01 Jan Devin Clark explains relationship, intense moment with dad/coach before UFC 250 weigh-ins: ‘It almost went down’
It was a memorable night for the Clark men at UFC 250.
Not only did Devin Clark pick up a gritty unanimous decision win over Alonzo Menifield, but his father, David, was highly touted coming out of the 15-minute light heavyweight battle. Or more specifically, David Clark’s voice.
The father and coach could be heard throughout the fight shouting out instructions, motivating his son through the fight’s good and bad moments.
While appearing on MMA Fighting’s What the Heck, Clark was asked if his father’s presence made an impact in the performance overall.
“Who knows? He’s there every fight,” Clark said. “And he’s like that every fight, you just can’t hear it as good. But it was on full (at UFC 250). Everybody saw it that night and it’s such an intimate venue that it was perfect. It didn’t seem like there was no audience there because he was so loud and brought so much intensity with it.
“That’s why he’s in my corner, he has that intensity that, sometimes, I just don’t have. I’m not a violent person, I’ve never been in a street fight, so sometimes I don’t have that intensity but he’s really good in bringing it out of me. He showed up for sure.”
The spirit David brings to the table is not something everybody can handle. It certainly has worked for “Brown Bear,” a winner of back-to-back fights, and three of his last four.
“He’s been that way my whole life since I can remember,” Clark explained. “Doing football, baseball, wrestling, growing up, he just has a way of—and not all athletes can handle it—motivating in a way to make you want to do it, whether you get pissed at him or not. We get into arguments all the time.”
One argument, in particular, took place ahead of Clark’s 10th promotional appearance at UFC 250. As the 30-year-old prepared to hit the scale on Friday morning, David entered the equation.
“We actually got into it the morning of weigh-ins,” Clark stated. “About an hour before the weigh-ins, he came into the room with his camera on and I’m hitting pads to cut weight. I had so much energy—I don’t know why I had energy—and I’m in the zone. He comes in the room, and he’s got his video on talking to a buddy or something, and I’m just a complete dick about it. ‘What are you doing? Turn that off. Turn that video off.’
“I was just in that zone and it clicked for him, too. He was like, ‘What the f*ck?’ He went off, I went off, we got in each other’s faces and it was a pretty intense moment. It almost went down. He would never hit me but it was an intense moment.
“He left the room and came back about a minute and a half later, said, ‘Let’s work,’ and I had some of the best pad rounds ever right there.”
Both Clarks, along with coaches Chad Smith and Mike Winkeljohn, joined together in solidarity after the victory to raise their arms in the air to protest racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
Whether its a battle in, or out of the octagon—even with one another—there isn’t anybody else Clark would rather have on his side than his old man.
“It’s just little stuff like that where we’ll get in arguments, he’ll say something to piss me off, but it’s almost purposeful,” Clark said. “He has a meaning behind it and he gets me fired up every time. He’s done that for me my whole life. Sometimes I don’t like it, but that’s our relationship.”