The past year has been the most successful of featherweight “Urban Legend” Chris Culley’s career.
Most recently, Culley capped off a five-fight winning streak by taking the BAMMA USA featherweight championship against top prospect Jesse Newell on the promotion’s event in August, in a performance that was one of his strongest.
“I had a very game opponent (in Newell),” said Culley. “We knew he was going to be tough going into the fight, so we just did what we could in camp and covered all of our bases and stayed creative.
“I got to show some dominance, some technique that people haven’t seen before from me. So overall I liked the performance.”
Culley managed to do enough damage that when it came time for the fifth round, Newell wasn’t able to answer the bell. It’s a stoppage that Culley believes saved his opponent from further destruction.
“Towards the third round and fourth round, I really started landing a lot with really hard shots, so I think it was just smart coaching (on Newell’s team’s behalf to stop the fight),” said Culley.
“I personally felt he was down three rounds to one and I didn’t feel he had enough in the tank. I think if it would have gone to the fifth round, I think it wouldn’t have lasted very long. I think he could have endured more damage.”
Having alternated winning and losing streaks in the past, Culley told MMAWeekly.com that he feels like now he can maintain consistency thanks to changes he’s made of late in his fight preparation.
“It’s a testament to smart training,” he said. “Before, I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I could, so I started taking other aspects of MMA more seriously; such as jiu-jitsu, grappling, wrestling and boxing.
“I started listening to my coaches rather than just doing it on my own and brought it all together. It’s been paying off.”
As for what’s next for Culley, maintaining his current winning streak against the toughest possible opposition is the most important thing for him going forward.
“To be honest, right now we’re taking a lot of calls, but we’re waiting on BAMMA and seeing who they match me up with next, and just playing it by ear,” he said.
“I went on a pretty crazy streak this year and have some buzz locally, so I just want to take smart fights and make sure that the fight is relevant and make sure I fight tough guys who are movers and shakers and make noise in the division.”
(Photo courtesy of www.bammausa.com)