David Clark is a lightweight prospect out of Birmingham, Alabama with an undefeated 3-0 record. Get to know the man that’s been putting on great performances over at the B2 Fighting Series promotion…
Clark grew up with a bullying problem. In a public library, he found the Tao of Jeet Kune Do book by Bruce Lee. But what solved a bullying problem also led to more than that. The book inspired him to become a martial artist.
In school, Clark played Soccer for three years and briefly played football. After discovering MMA, Clark competed in cross county and wrestling as a development to his MMA career path.
“I never really thought that I was good at it (MMA), or talented. What I really liked about MMA is the training and that you become more than what you used to be. I like that I could test myself and display who I made myself to be.”
“I currently train at Spartan Fitness in Birmingham, Alabama. During my early amateur career as a mixed martial artist, I was training at Gamma Fitness in Gadsden, Alabama. When I competed and won my first MMA bout, I met Eryk Anders as I was exiting the cage. He let me know how impressed he was with me. He said, ‘you look so relaxed in there like you were having fun in there. You’re going to be great one day.’ That was my first encounter with Spartan Fitness.”
“Then later my friends, Matt Elkins and Ethan Melisano decided to start training at Spartan Fitness on the regular. So over the summers I would carpool with them and stay three days a week with them and train.”
Before turning pro, Clark fought to a 5-3 amateur record. In 2018, he won the SHP lightweight title and in 2019, he won the SHP featherweight title. At the time, he was fighting as an amateur mainly during his layoff. He was a full-time college student at Jacksonville State University with a full-time job. He remained active in training, at a local boxing gym two-three days a week.
Clark also attended the JSU Judo Club, and applied his schooling in Kinesiology/Exercise Science all the while, still training at Spartan Fitness over the summers. I asked Clark what his biggest takeaway was from his amateur career.
“That your training will grant you the opportunities to win and if you give your all in training, then all of you will show up in the fight. In Striking, Grappling, Conditioning, and everything in between, you see your training carry you.”
Clark doesn’t have a lot of fights, but has been fighting for nine years altogether. He started in 2013, so improvements are definitely made and he’s a completely different fighter today.
“I feel I’ve gained a more complete picture of what I can become as a martial artist. And to take each discipline with more continuity. Instead of being a stylistically driven artist, I just see and go.”
The 28-year-old still has a long career of himself. He may not be this 18-year-old kid, but he’s filled out and at his physical prime. He’s still young in his career so what are his goals?
“To go to the UFC and be one of the greatest to do so. To make true martial arts an everyday part of our lives. To empower the masses.”
To close out my conversation with David Clark, I simply asked: “Why do you fight?“
“I remember the feeling of being powerless and not loving myself. What I found in martial arts; values ingrained in training, stepping outside yourself in competition, and more. All of these things passed down through many generations and among many walks of life are valuable. Especially in these times where everyone is arguing/conflicted about their perception of reality.”
“I just want to display what I learned and cultivate for myself, that is all. Martial arts is the mastery of conflict, and conflict is inevitable internally and externally. In that quest for this type of mastery, it will change you. This is my mission statement, I guess.”