Coming off a 2019 that saw him go undefeated in his first three fights, welterweight Darian Weeks was looking to carry over that momentum into 2020 when the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic put those plans on hold for most of the year.
When he was finally able to get back into MMA, Weeks picked up a solid second round TKO in October to keep his undefeated streak going and regain some of his lost momentum as he headed into 2021.
“2020 was kind of a slow year for everyone,” Weeks told MMAWeekly.com. “The virus thing kind of slowed everything down.
“In October I carried a W over Dustin Parrish, who was 8-3, beating a fighter who had so many more fights than I had I feel like 2020 above all a great year for me. It put real good stock on my name.”
While he only managed to have one MMA bout last year, Weeks was able to use his time to improve his game in ways he feels will help carrying him further in 2021.
“I felt like I had a stronger game plan I would say for my fights I was going into,” said Weeks. “I feel I did a good job of planning and watching my opponent, preparing for my opponent, and maturing in my game as I went along in the year.
“I think every fight is pretty much the same. I’m always trying to make a stamp; I’m always trying to make a mark for my name. I feel like that’s what carried me to this point in my career right now.”
On February 12 in Park City, Kansas, Weeks (4-0) will look to kick off his year in a big way when he faces Craig Fairley (3-4) in a main card 170-pound bout at LFA 99.
“I’m going to go out there and try to implement everything that I’ve practiced and everything that I’ve planned for and put a stamp on my name and show people I belong here long-term,” Weeks said.
“I take all of my opponents seriously from the very jump. Whether they’re all or long or 5-0 or 3-4 even, everyone can be dangerous. I’m going to go out there and put pressure on (Fairley) and do the things I’m great at. I’m going to find holes in his game and exploit them and look for the finish.”
For Weeks, rather than trying to push his luck by looking too far ahead, he’s choosing to approach each opportunity as it comes and take things one step at a time in 2021.
“I think things tend to open up themselves,” said Weeks. “I feel like opportunities come to those who deserve them. I don’t try to force anything in my career. I try to let things develop.
“Saying that, I do go after things that are going to put a good progress on my career and move it forward.”