Most recently Lyons rebounded off a loss to Darrick Minner at RFA 13 in March with an impressive victory over Zach Underwood at Bellator 120 in May.
“It’s a good win over a seasoned vet (in Underwood),” said Lyons. “He hasn’t had many fights, but the ones he has had, the losses are to UFC-level guys.
“It was good to come off the rough patch I had in March. I first dropped to 135 pounds and didn’t get hydrated as well as I’d like to, which is why my performance wasn’t up to par like I’d want it to. Not to take anything away from (Minner), but I don’t believe I was myself.”
Lyons told MMAWeekly.com that the move to bantamweight became a necessity as he looked at his future prospects in the sport.
“I believe it was a long time coming,” he said. “For the longest time, my first seven or eight fights, I didn’t cut any weight. I dieted down, as competition got better, competition got thicker, and so did the guys.
“Talking to coaches and guys in the UFC and seeing how big they are, I believe it was for my stature and frame was the best move for my career.”
When asked about the benefits of moving down in weight, Lyons replied, “To make the weight, you have to train hard, and where I’m at in my career, you can’t get away with not training hard, so it actually kind of works out.”
Lyons (11-3) will face his toughest test yet when he takes on former Ultimate Fighter winner Jonathan Brookins (14-6) this Friday in Tunica, Miss., at Legacy FC 34.
“I’m actually a fan of his from TUF in the way he kept to himself and did his thing,” said Lyons of Brookins. “His style of fighting I really respect and like. To fight somebody I’m a fan of is kind of strange, but at the end of the day we’ve got to fight.
“I’ve got to implement my game plan and not fall into his. I’m looking to get the W and take the next step.”
It’s that next step that Lyons feels could very well be a move for whoever wins Friday night.
“I think we are both in the same situation in that we’re both teetering between a loss putting us down a lot on the ladder or a win puts either of us on the other side of the ladder competing (in the UFC) on Saturdays on PPVs or on Fox,” he said.
(Photo courtesy of austinlyons.synthasite.com)