Featherweight prospect Preston Schick makes no bones about the fact that his March win over Thomas Wooley at Valor Fights 41 was one of his toughest – if not the toughest – bout of his career.
Having previously picked up all first round finishes in his career up to that point, Schick was forced to make the best of his situation with an opponent who actively tried to smother him the whole bout in order to pick up a unanimous decision victory.
“A lot of people thought that it shouldn’t have gone my way,” Schick told MMAWeekly.com. “But under the rules it’s the person who does damage, tries the finish the fight, and is the more aggressive fighter.
“(Wooley) focused more on trying to control me. He didn’t want to risk taking damage, so he tried to play it safe by putting my back on the cage and keeping me there. I ended up swaying the judges because I did the damage and I was more aggressive in the fight.”
With the way Schick has grown over his first two years in MMA, he believes his opponents won’t be able to contain him with a similar strategy again.
“Every time I step in the cage I have a new skill under my belt, something new that I’m bringing to the table,” said Schick. “I’m constantly changing and evolve. The things you saw in the Thomas fight aren’t going to be the things you’re going to see in this upcoming fight.”
On Saturday in Bristol, Tennessee, Schick (5-0) steps up into Bellator for the first time to take on fellow up and comer Ahva Mayi (4-1) in a main card 145-pound bout as part of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Race Series event.
“I believe he’s going to try to not get hit by me – the duck and dodge – and try to take me down,” Schick said of Mayi. “Not many people have had success doing that.
“I think the fight he’s going to try to fight will not work this time around. I’ve prepared for the type of fighter he is and the type of fighter he thinks will beat me. I believe I will out-strike him and bounce his head off the canvas.”
Schick knows with a good performance on Saturday, he could make a home for himself in Bellator and take the next step in his career.
“This is one of the biggest fights that I’ve had both opponent-wise and opportunity-wise,” said Schick. “It is something I’m definitely not going to take lightly. I’m prepared for this and it’s hopefully something that will help me out.”