26-year-old Townsend, who will face Mash Gym's Jason Davis (2-2) from Romulus in an all-Michigan 170-lb professional mixed-martial-arts battle at Donofrio MMA's event entitled Impact Fight League 51 "No Guts No Glory", is dedicating his fight to his beloved mother, Loleta Townsend, who passed away on October 7.
Townsend says he considered cancelling his fight, but has decided to soldier on in her memory. "She was always my biggest fan; she came to every fight she could. Her birthday was last Saturday and I'm dedicating my fight coming up to her."
In the night's 155-lb lightweight main event will be a pair of well-established warriors with ties to the State of Michigan, as Livonia native James Reese (8-3), now a member of American Top Team in Florida, will face Alexander Trevino (5-3), raised in Montague, Michigan, but now with Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Los Angeles.
"I know he's a wrestler," said Townsend, a striking specialist, of his opponent Davis, "but I have a lot of anger to unleash and he's in my way. I've done a lot of focusing on wrestling, my cardio and take-down defense, so I'm ready. I might even take him down, who knows?"
Townsend says he's come a long way since his roots as a street-fighting juvenile. He started his mixed martial arts career four years ago at Wolf Pack Vale Tudo in Jackson and then moved to Murcielago MMA gym two years ago. His amateur career consisted of 33 fights, going 26-6-1.
"My greatest strength is the effectiveness of my punches. The accuracy and speed."
Standing a massive 6' 3", with an impressive 80-inch reach, Townsend says he reminds some of his MMA idol: "They call me Tarantula because I remind people of (UFC Champ) Anderson Silva."
Townsend says he's happy to be back performing for the massive crowds who flock to professional MMA at the Palace. "I want to make the UFC and go all the way, so a big fight like this is nice. It's a big opportunity that gives me lots of exposure. I respect Mr. Donofrio a lot. Every time I've been in the Palace, I've made sure I put on a show. I'm undefeated there and I plan on staying that way!"
Impact Fight League 51 "No Guts No Glory" is presented by Donofrio MMA in association with Palace Sports & Entertainment.
Tickets for Impact Fight League 51 "No Guts No Glory"are available at Palacenet.com, The Palace box office, and all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. The action starts at 7:00 PM, with doors opening at 6 PM. Special VIP Cageside Tables are available by calling 248.770.6000.
For more information, visit donofriomma.com.