Stanton Gavia Fights Against All Odds at Combat USA
Like many MMA fighters, Stanton “Kingviper” Gavia never expected to become a professional fighter. He grew up with a lot of aggression. After being kicked out of school multiple times for fighting, Stanton’s brother Damien Norris dragged him to the gym.
“I got started by my brother bothering me,” Stanton said. “I got kicked out of school all the time for fighting. I just basically needed some way to channel that aggression. My brother, who had been a martial artist all his life, kept bothering me saying you got to come to the gym. You got to release some of that aggression. That was never really my thing. Then one day, he just bothered me so much I was like ok come on lets go I have nothing else to do today. I went and I loved it and I just never turned back."
After a short amateur career, Gavia debuted as a professional MMA fighter in 2008 at Combat USA Fight Night. Making quick work of his opponent, Gavis submitted Brad Robinson via Guillotine Choke at 1:09 of the first round. Eight months later, Gavia hopped back in the cage and fought a three-round match where he won via split decision. Nobody could have expected what happened next.
The up-and-coming 2-0 star ended up in a fatal vehicle accident. Gavia survived the accident but suffered a serious neck injury. After two years of resting and rehabilitating, Gavia was given the green light for MMA.
“I was on a rising start when I began in this business,” Gavia said. “Then I sustained a neck injury in a car accident. There are some titanium rods in there. My surgeon says they can tug pull or whatever in there and it will be fine. I got very heavy, strong guys that I train with on a day to day basis that strain my neck and it’s fine. I’m just looking to get back into the cage.”
Getting back into the swing of things, Gavia took a fight earlier this month against Shawn West on April 16. Not giving his opponent a chance, Gavia took his opponent down and made him a lesson for future opponents
“My accident is history just like you will be," Gavia said. "It was perfect it was just how I like a fight to be. I was the outsider, the underdog coming into a guys hometown where he was loved. He came out and everybody stood up. He had signs as he was walking out he had shirts. When we got in the cage he barely touched me once and the rest of the fight was mine. He balled up to get away from me and he wasn’t moving. Textbook ground and pound and I threw a couple elbows and the referee stopped stepped in and ended the fight.”
Coming of this adrenaline-rushing win, Gavia is entering Combat USA’s Top Eight in the State of Illinois competition. Originally contacted a few months ago, he was set to fight in the event held in Illinois. As issues arose, Ruckus entertainment, the promotion cooperating with Combat USA’s Illinois venture, was unable to host the event in Illinois. That’s just when Gavia had finished his promotional videos and interviews with Combat USA. Then everything flipped.
The event was moved to Memorial Hall in Racine, WI and his next opponent would be David Sachs. David Sachs, according to Sherdog, has three times the professional experience of Gavia. At 6-3, the Team Lionheart fighter has won four of his six victories via rear-naked choke. At the same point, Sachs has a proven weakness as he’s lost two of three losses by TKO including his last at Cage Fighting Xtreme.
“He’s pretty strong it looks like and pretty quick,” Gavia said. “I’ve seen some video on him, but I take video with a grain of salt. It doesn’t mean everything. His videos are a couple years old and some of mine are too. I’m not going in exactly what I’ve seen on the video. But what I know is I’m going to own him.”
These two will face for the Combat USA Illinois Featherweight championship. Although Sachs has an impressive record, Gavia’s not concerned.
“I am beyond pumped,” said Gavia. “I’m looking at this fight as the biggest one of my career and stopped drinking nutrition is on point. I’m not over looking him, his record or his dedication to this sport. As long as I come prepared he doesn’t have anything for me.”
If Gavia defeats Sachs, he will fight Wisconsin featherweight Josh Sterry. Sterry entered the tournament as Nick Agallar’s replacement and won after Josh Kasee was disqualified for throwing an illegal knee strike.
“My personal opinion, I don’t think Wisconsin is better than Illinois,” Gavia said. “I don’t think their fighters are on the same level as Illinois fighters. In this tournament we will be able to see if that is true or not. I’m more concered by the other Illinois fighters than I am the Wisconsin fighters. Especially if Sterry won by disqualification that is not the way a warrior wins. Obviously things happen, but that’s garbage. He doesn’t deserve to be a finalist. Now everyone is allowed their own opinion, but that just means he’s going to be fighting a guy he has no business fighting and I’ll demolish him.”
With the ball rolling toward favorite David Sachs, hopefully Gavia will enter the ring Saturday to Chumbawamba’s Tune “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.”