For heavyweight Chris Larsen, 2019 was as good as he could have possibly wanted.
In two fights last year, Larsen picked up two first round finishes, spending a total of just over two minutes combined in the cage for both victories.
“In the fight with Tyler King I was fighting a guy who had been on the bigger promotions, so it was a step up in competition, so to get that quick knockout was great,” Larsen told MMAWeekly.com.
“Fighting (Jared) Kilkenny it was an opportunity to avenge my loss (to him in 2017) and fight for a (Unified MMA) title my training partner vacated, so that was a great year for me.”
With so little time in the cage, Larsen judges his development by what he does in the gym, but feels he was able to pick up something valuable with how he performed in his fights.
“I think the takeaways from those fights were a confidence builder in what I’m able to do when I put hands on people,” said Larsen. “I’ve got the confidence in my hands that I can pretty much do that to anybody, so that’s a big help moving forward in my fights.
“I train with the best team in the country with some of the best fighters, so I know my place and where I fit into the scheme of things. We’ll clean house here in Calgary and then see what happens after.”
On Saturday in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Larson (5-1) will look to defend his title when he faces Grayson Wells (5-3) in the heavyweight championship main event of Unified MMA 40.
“Grayson and I there were a couple of opportunities where we might have fought earlier in my career,” Larsen said. “I like Grayson. He’s a good guy, a good fighter.
“He’s a smaller heavyweight, moves around well, and is a technical striker, but I don’t think he’s going to stand with me when I start putting my hands on him.”
With a busy career outside the cage, Larsen might not be able to fight as much as others, so he’s learned to focus on what’s in front of him and not worry so much about what’s next.
“I take the opportunities as they come,” said Larsen. “I work out of town, so timing fights, I can’t fight as often because of my work schedule as I would like.
“I take things as they come, and make sure when I do have an opportunity I capitalize.”