He’s an NCAA Male Athlete of the Year. He’s defeated numerous MMA superstars. He took one of the most dominant wrestlers in MMA today to a close split decision. He recently walked through one of the most feared welterweights in MFC history. He’s a workhorse. He’s a veteran. He’s Nathan “Soulforce” Coy.
Fight fans may not know this guy, but fight fanatics do, and soon you will too. Why? Because he’s about to bring the fight like he always does, but this time his fight is at MFC 33 on the grand stage provided by HDNet, TSN, and the Maximum Fighting Championship. Oh, by the way, his fight is also for the welterweight championship belt, which, in a recent interview, Coy stated clearly was in his career goals: “I’m looking to win belts.”
His journey to this title shot hasn’t been easy either. The guy has built a career on taking on the toughest fighters in the sport – often before they garnered the glitz and glamour needed to rocket Coy to the top, or even to pay him well for that matter: “I’m the guy who beat those fighters before they had legitimate names. It was a lot of tough matches for no money, just for respect.” In the McGillivray fight, the man they call Soulforce gets to put his stamp on a high-profile fight, and, like he says, “It’s just a matter of making it happen.”
That’s a relatively easy quote to throw out there, but Coy also realizes his work is cut out for him. His opponent, Ryan McGillivray, clutched his last victory from what looked like the jaws of defeat when he pulled an out-of-nowhere armbar on the highly aggressive Diego Bautista. Coy knows that fight, and he knows what McGillivray brings to the cage, so he must see that Ryan has a shot at winning their bout, right? “No, not at all,” said Coy, “I’m in this business to win and win only.” With affiliation to Team Quest in Portland and American Top Team in Florida, he’s surrounded by winning attitudes and the talent needed to prepare him for McGillivray’s excellent submission game. When asked about it, Coy was completely confident in himself and his training partners, “I’ve got guys who can match that.”
It’s hard to argue the quality of his training camps or his skills after watching him dismantle Dhiego Lima at MFC 32. Lima is a feared competitor, and now Coy may be the most feared welterweight on the MFC roster. He doesn’t care about fear though, only victory: “I want to get after it and put people in positions they’re not comfortable in. If that’s fear, then so be it.” Of course, it’s going to be hard to shake the confidence of his opponent, who will have the home crowd support behind him in spades. As far as Nathan Coy is concerned, Ryan McGillivray can go ahead and have the fan support in the arena: “The crowd has nothing to do with it.” He may well be right. We are, after all, talking about a fighter who is extremely focused and on a path of constant and consistent improvement. Take a look at the list of fighters he’s already defeated. Improvement is a scary thought, especially considering the dominance shown in his last fight: “I impose my will. That’s the goal when I’m out there.”
Imposing is a great word to describe Coy. He’s big. He’s forceful. He’s persistent. In fact, he’s much like a fighting mountain gorilla: “A gorilla grabs you. It hurts you. It does what it wants.” To be fair to the man, he is also a loving father and husband who is thankful to his supporters and all the fans who buy tickets to the MFC, but you can hear it in the tone of his voice – his message to Ryan McGillivray isn’t loving or thankful, but more like a dare for which he already knows the outcome: “Come after it, man. Come hard. Let’s do this.”