Mixed martial arts promoter Johnathan Ivey said it was a “no brainer” having Hendersonville’s Donovan Salvato fight for the promotion’s inaugural welterweight title when his organization returns to the Mid-TN Expo Center in Murfreesboro on Feb. 10. Salvato picked up an impressive debut victory at the last Johnathan Ivey’s Cage Fighting Championships event and this time around he will face fellow Tennessean Steve Stover for the 170-pound belt. Pro MMA Now caught up with Donovan before he makes his return to the cage.
Thanks for talking with us Donovan. How’s training going for your upcoming title fight on Feb. 10?
Training has been great! I’ve learned a lot about myself and the sport of mixed martial arts.
How do you feel about the change in opponents and what is your scouting report on Steve Stover?
At first I was aggravated because I had been game planning and visualizing my first opponent. After a good night sleep it was back to business. He (Stover) hasn’t fought in a while so the film I’ve seen is out dated. But bad habits are hard to fix so I’m going to try and capitalize on his mistakes.
How do you visualize the fight playing out?
I think it will be a tough test but I will weather the storm and come out with the belt.
You picked up your first amateur win at the last Johnathan Ivey’s Cage Fighting Championships show, what was that feeling like?
It was a glorious! All eyes were on me and everyone was cheering, but short lived. It was only my first win and I got right back to training for this fight.
What would a title win in this fight mean to you?
It gives me the opportunity and exposure to fight other champions and tougher opponents.
Where have you been training and who is helping you prepare for this one?
I’ve been training with two gyms this camp. Cory Robison with Phoenix MMA in Hermitage and Sean Patton, Logan Nash and Jaysen Baker at the UFC Gym Hendersonville.
What are your ultimate goals in the sport?
To get wins against quality opponents and make money. If I’m getting the first two, championships and titles will follow.
What is life like for you outside of fighting?
For the most part, (if I’m not sleeping) hanging out with my dog, making noise on my guitar or playing video games. If I’ve got enough energy or time I’ll see family and friends.
Thank you for your time Donovan, any shoutouts or final words?
Thank you Pro MMA Now for reaching out to me. Thank you everyone who wants to see me succeed and who is coming out to the fights. Shout out to “Music City Health Center” in Hendersonville for keeping my body in alignment and to my barber Dion at, “Dion’s Barber Shop” in Hendersonville for the fresh fight cut.