Gray wins MMA Match by Unanimous Decision

Robbie Gray 3Local mixed martial arts fighter Robbie Gray improved his record to 1-1 Saturday, May 14 as he defeated Travis Dean Hill at Strikehard 42 in Tuscaloosa.

“Robbie put on an excellent performance in this fight,” said Jay Russell, co-owner of Ross Martial Arts & Fitness Academy and Gray’s MMA coach. “We had a solid strategy for this opponent, and Robbie executed the game plan perfectly.”

Russell added that Gray faced a much more experienced fighter in Hill, who was 2-2 going into the match and a well-trained U.S. Marine. He said the team at Ross Martial Arts focused on improving Gray’s takedown defense and grappling so that he could keep the fight standing and capitalize on Gray’s kickboxing skills.

Robbie Gray 1Both fighters were returning to MMA competition after extended breaks, as they both last fought in 2013. However, Hill had added extensive combatives training with the Marines, and Gray had been busy competing in boxing and kickboxing matches in the past few years.

Round one of the fight was touch-and-go for both competitors as Gray landed several strikes, but Hill pulled out a number of successful takedowns to win the round 10 to 9.

In round two, Gray picked up the pace, stuffing a pair of takedown attempts by Hill and finding his distance for his kicks and punches. Hill’s only real offensive gain in the round was an early rear naked choke attempt that Gray defended successfully. Gray won the round 10-9.

“I knew we were probably tied up after that second round,” said Gray. “Jay told me I had to press him and bring it to him more if I wanted to win, so that’s what I did.”

The final round saw Gray dominant as he controlled the cage with aggressive striking. In the last minute of the round, Gray’s strikes really found their target as a punch combo followed by a knee strike to Hill’s chest put him down, and Gray swarmed him with more punches and knees.

Capturing the final round solidified Gray’s 29-28 unanimous decision win for the match.

Robbie Gray 2The fight was the eighth match on a 14-fight card for Strikehard 42, which also included an amateur lightweight title fight between Matt Simmons and Alvin Davis and two professional bouts. The action took place at the Belk Activity Center.

Gray looks to keep the forward momentum going as he is currently training and preparing for a possible return to the cage at Strikehard 44 on Aug. 13 in Tuscaloosa.