Following a tough loss, many fighters will go back to their roots to fix whatever flaws they may have in their game. They will link up with old coaches and teammates and rediscover what made them want to compete in mixed martial arts in the first place.
Well, following his last loss for Titan Fighting Championships, Desmond Green definitely did some traveling. But it wasn’t back to where he started his MMA career; it was thousands of miles in the opposite direction.
Green (17-5) lost a unanimous decision to Titan FC featherweight champion Andre Harrison last year. Green went abroad in search of redemption, and found it at the World Fighting Championship Grand Prix Akhmat in Russia earlier this year. Green scored a first-round TKO victory over David Cubas.
“It was over 20 hours of travel, but it was a real prestigious tournament,” Green told Combat Press. “It was an honor to represent the United States and go in there and finish my opponent.”
Green is no stranger to competition, as he competed in multiple sports growing up, including football and lacrosse before dedicating himself to wrestling in high school and college. Green achieved a national ranking in wrestling at the University of Buffalo, and his coach Paul Bradley was a cast member on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter.
“I always wanted to fight in the back of my mind,” Green said. “I also watched some UFC tapes, but finding a good gym in upstate New York is hard.”
Green also lives the life of a MMA nomad when it comes to his training. He started at Team Bombsquad in Buffalo, but has also trained at the Tristar Gym in Montreal — home to fighters like the UFC’s Rory MacDonald and Georges St-Pierre. Green has spent time at Factory X in Colorado and currently trains with the Blackzilians in Florida.
“I loved training at Tristar, but I have everything I need here, training at the Blackzilians,” Green said, adding that he’s been sharpening his stand-up game with coach Henri Hooft.
Green came to Titan in 2014 after competing in Bellator MMA, where he compiled a 3-2 record. He couldn’t have asked for a better debut for Titan, as he knocked out MMA veteran Miguel Torres in just 46 seconds and won Titan’s featherweight title in only his second fight by defeating Steven Siler.
Unfortunately, Green’s reign didn’t last long, as he lost the belt by split decision to Kurt Holobaugh in his first title defense. But Green didn’t agree with the judges’ decision.
“I thought I won my first title defense,” Green said. “I had three takedowns and I did more damage. But when I fought at 145 pounds, I struggled to make weight and I dealt with a hip fracture.”
Green fought his way back to title contention at featherweight, but came up short against Andre Harrison at Titan FC 35 last year. After that fight, Green bid farewell to competing at 145 pounds and moved up to lightweight. If Green gets a few more victories by way of finish under his belt, he believes he will be ready for a step up in competition.
“The ultimate goal is to get to the UFC, and my biggest motivation is to fight full-time,” Green said. The father of three uses his children as motivation and loves the on-site daycare facilities at his Florida gym.
Green will compete at lightweight at Titan FC 40 on Friday, Aug. 5, against undefeated James Freeman, who’s making his Titan debut. Green’s prediction? “I’m going to go in there and finish him.”