Coming off the first loss of his career in December of last year, lightweight Drakkar Klose was looking to rebound in his first bout of 2018 against Lando Vannata at UFC 226 on July 7.
After three rounds, Klose was able to secure a unanimous decision victory over Vannata and get back on the track that saw him win eight of his first nine bouts.
“Going into that fight, I felt great,” Klose told MMAWeekly.com. “My nerves weren’t too high. And once I got in there, it felt like all that training and hard work I put in (paid off). I just felt great.
“I matured a lot, and when I look back at that fight, I see how I’ve matured and didn’t overreact. I just took my time and had fun.”
Prior to the victory over Vannata, Klose had the first half of 2018 off, which he feels contributed to his being able to get back into the win column.
“It kind of helped,” said Klose. “I went on a little vision quest. I had to find myself and cut some people out of my life, and stop being a nice guy.
“I’m always trying to help others, and looking at it, I might help these people but would they be there for me if I needed their help? I channeled that all back into training. I was training harder and smarter.”
As Klose mentioned, it’s his maturation as a fighter which he sees as the most positive affect of his time off.
“I’m more calm, patient, and smarter,” Klose said. “I’m not trying to kill, kill, kill. I know I can get and go 15 minutes, instead of going in there and trying to get the job done in the first 30 seconds.”
With things in his personal life taking the focus of the immediate future, Klose is looking to return sometime later this year or early 2019. And when he does come back, he would like to face a ranked opponent and make a mark on the lightweight division.
“I’m having my son soon, so that’s going to put a little pause on me jumping back in there right now,” said Klose. “Once he’s all settled in and everything’s good with him, we’ll get something line up.
“I think I’m a bad match-up for everyone in the division. I can’t say I’m great at this or that, but that I’m good at everything, and that’s what makes me so dangerous.”