Though 2016 wasn’t quite as productive as welterweight prospect Carrington Banks would have liked, he did take big steps forward in his career, and remained undefeated with wins in both his fights.
After a steady build-up in his first six fights as a pro, Banks made the jump to Bellator and picked up unanimous decision victories over CJ Keith in June and Jake Roberts in November.
“I wasn’t super-active, but I had just got in with Bellator – which is super-awesome – and I’m happy about that,” Banks told MMAWeekly.com. “At the end of fights, if I didn’t get a finish, I am kind of a little bummed, but at the end of the day I dominated those fights.
“I was happy, but I wasn’t satisfied with the year. I feel good about it after I look back on it. Going forward I’ll make adjustments and try to get some more finishes.”
Having gone undefeated in his first six fights, Banks looks to be one of the more promising up and comers in Bellator. Even though he finds himself in such a position, Banks doesn’t let it get to him.
“I don’t really try to get too wrapped up in any of that,” he said. “It’s about me personally becoming a better fighter. I go out to win, but I don’t focus on putting the pressure on myself to be undefeated.”
Banks (6-0) will look to keep his winning streak going when he returns to Bellator on Saturday in Torino, Italy, to take on fellow unblemished Mihail Nica (5-0) in a 170-pound main card bout.
“He’s another undefeated guy, so that’s cool,” said Banks of Nica. “It always looks better when I can beat a guy who hasn’t been beaten.
“I feel that I’m more well-rounded. I feel confident in my stand-up, so it’s not like I just have to take you down, even though that’s my bread and butter. He’s a tough opponent, but I’m confident going into this fight and feel like I’m the better fighter.”
For once, Banks will be going into a bout the more experienced fighter, but he doesn’t see that having much impact in the bout itself.
“It makes it a little bit different, but at the end of the day a fight’s a fight,” Banks said. “He’s not fighting my record and I’m not fighting his record. I’ve got to be ready for whatever he brings, so I’m prepared for the best Mihail Nica he can be.”
Having delivered so far on the promise he showed during his amateur wrestling days, Banks feels now is the time to fully establish himself in the MMA scene with Bellator.
“Now it’s time to really take my domination to another level and get some finishes, and start climbing to the top,” said Banks. “Like really start making myself known in this organization.”