Though he feels like he still has a lot of work ahead of him, lightweight prospect Jaleel Willis had a very good start to his MMA career in 2014.
Looking back on his first two victories, including a 47-second knockout win in his debut, Willis feels he has a solid foundation from which to build his career.
“I felt like I came in a little bit sluggish just starting off the year, but I quickly noticed a changed throughout the rest of the year,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “I think I had a couple pretty tough fights. I feel like I got the job done, but I feel like there’s always things that need working on.
“I got a lot good experience and added a lot of things to my arsenal and learned what works for me and what doesn’t. “
Willis was able to impress V3 Fights with his performances that they quickly offered him a multi-fight contract.
“I didn’t know they had that much interest in me and thought I was just another one of their fighters, but they quickly showed me that they want me on board and they’ll give me the competition I need to excel the way I want and be where I want to be in my career,” said Willis.
Willis (2-0) will seek to start his second year as a pro in much the same way he did in 2014 when he takes on veteran Anthony Lemons (3-9) in a feature V3 Fights bout on Jan. 24 in Memphis.
“I’ve just got to do what I do and not play into his wild-type style,” said Willis of Lemon. “I can’t get too much into his game plan and implement what I’ve been working on in my camp.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for him. I just want to show guys like him and myself that I’m an elite fighter and that I can compete with heavy hitters like Anthony.”
While he’s excited to keep his career rolling, Willis’ attention is firmly affixed on his bout with Lemon on Jan. 24.
“I’m sure winning will allow more opportunities to come to me, but I’m looking forward to just going in there and competing with him right now,” said Willis. “I care about my career and think with what I bring to the table, big things will come my way if I keep working hard.”