Entered into the year’s 145-pound tournament, Richman fell just short of winning the whole thing, just as he had in 2012, but overall that’s not what he feels defined his year.
“I think 2013 was a fairly successful year,” Richman told MMAWeekly.com. “I got a lot of fights in and it ended well with my win over Akop (Stepanyan), but all in all I would have liked to have won the tournament.
“But I think 2013 was a very good year, a very exciting year for fights I put on. I try not took at the negatives of it and more focus on the positives and move on.”
And move on Richman did. After some time off, he began his build-up towards this year’s tournament so that he’d be ready to go as soon as it was announced.
“After my last fight, I wasn’t sure what was quite next for me,” said Richman. “I didn’t know when the next tournament would start, but figured it would be around February, so it was nice after the Akop fight to get some time off and enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“I was still training and preparing and getting ready for the hard stuff once we heard from (Bellator) and then kicked it into gear.”
For the first round of this year’s featherweight tournament, Richman (16-3) will be taking on Desmond Green (9-2) Friday night at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.
“He’s the type of fight where my wrestling has to be good and stuff his takedowns, or if I get taken down I have to get right back on my feet,” said Richman of Green. “I’ve got to pressure him with my striking and make him feel my power.
“Guys like that, you can’t let them reset. You can’t let them shoot, stuff their takedown, and then reset to do it over again. You’ve got to stuff the shot and get right back in his face. That’s the type of fight it’s going to be: me stifling his wrestling abilities and me staying on my feet and looking to put him away.”
A veteran of multiple tournaments so far, Richman knows not to get too caught up in the overall scheme of things, and rather just focus on what’s in front of him on Friday night.
“I don’t think I’ve ever really paid attention to whom I was fighting next and more so just focused on whom I was fighting then, just trying to stay healthy throughout the tournament, and keep that peak,” he said.
“You want to keep rising, you don’t want to fall, and that’s the thing with tournaments.”