The first rung on that ladder for Urso is having a strong training foundation, which he’s got in one of the sport’s premier teams.
“I’ve been pro for a little over three years and my entire career has been under the Jackson/Winkeljohn banner,” Urso told MMAWeekly.com. “It’s hard to find any place better than Jackson’s to put it all together as one sport.
“Before I came out here, I was strictly working on individual arts. I was going to a Muay Thai gym. I was working with some wrestlers. I was doing straight boxing. I was doing straight jiu-jitsu. The team out here molded me into a MMA fighter instead of just a boxer one day, a jiu-jitsu guy or wrestler the next day.”
Having viewed first-hand the type of fighters who’ve developed at the gym, Urso can’t help but be motivated to follow in their footsteps.
“I’ve seen every kind of wave go through the gym,” he said. “I’ve seen guys not be able to get any fights to guys fighting for the UFC title. You see these guys putting in their time and becoming the biggest superstars in the sport. It’s definitely reinforced that we’re doing the right things over here.”
Having built a solid 7-1 record on the local circuit, Urso is ready to make his national show debut when he faces Ray Borg (5-0) in a 125-pound showdown at Legacy FC 30 in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday, April 4.
“He’s a hometown guy from a rival gym,” said Urso of Borg. “While I’m not an Albuquerque guy, this is definitely my second home, and while it doesn’t play much into my mindset, I know the local fans and teams are pumped about this fight.
“He’s hungry, he’s tough, and he has a lot of finishes, but I feel like if I show up and perform like I can, I can win in every area and that’s what I plan to do.”
After having a difficult time at the beginning of his career finding a base where he can consistently showcase his skills, Urso is thrilled to be a part of the Legacy promotion.
“For a while I was struggling to get fight because it’s a tough weight class and there’s not too many 125ers, and the ones that were at my level were already signed to other promotions, so it was kind of hard to find opponents,” said Urso.
“I wanted to find a home and an organization to kind of back me and make sure that I was active. So to be in a high-level organization like Legacy is awesome. I know they’ve got a full roster of opponents, they’re non-stop putting on shows, and I’m super-pumped to be a part of it.”