Looking back on his pro debut, bantamweight prospect Corbin Howard overcame a late change in opponent, and having that new opponent miss weight, to pick up a first round submission win.
According to Howard, all the things that happened prior to his bout with Zachary Harvey at Shamrock FC 301 in January of 2018 didn’t end up distracting him from having a pretty flawless performance in his first win.
“I kept my distance and didn’t engage in any boxing with (Harvey),” Howard told MMAWeekly.com. “I used my kicks from outside and got him to where I could eventually take him down. I got on top and got to use elbows for the first time, so I went a little crazy with those, and I finished it off with an arm bar.”
Following his win over Harvey, Howard has spent the year on the sidelines, but not due to injury or other such circumstances, but because he is a university student and chooses to focus on school ahead of fighting.
“I went back to school for the spring semester from January to May,” said Howard. “Over the summer I was looking to get a fight, but we couldn’t really find anything. I went back to school from August to December for the fall semester. I generally want to do my fights in the summer or during winter break.
“I’m trying not to balance school and fight camp at the same time. I’m still training during school, but I try not to schedule fights where I’m going to have to do a training camp during the school semester.”
Much like in his pro debut, for his first bout of 2019 Howard (1-0) faces a late replacement when he takes on Nate Lindsey (1-0) in a main card 135-pound bout at Shamrock FC 314 in St. Charles, Missouri, on January 12.
“From what I understand (Lindsey) is pretty well-rounded, but a little more well-versed on the ground (from my original opponent),” Howard said. “I’m planning on him wanting to take the fight to the ground, but I think my Taekwondo will take control on the feet, and my wrestling and takedown defense is going to be able to keep it standing.
“If I decide to take it to the ground, I think I can do that at just about any time. (The change of opponent) didn’t change too much of my game plan.”
Due to graduate from university this summer, Howard is going to be able to put more time into MMA, but also has martial arts pursuits outside of the cage he wants to focus on in 2019.
“My career path is martial arts, not just fighting,” said Howard. “We have a Taekwondo school, and my whole family has been doing this since before I was born. I still work at our Taekwondo school, and after (university) finishes up, I’m going to continue to do that.
“Yes, I will definitely be looking to push towards training full time, but I still plan on teaching Taekwondo my whole life. That’s really my career path; MMA is just more like my hobby.”