Havoc FC 14 in Red Deer, Alta on Friday night.
With Neis, 35, being the one to have fallen in the second matchup, a quick first round TKO, he said he’s been ready for this fight for a long time now and to swing the score back in his favour.
“I’m been giving er’. I’ve had a lot of will and been putting in a lot of effort to be better,” said Neis in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I don’t know if he’s been as motivated as I’ve been. I’m in my hometown, I’ve been training hard, and I’ve wanted this fight for a long time. This is one that was a big deal for me to get because the second time I fought him I know was a sh**ty call.”
And although Wells, 40, is the fighter coming off the win in the second meeting, he also said this is a fight he’s wanted for a long time.
He said he’s always been a fan of trilogies in MMA and is looking forward to the opportunity to compete in one himself.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. I’m a fan of trilogy fights like Chuck Liddell versus Randy Couture and Gray Maynard versus Frankie Edgar. I’m an old school martial artist, so I respect fighting and respect all my opponents,” said Wells in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’m not going to UFC or Bellator; my window for that has passed. So, now it’s about fights that have a little bit of meaning behind them.”
When it comes to trilogy fights, quite often the two fighters involved share dislike for the other or hold bad blood in some form.
But when it comes to Neis and Wells, Neis said there’s nothing but respect on both ends.
“We get along. We have a lot of mutual respect for each other and have a lot of the same friends,” said Neis.
“But we’re both competitive. As far as Friday goes, when we get in that cage, we’re going to fight each other and we’re going to put everything on the line.”
When it comes to MMA in Red Deer, Neis is a name that many will recognize and take interest in when he sets foot in the cage.
Neis said to be able to have a fight of this magnitude, with so much hype around it, in his hometown is an amazing and motivating feeling.
“The amount of support you feel in your hometown is amazing. There’s so many people I don’t talk to on a regular basis who find out I’m fighting and still show up,” said Neis.
“It’s a good feeling to have everyone come out and see you and support you, especially when people are busy with their own lives and take the time to come see this. It feels pretty good and makes me even more motivated to perform.”
Wells Active Coming in
Since their last meeting, Wells has fought five times in that span, winning three of the bouts and losing two, while Neis has fought just once in that same time, a first round TKO win over Josh Heinz at Havoc FC 13.
While he’s doesn’t expect Neis to suffer from any cardio or fundamental issues, Wells said his recent activity compared to Neis’ could play a factor in the mental aspect of the fight.
“Maybe the lights will get him a little bit, or ring rust. Ring rust is a real thing and a lot of guys succumb to the pressure come fight night,” said Wells.
“I’ve been pretty active over the last few years, so I definitely have the advantage as far as nerves are concerned.”
If history is any indication, Friday night’s main event is a favourite to be fight of the night.
The two previous meetings between Neis and Wells were over before the second round. Additionally, both Neis and Wells have yet to go the distance in their professional careers.
Wells said he’s expecting a high-paced, action-packed fight right from the touch of gloves.
“I expect fireworks pretty much right off the bat,” said Wells.
“He comes in and he’s a banger, he’s a brawler, and so am I. Of course I want to win, but it’s more important that I have a good performance. If he does well and I do well, but he ends up coming out on top, that’s fine with me. As long as it’s a memorable fight, that’s what I care about.”
“I’d like to thank my coach Gil Lafantaisie at Black Dragon Martial Arts and my sponsors (Red Deer Motors, Red Stag Barbershop, Safety Now, Choice Mechanical, Lapp Realty).” Follow Neis on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM