In this case, the word "Dangerous" is an adjective, not a nickname. Del doesn't have one but if he did it might be something like "Hurt you really bad" or "Make you go Bye Bye." Adjective, nickname, in either case its true: Del Merritt is a seriously dangerous dude.
This Thursday, Oct. 21, Del will fight for the TN ISKA Super-Heavyweight Belt. He will battle the current champion, undefeated Robert Niel. Robert has a great reputation but faces an uphill battle (literally) against the seemingly inhuman Merritt.
As a Super Heavyweight fighter in an MMA world that seems to stop at 265 pounds, Del faces an unusual challenge as he attempts to take the next step in his career.
No, Del isn't some enormous fat man, and he isn't a seven foot tall giant. At 6'4' 280 lbs, he is a just a really big guy.
Del insists that he can easily cut to 265 or lower and would like to make his mark in a larger venue someday. "I cant overlook my next fight though: I cant look ahead. As long as I keep winning, everything will fall into place," explains Del.
"Eventually I would like to be the HW Champion of the world, UFC, Strikeforce, whichever, I'm shooting for the moon and I'm going to make it one way or the other. One thing I don't lack is determination. No one tries harder. No one works harder. No one wants it more than I do."
Hard not to believe him.
The smooth way he dispatched his opponent shows Brock Lesnar-type fluidity: a skill that belies his background and is rare in such large fighters.
"I used to play football. I became interested in fighting when I failed to make the Arena Football League. I wanted to continue to pursue athletics, and fighting seemed a natural sport to transition into," Del says.
Merritt has a degree in Criminal Justice but has no immediate plans of pursuing a career in law enforcement.
"I want to make it in this business. I want to be the best fighter I can be, and If I live up to my potential, the sky is the limit.
"I'm not going to quit reaching for that next title, that next step up...'til I finally am face-to-face with an MMA legend, ready to kick his (butt)."
We will be watching.
Those of you lucky fans living in the Tennessee area, specifically Chattanooga, can go see Del the Destroyer (Once again it is what he does...not a nickname) demolish the competition this Thursday night.
The Extreme Fight Night Cowboy Qualifier Series is being held at the Electric Cowboy, 5600 Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37411. For event information and ticket purchase call (423) 499-1995.
The rest of us will just have to watch it online. It will certainly be time well spent. Don't be shocked to see Deadly Del Merritt (once again...ahh, you know) one day wrap a UFC HW Belt around his waist. "Now yer talkin," Del flatly states, "One step at a time." "Oh and Marco, it's just Del."
Check for more details at http://www.extremefightnight.tv/.
You can also watch the event live at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTzjBCQ-tpI
Here is your chance to be one of those fans that can say "I knew him when...".
Do yourself a favor: don't miss Determined Del Merritt as he goes for his first MMA title.