Desmond Green will bring a familiar agenda to his Friday meeting at Titan FC 33.
Convince every viewer he’s not just a wrestler.
Convince every viewer Bellator was foolish to release him.
Convince the UFC to sign him.
Win a fight.
Same song, different day for Green, who will defend his Titan featherweight belt against Kurt Holobaugh in Friday’s main event. But for Green it’s just another rung on the ladder.
“Business as usual,” he said of the fight in an interview with Bleacher Report. “Every time I step in there, I’m trying to get better all the way around. I work on my striking many times a day. Hopefully I get a win and it’ll do more for my stock and hopefully get me noticed by the guys in the UFC.”
The 25-year-old Green (14-3) isn’t shy about sharing his goals. And there’s no reason to be. To earn the belt he has now, Green had to defeat a UFC veteran in Steven Siler; he did so, taking a dominant unanimous decision.
“Nothing more than a usual win,” Green deadpanned. “It was nice beating a guy from the UFC. It was good for my ego.”
Before that, he took on another UFC alum and former WEC champ in Miguel Torres. He won that one, too, by knockout, in 46 seconds.
“It meant a lot,” Green said of Torres. “He was considered one of the pound-for-pound best at one time. It let me know I’m up there. It made me hungrier."
Green doesn’t seem overly impressed with himself. But he has reason to be. He has won five of his last six, including a 3-2 mark in Bellator that, despite reaching the promotion’s Season 10 featherweight tournament final, was enough to justify giving Green his walking papers.
And now, here he is in Titan. A former college wrestling standout, Green followed wrestling into MMA. But he’s more than just a mat technician.
“People think of me as a wrestler still. But people who watch me, they can see I’m well rounded,” said Green, who has three career wins by knockout.
He’s getting more well rounded all the time, thanks to his new training home at Montreal’s vaunted Tristar Gym, home of Georges St-Pierre, Rory MacDonald and plenty of other MMA luminaries.
“Tristar’s been great. It’s my first time being at an actual camp,” Green said. “You’re only as good as the team around you, only as strong as your weakest link. It’s a grind every day.”
Green, who said he enjoys watching Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor, Frankie Edgar and Jim Miller in the UFC, said it could be only a matter of time before he breaks out in a big way. He said he’ll get there by crossing things off his list, one agenda item at a time.
“Yeah, I think people sleep on me a little bit. I’m still a little young, so it’s understandable. Couple more wins, I should be there,” Green said. “A year from now, it would be great to be in the UFC. They have the best featherweights in the world. I like to take fights. I’d like four or five fights next year.”
Scott Harris writes about MMA for Bleacher Report. For more, follow Scott on Twitter. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.