Following a loss to Sean O’Malley at UFC 222 to kick off his 2018, bantamweight Andre Soukhamthath was looking to get things back on track when he took on Jonathan Martinez at UFC Fight Night 138 last October.
Over the course of three rounds Soukhamthath was able to do what was needed to pick up a unanimous decision victory over Martinez and his second win in his last three fights overall.
“I think I was really focused coming into the fight,” Soukhamthath told MMAWeekly.com. “I think I did okay. I think I was mentally and physically ready.
“I think my performance in the Octagon, even though I felt pretty good and I looked pretty good that it could have been better. I just think that that’s with my decision making in my fights.”
A big part of why Soukhamthath feels like he was able to rebound against Martinez was the fact that he returned to training with the people that helped him achieve his previous success in the sport.
“Last camp I came back up north to my old coaches at home,” said Soukhamthath. “I think that’s what you saw in the Jonathan Martinez fight; you saw that hunger and saw that guy wanting to be best I can be and prove to the world that I belong in the Top 10 one day, and that I’m good enough to be in the Top 10 right now.
“I’m just 100% focused on the fight and nothing else. That’s what you saw in that fight and that’s what you’re going to see from now on. I’ve got the team around me; my teammates, my coaches; the whole team is built around me to help me get the job done on fight night.”
At UFC 236 in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, Soukhamthath (13-6) will look to pick up his second straight victory when he faces Montel Jackson (7-1) in a preliminary 135-pound bout.
“I’ve got to stay on my toes and be alert,” Soukhamthath said. “(Jackson is) fast and he’s long and he’s awkward. He’s good everywhere. I’m definitely not taking him lightly at all.
“I trained really hard for this fight, and I’m focused mentally, and even though it’s going to be a tough fight I’m looking forward to the competition and seeing how the fight goes. I’m ready to test myself.”
When it comes to the remainder of 2019, Soukhamthath is looking to build a winning streak and earn himself a continued stay in the UFC.
“I want to take it fight by fight, but I want to go undefeated this year,” said Soukhamthath. “I got signed in March (2017), so I go by that. March just passed, so it’s like a fresh year for me in 2019.
“I’d like to fight three more times until March (2020), and if I could go 3-0 that would be great. The goal is to win all my fights, get re-signed, get a nice little contract, and bring the UFC back to Rhode Island one day.”