Chris Price, an ultimate fighter
The Exorcist has one important demon to expel. Chris “The Exorcist” Price, 24, received the ultimate invitation: to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championships, the biggest mixed-martial arts competition in North America. His goal: to exorcise Kendall Grove, the winner of last year’s reality TV competition on Spike TV, The Ultimate Fighter.
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, Price, from Indianapolis, will face his biggest challenge. He faces Grove in the first non-pay per view Ultimate Fighting Championship card. The competition will be shown live, from the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla. — free — on Spike TV, in what will be the most-watched UFC card in the history of the organization.
He reflects, “An invitation from the UFC is the highest honor a fighter can get in the U.S.”
Price, who grew up in Beech Grove, knows both about honor and fighting. As a U.S. Marine, he served nine months in Afghanistan and two years in Iraq. The cage might hold its surprises, even dangers, but nothing comparable to snipers or roadside bombs.
For Price, the invitation to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is much like Spielberg inviting a young actor to star in his latest film. Not only will he receive a substantially greater amount of money, but he will also get more national exposure while doing what he loves: competing.
Currently, Price is the Legends of Fighting’s Middleweight Champion and trains at Damage Inc., the fight team for Legends.
When he was asked to participate in the UFC, he couldn’t believe it. “I thought it was a joke at first, but then I realized that this was a serious offer.”
So serious that the UFC offered him a three-fight contract, which, of course, he signed.
Some UFC fighters are better on the ground; some are better at stand-up fighting. Price thinks that his best asset is his heart: “I’m relentless. You can knock me down, but I’ll get up.”
So far, his record shows his heart. As a professional, he is undefeated, with eight wins and no losses. Grove, on the other hand, is the more experienced fighter, having won last year’s The Ultimate Fighter. From Maui, Hawaii, Grove holds a record of 6-3 as a professional.
Both fighters will probably weigh in at around 185 pounds. The big difference will be their heights. At 6-foot-5, Grove has a 3-inch height advantage. But Price remains confident. “As they say, ‘The bigger they are, the harder they fall.’”
In an interview on the UFC Web site, Grove says of Price, “He’s a scrappy kid and he’s getting his shot. He’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain. I think he’s gonna come out fighting with everything he’s got and I think it’s gonna be a tough fight for me.”
Price told the UFC that Grove is “a respectable opponent, with tough grappling and unorthodox striking.”
While Price’s greatest asset might be his “relentlessness,” he prefers the “ground and pound” technique. Conversely, Grove likes “stand-up” fighting. Look for Grove to stand and punch, while Price tries to take the match to the ground.
The Price vs. Grove bout is on the undercard of a main event featuring Tito Ortiz (15-4) against Ken Shamrock (26-11-2). The fights begin at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
For more on the fight or on Chris Price: www.spiketv.com/#shows/ufcfinalchapter/index.jhtml and http://fcfighter.brinkster.net/ fighter.asp?FighterID=256716