Following nearly a year and a half layoff, lightweight Damonte Robinson was eager to return to fighting and continue the winning streak he had put together prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Facing Tom O’Connor at XFC 44 in May, Robinson was able to shake off 16 months of non-competition to secure a unanimous decision victory, and extend his current winning streak to three in a row.
“It was a tough fight,” Robinson told MMAWeekly.com. “(O’Connor is) stronger than I thought he was going to be. I saw a lot of good things in that fight. I saw I could dig deep and stay composed the entire time.
“There’s a few things I can tweak, and I believe if we run it back I can finish that fight. We’ll tweak a few things and in this next fight I think we can get a finish.”
After having missed such a long amount of time, Robinson was elated to finally get the chance to fight again.
“It was amazing to get back in there,” said Robinson. “I had that victory over TJ Rigiri back in January, 2020, and things were going and we though t it was going to be our year, then Covid hit. Everything shut down.
“We were still working in our homes, still grinding, then got offered a fight, that falls through, got offered another fight and then that falls through. It was very psychologically hard for me, getting those calls then everything not panning out. We just decided to train through 2020 and once 2021 hit the ground running, and once it hit we started our run.”
As opposed to the fighter he was in 2020, Robinson feels like the time off has helped him improve and become a much more confident fighter in all aspects of his game.
“I feel like my striking has grown,” Robinson said. “I got to display good handful of it; a lot of knees and elbows and whatnot. I’ve always had good striking, but it was a matter of me more believing in that striking. I got to show how much I believed in in it this past (fight) and it’s only going to get better.”
When it comes to the second half of his 2021, Robinson is looking to stay active and make up for all of the lost time he’s had during the last couple years of his career.
“I’d love to get at least one to two more fights,” said Robinson. “I think (the XFC) were possibly talking about September, and then maybe another one in November or December.
“I’d love to fight two more times, even if it’s a boxing match, just because of the experience. I’d love to get back into the cage and continue this winning streak.”