Kendall Grove will return to Bellator on Friday night as he will meet former Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu in the opening bout of the Bellator 127 main card on Spike TV.
This will be the third fight for Grove (20-14, 1NC) in Bellator has he has gone 1-1 in the promotion.
He will enter this fight following a defeat to Brett Cooper, that it appeared that Grove was going to get the victory. However, Cooper won the fight in the second round after Grove came close to a stoppage victory in the first round.
“With my loss to Brett Cooper, I’m a competitor so any loss definitely gets to you,” Grove said. “A loss is a loss. But I was over it after a week – you’ve got to do that, because otherwise you’ll dwell on it, and it’s like quicksand. It’ll just pull you under. I just learn from my mistakes, move forward and keep getting better. I thought I was on my way to winning, but he caught me. Hey, god bless him. People stress over it too much. You lose sometimes!”
“The guy was better than you on that night. It doesn’t mean he’s better than you year ’round. He beat you on that night, he found an opening and capitalized on it. F–k it. You’re still alive, so you make adjustments, make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes in the future, you go into the next fight better and you try to win it.”
“I was kicking his ass in the whole first round but I try not to think about whether I could’ve finished him in that round. It is what it is. At the end of the day, he won that fight regardless of whether I made a simple mistake or he just legitimately beat me. He won, I lost, and I’m getting ready to fight again.”
If you happen to follow Grove on Twitter (@KendallGroveMMA), you will see pictures of his wife and five children. Grove is a proud father of his children and he wants to make sure he can do anything possible to make them happy.
“I’m just a proud daddy trying to raise five kids,” he said. “One of my sons just started his first year of football. One of my daughters is in her second year of soccer. My twins are getting big – they’re running around, terrorizing my brain all day, every day. My two-year-old f–ks with me all the time. I love it! I’m a dad by day and a fighter by night.”
“It’s tough being away from them though. If I get a win in this next fight, I want to fight once more before the year’s over but that would mean I’d have to be away from my family to train. That sucks, but it’s only going to motivate me even more to make it happen and not waste this time I’m spending away from them. I missed my son’s first football game. I missed my daughter’s first soccer game of the year. That sucks! But that’s life.”
“I want to take my kids to Disneyland. I want to give them everything that makes them happy. Usually they just want to go to the beach but I’d like to take them to Disneyland after this fight, and let them experience all the things that made me happy as a kid. And you can’t pay for airfare with biscuits, you know what I mean?”
Since he is entering this fight following a defeat, Grove understands that a defeat could mean that Bellator may decide to release him. He wants to stay relevant by defeating M’Pumbu and continuing to pay the bills for his family.
“Christian M’Pumbu is no joke,” Grove said. “Yeah, he’s lost his last three but he’s coming down in weight, he’s hungry, he’s motivated, and he’s the former 205-pound champ. I saw some film on him and he’s tossing around bigger guys. I’m not underestimating him at all and I’m looking forward to this challenge.”
“M’Pumbu has fought some big guys at 205. He was tossing them around so I know he’s a strong dude. He’s long too, and I’m not used to fighting longer guys. He has straight, snappy punches and a nice check hook. He’s not afraid to throw kicks. He’s a solid kickboxer.”
“I think I just have to beat him to the punch, stay active, pressure him and fight my fight. I can’t say too much because there’s some strategy involved, but I’m excited to be fighting a guy like him and I can’t wait. He’s gonna try to work his gameplan and I’m gonna to try to work mine. And once we get hit in the head, all that shit goes out the window and we just start fighting. That’s when you gather your head and start looking for weaknesses.”