Al "Bloodbath" McGrath doesn’t mince words.
He minces faces.
The 38-year-old Havelock carpenter will be doing what he loves the most on Saturday, kicking some middle-weight tail.
McGrath will be fighting in the 185-point weight class against former King of Jacksonville title belt holder Mark Holbrook at the Primus II event sponsored by Premier Martial Arts in Havelock.
McGrath doesn’t have any ill words for his opponent.
"I don’t talk no junk. I just get in there," McGrath said between three-minute sparring rounds with trainer John Bryant last week.
"I just grew up fighting," McGrath said. "I grew up in a tough town and had to learn to fight."
His amateur record is 3 wins and one loss.
Mixed martial arts has moved from cable television to the big-time, with some MMA fights shown in primetime on network TV and others available through pay-per-view stations.
MMA combines traditional boxing, kickboxing, Karate, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Taekwondo and wrestling.
"It’s not just boxing. It’s kind of evolved to where it’s a little bit of everything," said Ryugi Williams of Premier Martial Arts in Havelock. "You don’t necessarily have to have specified training in one certain martial art to go in there and be able to dominate somebody. It’s everything put together and not one thing can overpower another."
McGrath said that he’s not shocked that the sport has become so widely received in the past several years.
"It’s the only true sport. You versus him," said McGrath, who is married with three sons.
He craves the adrenalin rush from being in the ring for a fight.
"I just take it for a ride," he said. "I don’t look much in the future except for the next fight. I’m at the point that I don’t have to prove anything. I’m just looking to have fun."
McGrath’s been working with Bryant for the last six months. Bryant, 38, has had a pro career and is looking to get back into it.
"It’s been a couple of years now, and I’m looking forward to getting back into the ring," Bryant said. "I just do it because I love the sport."
Bryant is impressed with McGrath.
"He’s awesome. I’m lucky I didn’t fight him when I was an amateur," Bryant said. "He works and he gives your 100 percent."
Also fighting on Saturday will be Antwan Phillips, King of Jacksonville heavyweight title holder, who is a Marine at Cherry Point.
Luis Velveta, a Premier Martial Arts superheavyweight, will be fighting in the 350-pound weight class.
A full listing of fights and profiles can be seen by going to www.mixedmartialarts.com and selecting events, then Primus II.
Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center for the fights. The cost is $35 for general admission and $65 for VIP seating close to the cage.
Williams said he was excited to bring the event to Havelock.
"It’s going to be a great time," he said. "Rather than us having to drive to Jacksonville to watch MMA fights, it really is an honor and a pleasure to be able to bring it to Havelock for the Morehead City, Newport and New Bern area to where someone can drive 15 minutes and watch some great local amateur fights."