Neil Grove

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Neil Grove
Born (1971-01-18) 18 January 1971 (age 48)
Klerksdorp, South Africa
Other namesGoliath
NationalitySouth African
Height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight266.8 lb (121 kg; 19 st 1 lb)
Reach78.0 in (198 cm)
Fighting out ofLondon, England
RankShodan Black belt in Gōjū-ryū
Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Years active2006 - present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout12
By knockout1
By submission3
By decision4
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Neil Grove (born 18 January 1971) is a South African-English Heavyweight professional mixed martial artist. A professional competitor since 2006, Grove has competed for the UFC, Bellator Cage Rage, UCMMA, and the SFL.


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 at Daigaku Karate Kai 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 Sambo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts.[1]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

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.

Cage Rage[edit]

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[edit]

After Cage Rage fell, Grove went on to 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[edit]

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.[2]

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[edit]

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.


Grove made his Bellator and U.S. debut against Eddie Sanchez, winning via TKO (Punches) at 1:32 of round 1.

He next faced Alexey Oleynik 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.[3] Grove instead fought Jensen at Bellator 47.[4] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Grove entered the Bellator Season Five Heavyweight Tournament. He faced Mike Hayes at Bellator 52[5] and lost the back-and-forth bout via split decision.

Grove faced Thiago Santos at Bellator 56 in the semi-finals after Blagoi Ivanov pulled out of the bout due to an injury.[6] He lost the fight via submission in the first round.

Super Fight League[edit]

Grove faced Todd Duffee in the main event at SFL 2.[7] He lost via TKO at 34 seconds in the first round.

Third run in UCMMA[edit]

Grove was scheduled to return to UCMMA at UCMMA 31 to face Darren Towler for the UCMMA heavyweight title,[8] 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.[9]

Grove snapped his three fight losing streak, knocking out Czerwinski in the first round.

Bellator return[edit]

After being away from the sport for two and a half years, Grove is scheduled to return in July 2016. He faced James Mulheron at Bellator 158 on July 16, 2016.[10] Grove lost the fight by unanimous decision.

Grove was scheduled to face Łukasz Parobiec on 19 May 2017 at Bellator 170. However, the fight was cancelled for undisclosed reasons.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 12–8–1 James Mulheron Decision (unanimous) Bellator 158 16 July 2016 3 5:00 London, England
Loss 12–7–1 Shamil Abdurakhimov 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 Interim 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 (americana) Bellator 32 14 October 2010 1 4:45 Kansas City, Missouri, United States Bellator Season Three Heavyweight Tournament Final.
Win 10–2–1 Alexey Oleynik 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 Ostojic 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ About Neil - MMA | Neil Grove
  2. ^ Fighters Only Magazine - Exclusive: UFC signed former heavyweight Cage Rage contender Neil Grove Archived 17 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Neil Grove out of Bellator 43 fight with Zak Jensen". Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Grove-Jensen Heavyweight Scrap Added to Bellator 47 Draw". Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Bellator Heavyweight Draw Revealed, Begins Oct. 1 at Bellator 52". Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Blagoi Ivanov out, Neil Grove back in heavyweight tourney at Bellator 56". 19 October 2011. Archived from the original on 21 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Todd Duffee vs. Neil Grove Booked For Super Fight League 2". 8 March 2012. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Neil Grove returns to The Troxy for UCMMA 31, Dec 1st". 10 September 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Neil Grove in to face James Mulheron at Bellator 158 in London". 29 June 2016. Archived from the original on 3 July 2016.

External links[edit]