Former UFC heavyweight Chase Gormley knows he made mistakes in his first MMA go-around a few years ago.
Following some time off, Gormley has returned to the sport in hopes of redemption, and has gotten off to a good start with back-to-back wins in 2014.
“I had a pretty rough 2010 and 2011, and then retired in 2012 and was working, and all of a sudden got a call from Roy Nelson to come train for the (Daniel) Cormier fight, and when I did that, it that sparked my interest again,” Gormley told MMAWeekly.com.
Gormley feels he’s matured a lot the last couple years and is far more tactful in his fights nowadays.
“I’m wiser than I was before,” said Gormley. “I think before I made a lot of mistakes and fought a little recklessly.
“I try not to play into my opponent’s game. I try to keep a smart fight and try to finish fights now. Before I was so worried about getting tired and dragging the fight out, now I’m just going in there to finish the guy and get it over with.”
Gormley (10-4) will look to pick up his fourth win in a row this Friday at RFA 21 in Costa Mesa, Calif., against undefeated prospect Dale Sopi (6-0).
“I fought a guy named Eric Pele, who is almost a mirror image of this guy, so I’ve been lucky enough to fight somebody who is a southpaw with that kind of power,” said Gormley.
“I’ve got to smother (Sopi) and make sure he doesn’t get a chance to throw big punches or kicks. If I get him on the ground, from that point I should be okay. I just can’t play into his strengths.”
Should Gormley defeat a prospect like Sopi on a show like the RFA, it will help further rebuild his career and lead him back to top level of MMA.
“A win shows I’m on the right track and that I can beat these new, better-rounded fighters these days,” said Gormley. “It’d be a good notch on my belt and would help me head back to the UFC, or wherever I might end up in the future.
“It can give me some of my creditability back and show people that I’m taking things more seriously now.”