After a 10-month layoff, Washington featherweight Lee “American Bulldog” Morrison kicked off 2013 with an impressive win over one of his region’s highest ranked fighters in Julian Erosa at CageSport 25 in July.
“It was a match-up I was trying to make happen for years,” said Morrison. “I felt pretty good going into the fight and when out there and once the cage door closed, the bulldog side of me came out and I performed really well.
“I grinded him out; that’s a big part of my game plan is just kind of ambush him with a non-stop, push-the-pace action, and I was able to get the unanimous decision victory.”
The win raised Morrison’s record to 12-3 and helped him earn an opportunity to expand his career to the international market with his recent signing to M-1 Global.
“I’ve been fighting in the Northwest now my whole amateur and pro fight career; which is the better part of 10 years now. So to go and travel and see another part of the world otherwise, I’m stoked,” he said.
“It’s a great opportunity to be able to go overseas and fight in a bigger promotion and get my name out there.”
Morrison will make his promotional debut at M-1 Challenge 42 on Oct. 20 in St. Petersburg, Russia, against Mikhail Malyutin (27-10) in a bout that could determine the future of the company’s 145-pound division.
“He’s kind of on the same boat as me, looking to get that M-1 title fight and riding a winning streak,” said Morrison of Malyutin. “He has two or three times as many fights as I have, so he’s a little more seasoned. He doesn’t have one discipline that I can look at, he’s very well-rounded, and nothing in particular stands out.
“I’m just looking to go out there and show up with my A-game, and hopefully he shows up with his A-game, and I can get my hand raised and move up that ladder of success onto a title shot and bigger and better things.”
As Morrison told MMAWeekly.com, claiming the M-1 title is the only thing he’s focused on in his MMA career in the coming year.
“The situation as it stands right now; this is supposed to be kind of a No. 1 contender fight, so whoever wins will be fighting for the belt in their next fight,” said Morrison.
“As soon as I get through this victory, I’m looking to fight for that M-1 title belt early next year, that’s my plan.”
(Photo courtesy of CageSport and Ernie Sapiro)