UFC

Catching up with Gavin Tucker

No days off for the undefeated MMA fighter

Gavin Tucker with his sparring partner, Koko McNeill.   Peter Topshee

It’s been more than a week since Gavin Tucker, known as the Guv’Nor, won his first UFC bout. The win has been no excuse for taking time off however.

“It’s been business as usual,” Tucker said.

Tucker defeated Sam Sicilia by judge’s decision (30-27) on Feb. 19. The fight was at the Scotiabank Centre at UFC Fight Night 105 in Halifax.

The next day, he was back at work; he watched the fight over 10 times with his coach, Peter Martell.

Tucker wasn’t nervous going into the fight. He put in the hours leading up to it and he has the talent and toughness.

On Monday, Tucker was in his office — the mats at Titan’s Fitness Academy in Bayers Lake. He joked with members of the gym as he taped his hands and prepared to spar with his “bagman,” Koko McNeill.

McNeill held gloves as Tucker unloaded fast and menacing combos.

“Coach Koko,” Tucker said, with a laugh.

Putting in time on the mat is money in the bank for Tucker and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

“I’m happy that I won, truly,” Tucker said of his winning bout. “But the only thing we saw was the mistakes.

“I’m not trying to dwell on what went wrong, but that can’t happen again. As nice as it was to win, I didn’t get the finish. I didn’t get what I wanted. I don’t want decisions on my record.”

He wanted to finish Sicilia via submission, KO or TKO.

The win over Sicilia gets Tucker’s foot in the UFC door, in all the right ways. A win is important to kickstart a fighter’s career, but he’s looking to improve upon his debut performance.

Tucker has been vegan for a year, a growing trend in the MMA world. He is a strict vegan and says it helps him keep a clear conscience. UFC fighters Nick and Nate Diaz and Rizin Fighting Federation fighter Kron Gracie, have cut out meat from their diet.

Tucker is also an ambassador for the Floatation Centre in Halifax, which offers sensory deprivation tanks. He said he likes the tanks because it helps him relax, if only for an hour.

Tucker with Morgan Hopkins at Titan’s.   Peter Topshee

Morgan Hopkins trains out of Titan’s and has seen Tucker’s work ethic.

“He’s incredibly focused, his work ethic and training ethic is unmatched,” she said. “He’s also the nicest guy and a homebody, but he’s ready for anything that comes his way; he would take any fight at anytime of day.”

As for what’s next for Tucker, he plans on travelling. He’s going back to Newfoundland for a quick visit before heading to England, Thailand and New York. He’ll train Muay Thai in its country of origin, Thailand. In New York he will visit Renzo Gracie’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy. He’s using his winnings to see the world and to “upgrade the software.”

He won over $20,000 from the fight against Sicilia.

Tucker currently has four wins via TKO/ KO and four submission victories. His other decision win came in his first fight, against Ryan Connor in February 2011.

There have been talks about Tucker fighting in Brazil or Canada later this year. He’s happy about the prospect of a second fight in Canada and said he loves fighting “on home soil.”

Tucker’s MMA record is now 10-0, after beating Sicilia. It was Sicilia’s tenth fight in the UFC.