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EDMONTON – Some violence is to be expected in the octagon. But every now and then, a beating gets so bad that it crosses into hard-to-watch territory.
We certainly got (at least) one of those this Saturday, at UFC 215, when the demolition of Gavin Tucker (10-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) earned featherweight Rick Glenn (20-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) a dominant decision win and ref Kyle Cardinal some serious heat from the MMA community.
With a rare 10-7 third-round score by one of the judges, many – including UFC President Dana White – argued that the brutal beating should have never been allowed to continue as long as it did.
Glenn, it turns out, is one of those people.
“Midway through the fight, definitely in the third round, I looked up to the ref and asked him, ‘Hey, you know, stop the fight?’” Glenn said backstage at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, following the FS1-televised preliminary-card bout. “But (Tucker) would move just enough. But he was taking some unnecessary damage, I thought. It’s too bad.
“We’re in the hurting business, but I don’t want to see anyone getting hurt unnecessarily. It definitely should have been stopped.”
Despite scorecards weird enough to make MMA history, the bout ended with an obvious unanimous call for Glenn. Not only did the veteran win, but he cruised against a previously undefeated opponent who was the favorite coming in.
Glenn may have made it look easy in there. But, looking back, it took some hard times to get to this point.
“It wasn’t easy preparing for it and leading up to it,” Glenn said. “My whole career trickles down to this one match. Everything leading up to it is quite a bit – I really wanted the finish. It sucks that I didn’t get the finish. It should have been a finish.”
Glenn, who was balancing his training with a job at Costco not that long ago, credits his evolution to changes he’s only now been able to make. Thanks to two UFC wins – and a “Fight of the Night” bonus that stemmed from his ultimately unsuccessful debut – the featherweight is now a full-time fighter.
Not only that, he’s been able to relocate to Sacramento, where he currently trains with renowned Team Alpha Male. Now, happy with everything from the positive atmosphere at the gym and California’s weather, the 28-year-old celebrates the improvements in his game.
“Definitely my movement,” Glenn said. “Just constant level change and movement. We moved clear cross the country, something I’ve been wanting to do since I started fighting. I’ve been fighting over 11 years now.
“Since I was just a kid. I wanted to train with Urijah Faber, and now I’m financially able to do that. I’m doing what I love to do, fighting in the UFC. This is a dream come true for me, so I’m very blessed.”
With two UFC wins and a bonus under his belt, Glenn can dare to dream a little bigger in the exciting 145-pound division. But as far as callouts go, he’s got a reasonably modest one: Calvin Kattar, who recently beat Team Alpha Male’s own Andre Fili.
“(He’s) a good boxer,” Glenn said. “I thought that was a pretty close fight (with Fili), so it’d be nice to get that win back for the team. So that’s who I want next.”
To hear more from Glenn, check out the video above.
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