One of the reasons Heckman was able to have success last year was his decision to join a new camp.
“Last year was a great year,” said Heckman. “I got a lot of positive feedback with my wins, and I think the biggest thing was joining a new team, AMA Fight Club. They really transformed my fighting ability, skillset and mentality.”
Among many reasons for Heckman’s decision to join AMA Fight Club was the fact that he had gone about as far as he could at his old gym and also wanted something closer to home.
“It was a long time coming,” said Heckman of the move. “When I first started, I was at a different gym, which was a great starter gym, but I started growing out of that and wasn’t getting challenged as much as I should be.
“The drive was like two hours, doing that three times a week and working a full-time job (made it difficult to remain as well). Changing gyms has been the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Heckman (16-4) will be looking to pick up where he left off last year in a headlining fight at CFFC 31 on Saturday against former TUF 12 castmember Jeff Lentz (9-2-1) in Atlantic City, N.J.
For Heckman, his upcoming bout with Lentz is another in a line of difficult bouts he hopes will further sharpen him as he moves up the ranks.
“It’s a critical fight,” said Heckman. “Every fight I think is going to be a tough fight. There are very few easy, pushover fights. This fight is far from it. Jeff Lentz is tough and has a decent record.
“I’m going to do what I do every single fight; control the ring, control the fight in every aspect, and come out victorious.”
Having had various setbacks over the last couple of years, Lentz has fought just once since 2011. That lack of activity is something Heckman told MMAWeekly.com could come into play during the fight.
“I think that’s going to be a big factor in this whole entire fight,” Heckman said. “I am very aggressive; I come forward and am a grinder. I think that’s going to wear him down a bit and he’s going to have a little bit of ring rust.”
Not only is this fight a big one to start off the year for Heckman, it’s another opportunity to further his career with a win over a recognizable name to help establish him as a top prospect in 2014.
“Every fight gets me more recognition, elevates my skillset, and widens my chances to take it to the next level,” he said. “The CFFC is a great organization, they’re very reputable, and it’s an honor to be fighting for them.”
(Photo courtesy of Team Heckman)