The Virginia Pilot has a feature piece on up-and-coming light heavyweight prospect Antwain Britt, a fighter who'll be on tonight's debut episode of The Ultimate Fighter 8 and who'll be part of the main event for UWC: Confrontation.
Suffice it to say, I have no idea how far Britt makes it in the show, but I've seen him fight three times live. He has ridiculous knockout power and unheralded showmanship. All three times I've watched him he's waxed his grossly overmatched opponents. How far Britt makes it in the fight game is difficult to forecast, but its clear there is a strong buzz developing around him in this region and beyond:
"I can't say a lot, other than I went out there, I had a lot of fun and I met 31 other fighters," he said.
Fighters lived and trained together before squaring off. The show builds story lines around the inevitable clashes and rivalries that develop in such a testosterone-fueled environment.
"They try to bring in a lot of different personalities in order to get the best effect on camera," Britt said. "Fighters have no problem letting you know they don't like you, but I get along pretty much with everybody.
"They bring in some guys for their character and some guys for their fighting ability. I was one of the guys they brought in because I'm a good fighter."
With Britt's wrestling background, Grant thought his strength would be as a "ground-and-pound" fighter who took opponents to the mat. Surprisingly, Britt's strength is as a striker who likes to stay on his feet.
"Right around fight three, we realized he had heavy hands when he knocked a guy out in 20 seconds," Grant said.
Now Britt uses his wrestling background to stay on his feet and prevent opponents from taking him down. When he does shoot for an opponent's legs, "it's like a freight train coming," Grant said.
Britt has picked up sponsors who allow him to train full time. Friendly and outgoing, he has a Web site, a nickname ("The Juggernaut") and his eyes on bigger things. His next fight is Oct. 11 in Fairfax against Rick Roufus, a former full-contact kickboxing world champion-turned MMA fighter.
It could be Britt's last fight in the region. He's debating a move to the West Coast, where the MMA scene is livelier.
It's the same move UFC star Brandon Vera, a Norfolk native and Lake Taylor High graduate, made years ago. Grant, who was Vera's first Muay Thai instructor, said he thinks his latest pupil could have similar success.
"Keep your eyes on him," Grant said.
And you can do just that live October 11th at the Patriot Center. You will not be disappointed.