“Overall, I could have done a lot better on the show,” Tickle told MMAWeekly.com. “It was more mental than anything.
“Being away from my family, it sucked. Three months grinding in a fight camp like that was the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life. I could have done better on the show, but just mentally I wasn’t there.”
Tickle’s problems continued to the finale in June, where he lost a unanimous decision to Daron Cruickshank.
“Cruickshank’s a big 155-pounder and I’m a natural 145-pounder, but I handled myself,” said Tickle. “He out-wrestled me (early in the fight), but the third round was very close. They took a point away from me and (referee) Steve Mazzagatti let him lay on me.”
Tickle says what he learned from the bout was that he’s “got to be more aggressive, avoid takedowns and keep standing and fight my fight.”
Taking his first steps towards what he hopes is redemption, Tickle faces Douglas Frey at Legacy FC 13 on Aug. 17 in Dallas. The event will broadcast live on AXS TV.
“I don’t know who Douglas Frey is, but my game plan is to beat that kid’s face,” said Tickle. “I want to keep it standing and knock his ass out.
“I don’t think he has better wrestling than me. I think I’m a better all-around fighter than him. I’m bigger, stronger, faster; so it should be an easy fight and goes out with a bang.”
Tickle feels that if he plays his game, there’s a strong possibility that his predictions will come true.
“Against every fight I’ve fought, I’m always moving forward and am the first person throwing,” he said. “Chuickshank is a kickboxer, a born-up kickboxer, and the kid didn’t want to kickbox with me.”
Back in his more natural weight division of featherweight, Tickle’s goal is to return to the big stage of MMA, starting with an impressive performance at Legacy FC 13.
“I hope after I knock out Frey, the UFC picks me up at 145 pounds,” he said. “I really can’t believe they let me go. I know Justin Lawrence dropped down to 145 and that’s one of the reasons I got cut. I should have been kept, and I want to show myself at 145 and get back in the UFC.
“This fight I’m dedicating to my fans because I’m going to put on a show. Every fight I’ve ever been in has been a Fight of the Night. I should have got Fight of the Night at the (TUF 15) Finale. I’m going to put on a show for everyone who’s watching the fight.”