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Michael Graves has sought redemption under the Titan Fighting Championship banner.
The 27-year-old mixed martial artist will be featured on the promotion’s first card outside of the United States when he faces Gregg Ellis at Titan 51 on Dec. 21 in Kazakhstan. Graves claims he has to fight overseas because he is on the “s--- list” in the United States. Without going into detail, Graves (6-1-2) alluded to the trouble that resulted in his removal from a bout with Sergio Moraes at UFC Fight Night 100 and his release from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Graves is well aware of the image his actions has created and wants to show he has changed “from a human standpoint beyond MMA.”
“I know my son is going to see everything on the Internet, you know, everything one day,” Graves said, while claiming he “was in a bad spot. I’ve done things to change my situation, and I’m still doing it.”
When talking about his three-times-a-day training regimen, Graves makes a point to say it is not all about combat and aggression. Some of the sessions consist of stretching and yoga while fitting it in with work and everyday life. He is grateful to Titan and the chance it has given him when other promotions would not look his way.
Perhaps competing with a UFC Fight Pass-featured promotion represents Graves’ first step toward a second chance in the Octagon. If Greg Hardy can put in work on the streaming service without his past being an issue, maybe the same opportunity can be extended to someone who acknowledges his past and looks to move forward.
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Edward Carbajal serves as the lead MMA analyst for Frontproof Media and holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a brown belt in Ishin Ryu Karate. He has covered combat sports since 2014 and has been a fan of MMA since the first UFC. You can follow Edward on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com.