Gavin Tucker wants to be first Newfoundlander to fight in Ultimate Fighting Challenge

Dave Kearsey dkearsey@thewesternstar.com
Published on February 6, 2014

HALIFAX, N. S.  Gavin Tucker is doing a lot of talking, but he’s willing to walk the walk.

Tucker envisioned the day Halifax — where he hones his mixed martial arts craft full-time — would host an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event.

That hope has turned into reality with UFC president Dana White announcing recently that Halifax would host a UFC event Oct. 4 at the Metro Centre. The UFC’s confirmed Canadian stops this year also include Quebec City, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

The  27-year-old Ship Cove native has been busy telling anybody who wants to listen that he wants to be in the cage when the UFC comes to Halifax. He has been spreading his enthusiasm for his desire to be the first Newfoundlander to compete in the biggest mixed martial arts show on the planet.

He’s even gone as far as sending out tweets via Twitter to catch the attention of UFC president Dana White. Whatever he can do to make it happen he’s willing to try because the 145-pounder believes he’s the man to sell the show to the fine folks in Eastern Canada.

“Just raising as much awareness as I can to get on that radar and show them that I am the ticket seller, and I’m the kid people are going to be coming to see in Atlantic Canada,” Tucker said from Halifax earlier this week.

Tucker has a perfect 7-0 record in the featherweight division in the Extreme Cage Combat (ECC) organization. He has been slowly working his way back into form after having surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff that happened while he was preparing for the ECC featherweight title fight against Jesse Gross of Ontario.

Tucker has been living and breathing the mixed martial arts game for a number of years. It is something that drives him and defines who he is as a person so it would be a dream come true for him to compete on the biggest MMA stage in the world.

“It would mean the world to me,” he said. “To be able to put all that work into one focused fight for being the first fight in the biggest organization in the world is what everybody kind of aims for anyone who got any ambition in this sport.”

His training regime has been plagued because of his shoulder, but he has found ways to train around it. He’s feeling stronger with each day though and has been spending a lot of time on the mats to groom himself for what could be the biggest day of his life.

His surgeon told him he will be cleared to step into the cage by Oct. 4 if he gets the call. He admits he would prefer to be training without the shoulder to worry about, but he’s just forging ahead with the mindset that he’s going to be on the card so it’s all business at the gym.

“I told my friend yesterday that if you take the last piece of bread in the world and put it in the middle of the cage across from heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez  I’m having toast for breakfast tommorrow as far as I’m concerned,” he said.