Clay Davidson doesn’t like losing.
Not at cards, or bowling, if he played the game, which he doesn’t. The Penticton resident is a competitor and travelled with Canada’s grappling team to Belgrade, Serbia with gold in his mind.
Davidson and Canada returned from the 2011 FILA Grappling World Championship held Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 with a gold and three bronze medals. Davidson won in the combat grappling division, but lost his two matches in the No-Gi category.
“I went up against some pretty tough guys,” said Davidson, who is in Penticton spending time with his family. “It was just one of those things they were close matches. It just didn’t go my way.”
Because of an injury to a teammate, Davidson competed in the 110-kilogram (242-pound) weight group as a fill-in. He usually competes in the 205-pound weight group and said the opponents he was against were “massive.”
“They were monsters,” said Davidson, who loved the experience of the championship. “I enjoyed it. I’m usually the bigger guy at the gyms so being the smaller guy out there once in a while isn’t the worst thing in the world, either. I went in with the attitude I was going to have better conditioning than them. Even the two matches I did lose, I thought if it had gone another minute or two, I would have had him.”
Davidson returned to Penticton with more confidence. He has competed against some of the best in the world, including Robert Drysdale, but now Davidson feels he’s right there with the best. Davidson, who trains in Calgary and also at the Al Goes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym in Penticton, said there are no secrets with opponents. They don’t possess secret moves. When the opportunity presents itself, they must be taken to get the win.
“At no point did I feel overwhelmed,” he said of his bouts. “Us Canadians, we’re tough. There is no country as tough as us. We weren’t intimidated by anyone.”
In winning three bronze medals, Davidson felt Canada was competitive. Poland dominated taking the team trophy, but they arrived with a big team. Sweden finished second while the Americans were third.
“I was really proud of all of our guys,” he said.
Next for Davidson is getting a fight so he can get paid.
“Keep working towards my goal, which is ultimately to get to the UFC,” he said.