Dickman credits his rebound to the fact that he was willing to look at his flaws and make the necessary adjustments to fix them.
“I think the loss to Jordan Rinaldi really exposed me and kind of made me police myself and my training and find out how good I really was,” Dickman told MMAWeekly.com. “I was open to changes and fixed a lot of the things that were plaguing me before.
“I’ve always wanted to be a well-rounded fighter, but I got away from my wrestling because I wanted to knock somebody out so badly, so I went out there with the wrong game plan and lost a close decision. I’ve made some changes and here I am.”
Dickman feels he’s more opportunistic now rather than going for one specific game plan in fights.
“For me, I always know what (my opponent) is going to do,” said Dickman. “I always look out for it and respect what they are going to do, but if their hands are down, I’m going to punch them in the face; and if their hands are up, I’m going to take them down.”
Dickman’s (9-1) winning streak will not go unrewarded, as he’s slated to face Justin Lawrence (5-2) for the RFA 145-pound title this Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D.
“It’s a striker versus grappler,” said Dickman. “(Lawrence) has good initial takedown defense, but people that mix it up against him, he doesn’t do well against them. He does well against people he can strike with and pot-shot.
“He doesn’t have anything I haven’t seen before. I think I can beat him everywhere. I expect to go five rounds, and that’s what I’m preparing for.”
Dickman feels that not only will a win over Dickman help him claim the RFA title, but will also put him one step closer to going to the UFC.
“With these wins and the RFA belt, I look pretty good to the UFC, so I think I’m on the radar and am definitely next in line to get the call,” he said. “I think I can get in by the end of this year. If not, I’ll just keep sharpening my tools and defending my belt.
“I’m not looking past this fight. Whatever happens after this happens, but for right now the focus is on Justin.”