To say that lightweight Derik Scott has had an unexpected start off to his MMA career would be an understatement.
After following his brother into the amateur ranks, Scott’s pro debut was delayed eight months before picking up a first round TKO win, and then a year layoff as he competed in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Titan Games television series.
“I finally had my pro debut and got a win by knockout in about a minute or so, since then I’ve been training and doing what I’m doing, but stuff with the Titan Games,” Scott told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve had a lot of stuff outside of MMA keeping me busy, but I’m finally having the chance to jump back in the cage right now.”
For Scott, being a finalist on Titan Games has helped get him quite a bit of name recognition. With his newfound notoriety, he doesn’t feel like it’s going to be a burden on his MMA career.
“Anytime you’re associated with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and to have him call you a beast and saying that show that he created you optimize it, it’s just a new level,” said Scott. “It’s been nothing but positive. I don’t think there’s any higher expectations, because I already have high expectations for myself and what I do.”
On Friday in St. Louis, Missouri, Scott (1-0) returns to fighting for the first time in over a year when he faces Antonio Atkins (0-1) in a main card 155-pound bout at Shamrock FC 318.
“Even though I haven’t been with a promotion, I haven’t been on the sidelines so to say,” Scott said. “For me it’s always becoming the best version of myself and becoming the best fighter I can. I’ve worked a lot on mental preparation and my mental game and to be ready from a mental standpoint.
“I know (Atkins) has a couple of first round finishes (against him) so I anticipate how this is going to go. I’m more than happy to get in there, get some quick work, and then get on to the next thing.”
Having a career that hasn’t always gone to plan, Scott is looking to take things as they come in 2019.
“I’m kind of fight by fight at this point and see where it goes from there,” said Scott. “There’s a lot of stuff going on in the background that hopefully I can announce soon. We’re kind of focusing on this match-up and not taking it for granted, and then once it’s done and in the bag we’ll focus on what’s next.”