Following a year in which he focused on kickboxing with the K-1 and Glory promotions, heavyweight Jack “Outlaw” May returned to MMA in August and scored a split-decision victory over Keishon Hill in Fight Club OC.
While he won the fight, May wasn’t overly happy with the way in which he won it, as his time away from MMA shown through in his performance.
“It was a good learning experience with that fight because I now know that I need to put everything together,” said May. “With Keishon, I felt like I wasn’t sharp with my stand-up skills. He took some good punches, but I was a little hesitant coming off of two losses in kickboxing and grinded out the win.
“All it came down to was getting the win that night.”
Having previously not gotten out of the first round in any of his other MMA fights, to have to go three hard rounds and getting a close victory proved a learning experience for May.
“It was one of those things where it’s a gut check to see where you are and if you’ve got it,” he said. “It was a good experience (in that regard) and was probably the best thing that could have happened to me.
“Usually when I put my hands on guys, they go down and (are) knocked out. When I went to K-1 and Glory, those guys are world class strikers and can take it. In MMA with the 4-ounce gloves, you catch someone, they’re gone – they’re down. So with Keishon going all three rounds, I wouldn’t have wanted it to go any other way.”
May (5-0) will be looking to return to form when he steps back into the cage on Friday at BAMMA USA Badbeat 11 against veteran “Tall” Paul Karsky (11-22) in Commerce, Calif.
“Paul’s got a lot of fights and has kind of a lopsided record, but the guy gets in there and fights,” said May. “I’m just looking forward to stepping up with someone who has more experience and ring time.
“I’m not going to go in there for any other reason but to make a statement. With this fight, I go to 6-0 and I’m looking to start making a run and make a name for myself.”
May told MMAWeekly.com that it’s that desire to be noticed and make himself stand out that drives him now, and will hopefully take him to the top of the heavyweight division some day.
“Paul signed up and bit off a little bit more than he can chew,” said May. “And on Oct. 25 for BAMMA USA, I will show the world that my hands are legit, my power is legit, and I want people to start taking notice.
“Everyone likes to see big heavyweights get down and bang – and I’m all for it.”