Specifically, Carl felt his mindset needed to change if he was going to return to being a successful fighter.
“After the fight with Douglas (Lima) I took a step back and figured if I’m going to do this, I need to get in there and just let myself do it,” said Carl. “I was on a year break before I fought Douglas, and once I got in the cage, I was nervous, I was hesitant and I thought I was going to lose that fight going into it and fought that way.
“Going forward I knew if I was going to continue this sport, I needed to just jump in there head-first and not think and just fight, and that’s what I’ve been doing and things have been going well.”
Having gotten his head back into the game, Carl (19-3) has won five fights in a row, including his debut for the World Series of Fighting in their inaugural event this past November.
“It was a good experience,” he said. “I really liked the event and the show went really well and a lot of people were there.
“I like the fact that the WSOF is bringing in big name guys because that gives me an opportunity to compete against those guys. If I fight them and beat them, that would be a great opportunity to jump up in the fans’ minds.”
Carl is set to return to the WSOF on Friday in Las Vegas, live on NBC Sports Network, in a feature bout against fellow hot-streaking welterweight Tyson “Man of” Steele (10-1).
“Tyson is full of energy, he’s hungry, ready and wants the same things that I want. We come from the same mentality and aspects in life,” said Carl. “He’s obviously good on the ground and has good hands, but I don’t really fear Tyson in any aspect of the sport.
“I think the key to beating Tyson is just be myself. Just go out there and let myself fight and not sit back and don’t wait for him or think about anything, just go in there head-first and fight.”
Having finished his last five fights in the first round, Carl told MMAWeekly.com that he hopes his match-up with Steele will push him more to his limits, and it’s that desire to put a stamp on his June 14 fight that he hopes will help secure a 170-pound title shot in the near future.
“Ray Sefo has come out and said that the winner of my fight with Tyson will face the winner of (Jon) Fitch versus (Josh) Burkman,” said Carl. “That seems set in stone, but I still think that a solid performance is in need for that to happen.
“My goal is to make sure to go out there and make that performance happens. I don’t want to just win this fight, I want to go out there and earn the title shot.”