Following back-to-back losses for the first time in his four-year career recently, featherweight Steven “Ocho” Peterson decided to move to the gym of the fighters that were beating him and has since won two straight fights.
As Peterson explains, if you can’t beat them, join them.
“I think it had a lot to do a lot with who I was fighting; not so much the opponents, but the gym,” he said. “I always want to fight the toughest guys they’d put me against and I’d kept matched up with guys from Octagon MMA.
“My coach (at Octagon) has pretty much figured out what I’m good at and not good at because (his fighters) beat me twice in a row. I started training with them and I’ve started to close those holes and complete my game.”
In February, Peterson had probably the most solid performance he’s had in a while when he defeated Ray Rodriguez via second-round TKO at Legacy FC 28.
“Basically it went exactly according to game plan,” Peterson told MMAWeekly.com. “Nothing was unexpected.
“I feel like my training had prepared me and I stuck to the game plan to a T and took no damage in the fight. It went awesomely.”
Peterson (10-4) will be seeking to cement his place in the 145-pound division and earn his third win in a row when he faces Johnny Rodriguez (4-2) at LFC 33 on July 18 in Dallas.
“(Rodriguez is) going to be a good test for me,” said Peterson. “He’s a tough opponent. I’ve been watching him for a little while and he seems pretty dynamic.
“I’ve got to keep my stand-up tight and check his kicks and concentrate on my game plan and not focus too much on what he’s going to do. I’ve got to force (the fight) to do what I want to do to him and make sure I get the job done.”
Peterson feels he’s at his best yet and is confident he can make it at the next level. All he has to do is continue to have good showings and he feels he could be there in no time.
“Whenever they want to take me, I’m ready to go, but I think it just depends on my performance on July 18,” said Peterson. “If I go in there and get the job done like I have in my past two fights, it will be a no-brainer.
“I’m not going to get worse, only better, so I’m just going to continue to do what I’m doing and when they’re ready for me, they’ll give me the call.”