WSOF 18’s Mark Drummond: “I’m going in there with a psychological advantage”

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Last time welterweight Mark Drummond competed for the World Series of Fighting promotion, things didn’t go as planned as the Edmonton native suffered a first round defeat to Brandt Dewsbery at WSOF Canada: Ford vs. Powell last February. Now the 29-year old has a shot at redemption on February 12th, as he faces off with Spencer “The Jedi” Jebb at WSOF 18: Moraes vs. Hill. Fighting for a major MMA promotion wasn’t even on “Sweet Dreams” radar five years ago. In fact Drummond was out of shape and looking for something new to keep his competitive juices flowing. “I’ve been an athlete my whole life and played volleyball in college. When that was done, I was looking for a new competitive outlet” Drummond told MMAOddsBreaker. “I ended up getting up close to 240 pounds and really needed to find something to do so that I would spend less time eating. I started doing jiu-jitsu and met a lot of pro fighters through that and it was just a natural progression. I’ve been in love with [mixed martial arts] ever since.” It didn’t take long for the Canadian to participate in his first professional bout. Local MMA promotion United MMA was hosting shows in Edmonton and this opened doors for fighters looking to compete in the area. Unfortunately for Drummond, his pro-debut in 2010 didn’t go exactly as planned. “For my first pro fight – I [actually] hadn’t planned on fighting for quite a while; it kind of just came up. They offered me a guy and I’d seen him train before. My stand-up was no good at that point but I figured I’d probably have the tools to beat him. He ended up pulling out of the fight like the week of. That was back when I was young and stupid; I took a fight on six hours’ notice at heavyweight, which wasn’t the smartest idea I’ve ever had. Ended up doing it and lost the fight.“ Discouraged in defeat, Drummond turned his disappointment into motivation as he competed later that year for Unified MMA once again against fellow Canadian Graham Park. He ended up earning a third round submission victory and it was after that, Drummond became hooked on the sport. “After you get that first win under your belt, you constantly want to be chasing that feeling again. Luckily for me it’s happened more often than not that I’ve been able to come out with the win.” Drummond spends his days working for the Government of Alberta as child and youth care councillor and training MMA at night. Working with high risk youth is a very stressful job and fighting has provided Drummond an outlet to take some of that pressure off his everyday life. “It’s a bit of a contrast between my two jobs. It’s nice I’m able to do my full time job and it’s flexible enough that I can still get my hours in a gym. It’s a perfect marriage for me and it’s kind of nice. With my day job you’ve always dealing with stressful crisis situations. When it comes to fight time it’s nothing I haven’t experienced before and certainly nothing like the kids I’ve [worked with] have had to experience.” The Complete Fitness and Martial Arts product will be a much different fighter than the one that stepped in the WSOF cage last year. His opponent, the-25-year-old Jebb is a familiar foe as these two previously fought at Unified MMA 11 back in 2012. Drummond earned his first and only career knock-out in that bout. He believes that victory will give him an edge heading into the rematch. “That’s a confidence booster for sure. I’m sure he’s thinking in the back of his head that he’s really got to get that one back. I don’t have that same feeling. I feel like I’m going in there with a psychological advantage.“ With that said, Drummond isn’t taking his opponent – who has won eight of his last ten bouts – lightly. Training with long-time friend and current UFC lightweight Mitch Clarke, Drummond is prepared for anywhere this fight may go. “[Jebb] improved a lot since [the loss]. Stylistically he’s very much a boxer at heart. I don’t think he’s going to want to take me down a lot. I’ve seen that guy land bombs and put them out cold. I’m just hoping to avoid those and implement my game plan and see how it goes down [the night of the fight].” As his nickname “Sweet Dreams” suggests, Drummond would like nothing more than to put his opponent to sleep in impressive fashion. Interestingly enough his nickname actually has nothing to do with fighting, but rather originated from a night out in Canada’s biggest city. “That’s kind of a funny story [about my nickname] we were in Toronto at UFC 140 when Jon Jones fought Lyoto Machida. It was Mitch Clarke’s UFC debut and a bunch of us went out there. A couple of the guys we were with, went out and had a few too many. Before we went out, my old coach Kyle Cardinal thought it would be pretty funny to put sugar in my bed. I ended up getting home and I didn’t even notice it because…well you know. And I woke up and he called me “Sweet Dreams” and it kind of stuck from there and followed me around. “ Mark would like to thank his sponsor Martial Law Clothing and you can follow him on Twitter @SweetDreamsMMA.

Written by James Lynch

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