After a disappointing experience on The Ultimate Fighter 18 where he suffered his first – albeit unofficial – career loss and a broken hand, bantamweight “The Real Deal” Chris Beal is ready to return to action.
“That loss will help me a lot because I hated that feeling I had and I’m trying not to feel that again,” said Beal looking back on his TUF experience. “I’m glad it happened when it happened. It doesn’t really count on my record. I can learn from it. I can grow from it.”
Bouts that occur as part of the reality series aren’t recorded as official bouts on a fighter’s record.
Since he’s healed up, Beal’s been working hard on becoming an even better fighter than the one that had him heading into TUF as a top prospect, which doesn’t bode well for future opponents.
“I just improved and kept training hard,” Beal told MMAWeekly.com. “Mentally I feel like I’m stronger. My stand-up is getting a whole lot better. I’ve dedicated more time to my craft.
“I’m just excited to get back in there and show people what I’m made of and what I’ve been working on.”
To get back on track, Beal (7-0) will return to his old stomping grounds in BAMMA USA when he takes on Keith Carson (3-1) at Badbeat 12 on March 28 in Commerce, Calif.
“I’ve just got to go out there and be me and do what I do every time and that’s win,” said Beal. “I feel like that’s my house. I’m 5-0 in the BAMMA USA cage and I’ll be 6-0 after it.
“I don’t feel like I have a lot of pressure on me. I’m excited to get out there and prove I’m a winner and get the (TUF loss) taste out of my mouth.”
Having gotten so close to his goal of being in the UFC, only to fall short, Beal will do whatever it takes to show people he’s deserving of another shot at the promotion in the coming year.
“We’re on the track to get there and I think this fight is the perfect fight,” said Beal. “If I hit him with a couple of good shots and knock him out, maybe they’ll get me back in there (right away). I’m not afraid to work hard, so if I have to keep doing it, that’s what I’ll do.
“That’s how I feel I’m going to get into the UFC; not by getting on the microphone and begging, but show I deserve it by beating up people and winning. I’ve got a lot to prove, I’ve got a lot to show, and I hope it all pays off on March 28.”