Looking back on his first round TKO of Steven Newell at XFC 43 on November 11 as part of the opening round of the promotion’s Welterweight Grand Prix, Carson Hardman couldn’t be more pleased with how the fight turned out.
Considering he was facing a clearly dangerous opponent on short notice, Hardman feels he was able to step up to the challenge and deliver the kind of performance he was looking for in the bout with Newell.
“I think it went well considering it was a last moment (substitution I faced),” Hardman told MMAWeekly.com. “Literally about six hours before the fight my opponent changed.
“Did I do some mistakes in the fight? Yeah. But considering this guy was 9-1 and has only lost to a man who is in the UFC, and went the distance with him, I think I did pretty good going in there and getting the job in two minutes roughly. I think I did all right. There are some things to polish up, but I won’t complain.”
Having spent the previous nine months waiting to return to action due to the onset of the novel coronavirus lockdown, Hardman was able to return to action like no time had passed.
“Honestly I felt fine in there,” said Hardman. “I didn’t feel like I had any problems with (the layoff). I think it was a little weird to not have a crowd. I was just excited to compete.”
At the close of his 2020, Hardman feels like he’s made the sort of improvements that will have him be even more effective in the year to come.
“As far as fighting style it’s very much the same, but as far as polishing up those little bits and knocking off those tiny bits of rust here and there, I feel we’ve really done that these two fights this year,” Hardman said.
“It’s one thing to do it in the training room, but to put it into action in the cage is a whole other story, but I feel I’ve been able to do most of it. I’m very satisfied with where I’m at, but am still hungry for more and want to keep going.”
With the tournament based format he finds himself in, Hardman is able to look ahead to what’s in store at the next XFC, but he’s not looking beyond that towards the potential rewards for claiming the Grand Prix championship.
“We’re already starting training for the next upcoming fight,” said Hardman. “As far as getting google-y eyes for the belt, we’re not focused on that.
“You have to get through it one step at a time, and the next step is my next fight, getting through these semi-finals. I’m sitting down with my coach, we’re going to go over some things, and then get right back to training.”