After back-to-back losses a couple of years ago, featherweight prospect Steven “Ocho” Peterson has won three straight fights, including his two bouts last year.
That’s not to say that Peterson’s two wins over Ray Rodriguez in 2014 were easy.
“I got a second-round TKO in my first one, and the second fight went as planned, but I wasn’t able to get off and do as much damage as I wanted to; it was more of a technical chess match,” Peterson told MMAWeekly.com.
Though both bouts didn’t go as smoothly as Peterson would have liked, he does feel he is a much better fighter now than he was at this time last year.
“I think my whole game has evolved from just being a fighter to being a mixed martial artist,” he said. “Now I have game plans going into each fight, I’m well-prepared and each time I’m in there, I know how the fight is going to go.”
“He’s got a lot of heart and is a good fighter, but I have more experience and I feel like I’ve got an edge of him in each areas of the game,” Peterson said of Machado. “I feel I have better stand-up, better ground, and will be able to showcase my skills in this fight.”
Not only does Peterson feel a victory on Feb. 13 will help his immediate plans, but could help bring him one step closer to his overall goal.
“I feel like a win over Machado will at least get me a Legacy title fight,” said Peterson. “I’ve been knocking at the door and feel I’m the uncrowned Legacy champ. It’s about time I get that belt.
“Other than that, I think the UFC should be taking a good look at me. I’m on a three-fight winning streak, and one more win should have me knocking on that door.”