The new season of The Ultimate Fighter premieres tomorrow night, and looking back on my own experience on the show, I know it helped me grow as a fighter.
TUF 24 was a little different than any season of the show. We were all flyweight champions competing for a UFC title shot against #DemetriousJohnson. I put on one of the most exciting fights in the house when I beat Damacio Page in the opening round; I still wish I would’ve done better on the show.
Everybody was trying to put it on the line last season, trying to prove that flyweights fight exciting fights. I replay that fight against Hiromasa Ogikubo in my mind everyday, a couple times over; there were a ton of variables leading into that fight, and I can’t put my finger on which one made the difference that day. It still doesn’t sit well that it was a two-round decision because even though he was beating me in position, he wasn’t doing a lot of damage and he was fatiguing.
That last round is usually where I can really take advantage, but there are still some great things that came out of my experience on TUF.
Since we finished filming last year, Yoni Sherbatov, my teammate on Team Cejudo, has had me out to Montreal to be part of his camp. I was also in Matt “Danger” Schnell’s corner for his fight against Rob Font on the finale, and I’m flying out this week to give “Danger” a look before he fights at #UFCNashvile.
I think these relationships are gonna continue for a long time, and I’m glad to have made them. I’m also really lucky to have met Kirian Fitzgibbons and the guys at #CSA on TUF. Since the show, he’s become my striking coach, and I have tools and weapons that I did not have before.
Working with Kirian has been really good for me, even though I didn’t even have to throw a punch in my most recent fight at #PrimalFC (I won by first-round arm triangle submission). I’ve been really fortunate to work out a great situation that allows me to train at #AKA, CSA, and Antdawgs MMA. Honestly, I think it’s the perfect situation that will take me throughout the rest of my career.
I still think I did enough to get a shot in the UFC based on my performance on #TheUltimateFighter. I put on the type of fights that fans want to see, exciting fights, with non-stop action. I think that the fans would love me out there the way my style is, so now I’m just going to stack some wins and try to change the UFC’s mind about me.