2012 was a learning year for welterweight prospect Ricky “Sniper” Rainey.
He not only moved up in class by joining the XFC, but he also suffered his first loss, making for a learning year that’s going to shape how he fights from here on out.
“2012 was pretty good other than me making some mistakes that I learned the hard way to not do anymore,” said Rainey. “It was a pretty successful year coming from doing regular shows to fighting in the XFC and taking the biggest step in my career. Things are definitely looking up.
“I learned from (my loss to Johnny Buck in August) that I’m not Anderson Silva and to not let people hit you. That was the main thing, but every fight regardless of what kind of advantage you think you have, it only takes one to change the fight, so always fight for the full 15 minutes.”
Rainy rebounded off his loss and finished last year with a victory over Donald Wallace in December.
Now back on track, Rainey will be looking to put together a winning streak when he returns to the XFC on Friday night against Joseph Corneroli live on AXS TV from Charlotte, N.C.
“I see him as a striker-type guy who is quick on his toes with lots of movement, but he also has a purple belt in jiu-jitsu, so he could be pretty well-rounded,” said Rainey of Corneroli.
“I’m guessing he’s going to want to strike, so we’re going to strike. Wherever it goes, I’m ready to go. I know my strengths and I plan on playing towards those.”
Having gotten past the jitters of being a feature fighter on a live broadcast, Rainey told MMAWeekly.com that he feels right at home in that position now.
“The first time, there was added pressure,” he said. “There’s pressure with every fight, but eventually you get used to the cameras and it gets like they’re not even there. Once the bell rings, it’s the same as every fight.
“I’m happy here. Just to get that jump (up in competition) is very good. I didn’t really see myself fighting on TV and all that stuff so quickly, so I feel really blessed with it and I’m glad they gave me a chance.”
It’s a more relaxed and mature outlook that Rainey has developed since his watershed year last year that keeps him grounded as he looks forward to what 2013 has to offer him.
“I take it fight by fight,” he said. “I know with wins, you get opportunities and expectations are to continue to be successful and with that everything else will fall into place.”