Coming off a stellar amateur career where he went undefeated and claimed multiple championships, heavyweight prospect Dontale Mayes’ move to the pro ranks has gone just about as well as it could have.
In two pro bouts this year, Mayes has finished both of his opponents, and claimed the Hoosier Fight Club heavyweight title against Arnold Adams in his second fight in June.
“In my last fight, I actually ended up getting knocked down for the first time,” Mayes told MMAWeekly.com. “It tested me mentally. I had to fight through it. I ended up recovering and getting the finish in the fifth round.
“When I go in there I try to get the finish every time, but not try to rush it. If I land a good two or three shots, they end up giving up mentally, and I just have my way.”
Having gone nearly the full 25 minutes in his win over Adams, Mayes showed that he can avoid an issue that plagues a lot of heavyweights and have enough gas to go the distance if needed.
“Cardio isn’t an issue for me,” said Mayes. “I always feel like I can’t let the next person out-work me. Just when I’m watching TV, I’ll do sit-ups or push-ups, and then I’ll go run the (Big Four) Walking Bridge to Louisville and back, just to say that I did more than him.”
“I look at one of his fights, and he looked strong, but at heavyweight everyone looks strong,” Mayes said of Fredenburg. “I didn’t see any real technique and finesse with his takedowns. He couldn’t take down Shane Grant, and Shane is not a real good wrestler, so I’m confident about that because I have good takedown defense.
“I am going to try to keep it standing, pick my shots, pick my range, and wait for him to make a mistake.”
Though he’s young into his pro career, Mayes sees his run in the RFA as the perfect path towards getting to his ultimate goal.
“I’ve been a fan of the RFA and have just been waiting to get on that card. I wanted to fight four times this year, but I waited and was able to get the RFA,” said Mayes “I know there are a lot of people watching, so it’s a big opportunity for me.
“I want to be the UFC champ – that’s my goal – and whoever is in my way, I’m trying to go through. I know that’s a good jump, but that’s what I want.”