18 January 1971 |
Klerksdorp, South Africa
|Height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Weight||264.6 lb (120 kg; 18 st 13 lb)|
|Division||Heavyweight (265 lb)
Super Heavyweight (265+ lb)
|Reach||78.0 in (198 cm)|
|Fighting out of||London, England|
|Rank||Shodan black belt in Gōjū-ryū
Brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
|Years active||2006 - present|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
- 1 Background
- 2 Mixed martial arts career
- 3 Championships and accomplishments
- 4 Mixed martial arts record
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Originally from South Africa, Grove began competing in rugby at a young age. Having attended eight different schools growing up, Grove was frequently bullied being the "new kid," and often got into fights as a result. In 1996, Grove moved to London, England where he worked as a personal trainer, sports therapist, and also worked as a bouncer at an Irish nightclub in South London. In 2000, after Grove and a fellow bouncer were involved in a massive brawl at the nightclub, the two men were forced to take Goju-ryu classes as a way of learning control and self-restraint. Grove soon developed a love for the martial art, which, as a combat-style karate, involves throws and submission wrestling. A year after receiving his black belt in 2005, Grove transitioned into mixed martial arts.
Mixed martial arts career
Grove made his professional debut at UKMMAC 17: Iron Circle on 16 November 2006, beating Anthony Okorie by TKO. He next fought at UKMMAC 18: Fists of Fury against Denniston Sutherland, who was 30 kg lighter than Grove at the time. Grove won by TKO in the first round.
On 14 July 2007, Grove made his Cage Rage debut at Cage Rage 22: Hard as Hell, stepping in on two days notice to fight PRIDE veteran James Thompson. Grove knocked out the heavily favored Thompson in just 10 seconds of the first round. Grove followed up with two more stoppages in Cage Rage before facing former Cage Rage heavyweight champion Rob Broughton. Grove lost the bout by majority decision.
Grove fought in a rematch against Robert Berry at Cage Rage 27: Step Up on 12 July 2008. He won via TKO in the second round. After the fight, Grove called out both Mostapha Al-turk and Kimbo Slice. Grove and Al-turk were scheduled for a heavyweight title fight before Cage Rage closed down.
Ultimate Challenge MMA
After Cage Rage fell, Grove went onto Dave O'Donnell's new promotion: Ultimate Challenge MMA. On their very first event, Grove defeated James McSweeney via TKO to win the inaugural Ultimate Challenge Heavyweight title.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
On 16 December 2008, Grove announced that he was signing a four fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Grove expressed interest in fighting fellow European standout Mostapha al-Turk, who has also signed with the UFC.
He lost his long awaited UFC debut UFC 95 in London, England, to Mike Ciesnolevicz via Heel hook submission early in the first round. Grove was released from his UFC contract in May.
Return to Ultimate Challenge MMA
After being released from the UFC, he returned to UCMMA as their Heavyweight Champion. Grove defeated Martin Thompson to retain his title.
He then fought to a draw with Stav Economou at Ultimate Challenge MMA: Never Back Down.
He next faced Oleksiy Oliynyk at Bellator 29 and won via TKO at 0:45 in the first round. This win earned Grove a spot in the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Tournament, where he faced undefeated wrestler Cole Konrad. Grove lost the fight via submission in the first round.
Grove was scheduled to make his return to the promotion at Bellator 43 where he would face The Ultimate Fighter 10 alumnus Zak Jensen. However, Grove pulled out of the bout due to an injury. Grove instead fought Jensen at Bellator 47. He won the fight via TKO in the first round.
Super Fight League
Third run in UCMMA
Grove was scheduled to return to UCMMA at UCMMA 31 to face Darren Towler for the UCMMA heavyweight title, but Towler has been forced out due to a serious shoulder injury. Towler will be replaced by Tomasz Czerwinski and it will be for the interim heavyweight title.
Grove snapped his three fight losing streak, knocking out Czerwinski in the first round.
Championships and accomplishments
- Ultimate Challenge MMA
- Bellator Fighting Championship
- Bellator Season 3 Heavyweight Tournament Runner up
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|20 matches||12 wins||7 losses|
|Loss||12–7–1||Shamil Abdurahimov||Decision (unanimous)||Tech-Krep FC: Southern Front 2||4 October 2013||3||5:00||Krasnodar, Russia|
|Win||12–6–1||Tomasz Czerwinski||KO (punches)||UCMMA 31||1 December 2012||1||2:59||London, England, United Kingdom||Won the UCMMA Heavyweight Championship.|
|Loss||11–6–1||Todd Duffee||TKO (punches)||SFL 2||7 April 2012||1||0:34||Chandigarh, India|
|Loss||11–5–1||Thiago dos Santos||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Bellator 56||29 October 2011||1||0:38||Kansas City, Kansas, United States||Bellator Season Five Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal; Replaced an injured Blagoi Ivanov|
|Loss||11–4–1||Mike Hayes||Decision (split)||Bellator 52||1 October 2011||3||5:00||Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States||Bellator Season Five Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal|
|Win||11–3–1||Zak Jensen||TKO (punches)||Bellator 47||23 July 2011||1||2:00||Rama, Ontario, Canada|
|Loss||10–3–1||Cole Konrad||Submission (keylock)||Bellator 32||14 October 2010||1||4:45||Kansas City, Missouri, United States||Bellator Season Three Heavyweight Tournament Final|
|Win||10–2–1||Oleksiy Oliynyk||TKO (punches)||Bellator 29||16 September 2010||1||0:45||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States||Bellator Season Three Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal|
|Win||9–2–1||Eddie Sanchez||TKO (referee stoppage)||Bellator 24||12 August 2010||1||1:32||Hollywood, Florida, United States||Bellator Season Three Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal|
|Draw||8–2–1||Stav Economou||Draw||UCMMA 12: Never Back Down||8 May 2010||3||5:00||London, England||For the UCMMA Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||8–2||Martin Thompson||TKO (punches)||UCMMA 8: Dynamite||25 October 2009||1||0:53||London, England||Retained the UCMMA Heavyweight Championship|
|Loss||7–2||Mike Ciesnolevicz||Submission (inverted heel hook)||UFC 95||21 February 2009||1||1:03||London, England|
|Win||7–1||James McSweeney||KO (punches)||UCMMA 1: Bad Breed||7 December 2008||2||1:38||London, England||Won UCMMA Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||6–1||Robert Berry||TKO (punches)||Cage Rage 27||12 July 2008||2||1:29||London, England|
|Loss||5–1||Rob Broughton||Decision (majority)||Cage Rage 25||8 March 2008||3||5:00||London, England|
|Win||5–0||Robert Berry||TKO (corner stoppage)||Cage Rage 24||1 December 2007||1||5:00||London, England|
|Win||4–0||Domagoj Ostojić||TKO (punches)||Cage Rage 23||22 September 2007||1||0:34||London, England|
|Win||3–0||James Thompson||KO (punch)||Cage Rage 22||14 July 2007||1||0:10||London, England|
|Win||2–0||Denniston Sutherland||TKO (punches)||UKMMAC 18: Fists of Fury||25 February 2007||1||3:05||Purfleet, England|
|Win||1–0||Anthony Okorie||TKO (punches)||UKMMAC 17: Iron Circle||26 November 2006||1||0:54||England|
- About Neil - MMA | Neil Grove
- Fighters Only Magazine - Exclusive: UFC signed former heavyweight Cage Rage contender Neil Grove
- "Neil Grove out of Bellator 43 fight with Zak Jensen". mmadiehards.com. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "Grove-Jensen Heavyweight Scrap Added to Bellator 47 Draw". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "Bellator Heavyweight Draw Revealed, Begins Oct. 1 at Bellator 52". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
- "Blagoi Ivanov out, Neil Grove back in heavyweight tourney at Bellator 56". MMAJunkie.com. 19 October 2011.
- "Todd Duffee vs. Neil Grove Booked For Super Fight League 2". cagejunkies.com. 2012-03-08.
- "Neil Grove returns to The Troxy for UCMMA 31, Dec 1st". addictedmma.com. 2012-09-10.
- "DARREN TOWLER INJURED, TOMASZ CZERWINSKI MEETS NEIL GROVE FOR INTERIM HW TITLE AT UCMMA 31". sherdog.com. 2012-11-15.