Newfoundland UFC fighter Gavin Tucker holding training workshops in St. John's
Tucker says last year's loss actually 'best fight of his life,' allowed him to grow as a fighter
Newfoundland fighter Gavin Tucker might be young and still learning the ways of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), but he's already paying it forward by hosting two training events in his home province.
Tucker, who's signed with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and anticipating his third fight with the organization in July, is trying to plant the seeds for more fighters in Canada's most eastern-province.
On Saturday, he held a kickboxing seminar at Mike Foley's Martial Arts in St. John's to demonstrate some of the techniques he recently learned while training in the Netherlands.
Then on Sunday, he will join his long-time coach Peter Martell at the St. John's Martial Arts Centre to do a session on grappling, which is Tucker's background and serves as the base of his MMA knowledge.
With a fighting record of 10 wins, 1 loss, and having fought three times in the famous UFC Octagon, Tucker's experience and advice should be valuable to any budding fighters. But the pride of Ship Cove said he still very much hopes he's only in the early stages of his fighting career, and is still learning even as he teaches.
"I'm still in the process of learning a lot of this stuff. I'm only 11 fights deep so I'm still moving and growing," he told CBC Radio's On The Go.
"Since the last fight, I've been to New York, Montreal, trained with Olympic wrestlers, Dutch kickboxers, professional Thai fighters, lots of professional boxers, jiu jitsu world champions. I'm filling in the holes."
In that last fight, Tucker was handed his first professional loss, leaving the match bloodied and beaten.
But fighters like him don't look at defeat the way those watching at home might think.
"No one is immune to loss. The greatest champs of all time have lost. It actually turned into one of my favourite fights. No matter what happened in the fight, that was a big opportunity to grow for me," said Tucker.
"I made some real adjustments, I got rid of some external factors that played a huge part, cleaned up a lot of things and got George Lockhart, who's a famous dietitian that works with a lot of fighters."
WIth files from Zach Goudie and On The Go