The term “contract year” usually applies in sports when an athlete is in the final year of his contract and seeks to perform at the highest level to secure the best possible contract the following season.
This is no different in the world of MMA.
At this past Saturday’s Strikeforce event, Cung Le product James Terry found himself in the midst of the last fight on his contract and came through with better results than he initially thought.
“During the fight and after the fight I feel like I didn’t quite have the performance I wanted to, but after seeing the DVD, I feel a lot better about my performance,” said Terry of his win over David Marshall.
“I feel like my movement was good, I was striking well, and I was following the game plan I had for this opponent.”
Terry feels especially happy that he listened to his corner against Mitchell. In the past, he’s had a penchant for throwing strategy to the wind and just going on pure athleticism.
“I was happy about that because in my previous fight with Tarec (Saffiedine) I didn’t follow my game plan, I just went with what I felt was instinctual for the moment,” Terry told MMAWeekly.com.
“It’s not that I don’t want to follow instructions, it’s that I get so intensely focused on the moment and what I’m doing, I don’t listen to my corner. I’ve got to be a little more cerebral in the future.”
Following his loss to Saffiedine in February, Terry felt the pressure to step up and perform, especially considering his contract situation.
“It was really important for me, because it was my last fight on my contract with Strikeforce, and two losses in a row is not good at this level,” he admitted. “At the same time, I always feel pressure to win.”
As it stands, Terry is currently a free agent, but he sees no reason why Strikeforce would not want him to return.
“I would like to think that Strikeforce would like to keep me and re-sign me,” he commented. “I am 3-1 in Strikeforce and they had me ranked in the Top 10 of their welterweight rankings, so I don’t see them not re-signing me.”
Even if Strikeforce doesn’t step up and offer him a new contract, Terry wants to be busy somewhere as he begins a new chapter in his career at lightweight.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back in there ASAP,” he said. “I know there are only a couple more shows (this year) and competition is stiff, but I’m dropping down to 155 and if anyone has anything available there or at 170, I’ll take it.
Terry feels that the move down to 155 will not only be good for his career, but it will help facilitate his goal of becoming a fighter who ends fights rather takes decisions.
“I think at 155 I’ll be the bigger, stronger guy, and when you’re the bigger, stronger guy, it’s easier to finish,” he stated. “I’m looking to finish. I’m not satisfied with six of my eight wins coming by decisions; I’m really looking to finish my next opponents.”
Back on the winning track and looking to make an impact in a new weight class, Terry could find himself once again a premier up and comer with a bright future ahead.
“I’d like to thank SCORE Clinic, eChiropractic, GFY Gear, Xtreme Xile, BR Flooring, Clinch Gear and KNOXX,” he said in closing. “In 2011, watch out in the lightweight division because James Terry’s coming up.”