Welterweight prospect Nick “The Savage” Duell’s goal for 2013 was simple: reclaim the NAAFS 170-pound championship. In order to achieve his goal, Duell first had to get past former Ultimate Fighter castmember Julian Lane this past March.
“I think I used my brain more than my brawn,” Duell said of his second-round TKO stoppage of Lane.
“I fought more intelligent because anybody can go out there and throw punches, so I definitely wanted to use my head and it worked out.”
Duell feels his return to being a more cerebral fighter will help take him back to when he was most successful, as when he got away from it, he struggled against what he felt was lesser opposition.
“I actually started off using smarts, but once you start winning fights you start thinking you can’t lose and try different things. Then you go out there and lose to people that you might not have lost to. It makes you start to use your head,” said Duell. “You can’t give people a chance that are less skilled or less technical than you.
“Obviously I’ve got some good momentum now. I had a good fight and just want to keep that going into this next fight. I’ve just got to fight smart to get another victory.”
Duell will get a chance to reclaim his welterweight title against former NAAFS 185-pound champion Hector Urbina on June 1 as part of a stacked card to take place from the Jacobs Pavilion in Cleveland.
“Hector is a tough guy and this is his first fight at 170, so like the last fight I’ve got to use my head, take my time, and let it come to me,” Duell said.
“If he makes any mistakes I hope to capitalize on it and not worry about what he does, but worry about what I do and let the fight come to me.”
Having been on the cusp of taking the next step in his career before, Duell told MMAWeekly.com that right now his focus is just on winning and every fight from here on out is just as important as the next.
“I’ve had close calls in getting there and was kind of worried about that, and right now, honestly, every fight is getting to the next level for me,” said Duell. “I just feel like if you win fights and have fun, good things happen.”