If you watched Devin Clark’s last fight, his 13th since joining the UFC, you likely saw some things you never saw before. The first being a big finish by the South Dakota-born big man. The second was a brand new set of cornermen.
After years at Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, Clark packed up his things and headed north to give somewhere else a try.
“It’s a permanent fight camp switch,” Clark explained. “I needed a little bit different pace. I tried out Team Elevation and wound up really liking it. I gel really well with the coaches and the training partners. Cody Donovan and Vinny Lopez are my main coaches now.”
Working with the new coaches has allowed him to take a closer look at some of the things he was doing. A new set of eyes helped him revisit even some of the more basic things that he does and helped him get it back on the right page.
“They’ve really taken me and we’ve took a step back – revisited some of my basic stuff – my footwork stuff, some of my wrestling stuff,” he shared. “We reengaged where we’re trying to go with that. Just putting together a good plan for all that.”
Clark holds no ill will against Jackson-Wink. He values the time he spent and experience he got from his old home. However, mixing things up allows him a chance to be closer to home and a feeling that he has not had in a long time.
“It’s good to learn from new coaches. I get to feel like that new student again, where I really have to pay attention and go over these new ways of doing things,” Clark said. “Even looking at the setups of our training or practices, it’s a lot different and more what I was used to when I was growing up wrestling.”
And the change paid off in a big way for the first fight – a fight that had a lot at stake for “Brown Bear”.
“So many emotions were running through my mind. New gym, end of the contract – there was a lot to prove and I lot could have went wrong,” he said. “I would have been happy with a decision over [William Knight], but the new training didn’t allow that. The move I actually got him out with was just a drill we would do on the bag – same sequence and everything.”
Now with a new contract in tow, Clark looks to put those new looks to good use once again. He’ll face Azamat Murzakanov at UFC San Diego this Saturday on the ESPN main card.
You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 1:18.