2013 was a good year for featherweight up-and-comer Mark “Tricky” Dickman.
After suffering his only pro loss to close out 2012, Dickman rebounded with three straight victories via finish to put himself back on track.
According to Dickman, righting the ship was as simple as following the instructions of his coaches.
“After my loss, I went back to the drawing board,” he said. “I wasn’t really listening to my coaches and so I started listening to them and used what they said like a constitution and it’s really worked well for me.
“I think since my only loss, I’ve become a completely different person; physically, mentally, skillfully. So it was pretty much everything that’s changed about myself.”
After an impressive second-round TKO of Aaron Derrow at RFA 6 just over a year ago, Dickman (8-1) returns to the promotion on Friday, April 11, in a possible 145-pound title eliminator against undefeated prospect Raoni Barcelos (7-0).
“My game plan is always the same: I’m going to mix it up, be a confident wrestler and capitalize on (Barcelos’) mistakes,” said Dickman. “So pretty much whatever he gives me is how the game plan goes.
“I don’t really have a specific plan like I’m going to hit him with an arm bar and finish him. It’s not like that. A fight’s never going to be like that. You can look out for the stuff he’s good at, but you never want to be singular where you’re thinking you’re going to finish him with one specific thing.”
Dickman told MMAWeekly.com that he feels April 11 could very well be a make-or-break fight for him if he wants to make the jump to the next level this year.
“It’s one of the reasons I’ve stepped up to the RFA; they’re a platform to be seen by the right people,” he said. “If they’re pushing a guy, they’ll end up in the UFC. I think this really is that true number one contender on a regional level to go to the UFC.
“I think that’s what this fight’s going to do. If I go in here and perform well, I’m definitely on my way towards my ultimate goal. If it doesn’t go my way, then I’m going to go to the back of the line.”
(Photo courtesy of RFA Fighting)