5 Things You Might Not Know About Gregor Gillespie

By Guy Portman Jan 16, 2019
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Gregor Gillespie (12-0) is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight division. His next appearance will see him square off against Yancy Medeiros at UFC Fight Night 143, which is the Las Vegas-based promotion’s first event of 2019. The bout will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Jan. 19.

As fight day looms, here are five things that you might not know about surging lightweight contender Gregor “The Gift” Gillespie.

He was a wrestling star.

Following a decorated high school wrestling career, Gillespie attended Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. There, “The Gift” continued excelling in the sport. His collegiate wrestling accolades include being a four-time NCAA Division I All-American, winning the 2007 national championship, and emerging victorious from 152 matches (a school record).

He has tackled addiction.

Having wrestled relentlessly in college, Gillespie had grown weary of competitive sport. After casting it aside he cast it aside, he developed a serious drinking problem and a penchant for illegal drugs. One day in 2010, he hit rock bottom and made the decision to move forward with his life. A telephone conversation with his old wrestling coach culminated in going to rehab and he’s been clean ever since.

He loves fishing.

It was his father who first introduced Gillespie to the pastime of fishing. The pastime stuck, and the avid fisherman likes nothing more than to while away the hours with a rod in hand. With training up to 19 times per week, fishing provides a cathartic change of pace from the rigors of being a professional athlete. Gillespie said in an interview of his favorite hobby, “Fishing is definitely a much-needed break.” An avid user of social media, he has invented his own fishing-related Twitter hashtag, #BestFishermanInMMA.

He is covered in tattoos.

The New York native boasts a heavily-inked body. The pugilist chooses designs that have meaning to him, and he is prone to talking about these on his Twitter account. His most commented upon tattoo are the words “1 To 100,” which he has inscribed on the front of his neck. According to the MMA combatant, the cryptic message symbolizes how for him one is too many and 100 is not enough. Gillespie asserts this is reflective of his difficulty in only having a moderate amount of a given thing. When pressed in an interview, he gave examples ranging from beer to cupcakes.

He did not initially plan to pursue MMA.

It was the relentless weight cutting, injuries and training sessions during his collegiate wrestling days that temporarily extinguished Gillespie’s desire to compete. Despite having the skills that he had developed as an elite wrestler; the worn-out young man harboured no interest in pursuing professional MMA. However, after completing rehab his competitive streak returned and he resumed wrestling training. After winning a world team trial in Iowa, “The Gift” considered trying out for the 2012 Olympics. That all changed following a move to Long Island, New York, and an introduction to the sport. Training alongside MMA stalwarts like Dennis Bermudez, he developed a passion for his new hobby and quickly recognized that it presented a money-earning opportunity. In Jan. 2014, he made his professional debut, a first round TKO triumph at Ring of Combat 47. Now 12 fights into his MMA career, the 31-year-old has still yet to taste defeat. Advertisement


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