UFC Vegas 29: Davey Grant looking to gatecrash bantamweight top-15 with second victory over fan favourite Marlon Vera
'DANGEROUS' DAVEY GRANT plans to punch his ticket to the bantamweight top-15 with an impressive victory over Marlon Vera.
The Darlington destroyer will rematch 'Chito' early on Sunday morning at UFC Fight Night 190 in Las Vegas.
Ultimate Fighter season 14 finalist Grant already owns a unanimous decision victory over the Ecuadorian, who he hopes to leapfrog into the 135lb rankings.
He told SunSport: "I wanted to try and get a ranked opponent and that's exactly what I got.
"I was absolutely over the moon [with the fight].
"This is how I'm going to get up there and climb these rankings and work my way to the title shot.
"That's the plan, that's always been the plan, and things are looking good for it at the minute."
Grant and Vera went to war with one another five years ago at UFC Fight Night 84 at London's O2 Arena.
Vera has transformed himself since that loss, winning nine of his last 13 octagon outings.
Grant said of the UFC vet: "I think he's a bit gamer [now], [he] probably comes forward a little bit more.
"His striking has picked up a bit.
"But I feel like wherever he's improved, I've improved just as much or more.
"I just feel like I'm the better complete fighter and I'm looking forward to going in there and testing myself against him."
Grant enters his second outing of the year in the form of his UFC career having won his last three on the bounce.
And back-to-back one-punch knockouts have seen the Durham-based submission specialist secure consecutive Performance of the Night Bonus.
Grant said of his newfound stppping power: "I don't know [what to attribute it to]. I think it's just the confidence and being comfortable getting in those tear ups.
"I feel like I've got 100 per cent belief in my own abilities, 100 per cent belief in my own chin; I can stand in there in the pocket and I can tear it up and I can go for it and not worry about the results."
Grant hopes to make it three bonus-winning outings on the bounce, adding: "I'm going for the knockout all day.
"But I'll take anything I can, though."
Grant's renaissance has come following two injury-enforced layoffs, which arguably robbed him of his prime years.
And the 35-year-old believes the success he's experiencing late into his career should serve as a lesson to fighters going through rough times.
He said: "I think it's a great example of you've got to keep grinding away, keep following your goals and don't give up.
"It's all about getting that time in, getting that time in the gym and taking those risky fights and training smart as well.
"You've got to train smart if you want to the longevity in your career. I went way too hard early in my career.
"Probably, a lot of the injuries and setbacks were because I was just training way too hard.
"But there's a lot more experienced coaches and things now and a lot more experienced guys telling people how they need to go on now. So it's getting there."
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